Ethnic Discrimination in Nepal

In the autobiography Vasti or Growing up Untouchables in India, by Vasant Moon, he vividly portrays a peculiar discrimination between the Dalits and the Brahmans. Moon has created this literary work with an obvious imagery that intrigue our minds and hearts when we read the novel. Since the similar kinds of trends exist in some societies in Nepal, I could clearly speculate what was going on in the Mahar community, how the life styles of Mahars were, what sort of deprivation and suppression they had to overcome, and how they struggled for their rights and finally achieved them.

In Nepal, there exists an ethnical hierarchical system. The most predominant ethnic groups are Brahmans, Chhetris, and Newars. Among them, Brahman is supposed to be the “most privileged” ethnic group, thereafter Chhetris followed by Newars. Newars are called indigenous groups. In the past, Brahmans were usually involved in religious activities like reciting Vedas, worshipping Gods and Goddesses, whereas Chhetris were mostly engaged in political sectors. On the contrary, Newars were very active in trade and business and were the predominant inhabitants of the capital city, Kathmandu.

Still now, in some remote parts of Nepal, Chettris and Newars are not allowed to worship in the temples where Brahmans perform their religious rituals. They cannot use the same water taps as Brahmans do not eat and drink anything touched by Newars and Chhetris. Besides, inter-ethnic marriage is strictly prohibited. For example, if a Newar girl gets married to a Brahman boy, she gets a standard of a servant in the house and never can practice her own right. In some of the extreme cases, girls may be beaten to death.

It would be very surprising for some people that within Brahmans also, there are “Upadhya Brahman” and “Jaisi Brahman.” “Upadhya Brahmans” are accordingly superior to “Jaisi Brahmans.” If an Upadhya Brahman boy gets married to a Jaisi Brahman girl or vice versa, the caste of the Upadhya Brahman drop to Jaisi Brahman, then they cannot experience the rights like high respects in temples, which they used to practice before. The similar is the case with Chhetris and Brahmans.

I wonder why people discriminate among themselves. We all are humans. We all live under the same roof of the open sky and have red blood. Therefore, I do not get any sense in the trend of discrimination among human beings, thus it should be eradicated.

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About kalpana23
I am a student.

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