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Masculinity and Mimicry

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Baha Occasional Papers 5

Masculinity and Mimicry

Ranas and Gurkhas

by Sanjeev Uprety

This paper studies the construction of the masculinity of Gurkha soldiers in British representations and compares such constructions with representations of the masculinities of the two most powerful and influential Rana prime ministers, Jung Bahadur Rana and his 20th-century successor Chandra Shumsher Rana. It also argues that the pre-modern oriental masculinity of Jung Bahadur and the imperial, anglicised masculinity of Chandra Shumsher were defined against the effeminacy of the Indians as well as the Shah Kings of Nepal. In addition, it also examines Perceval Landon’s two-volume account of Nepal’s history-written under the patronage of Chandra Shumsher and first published in 1928-which describes, among other things, the contrasting masculinities of Jung Bahadur and Chandra Shumsher Rana.

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