Start Date

10-12-2012 10:15 AM

End Date

10-12-2012 11:15 AM

Description

Abstract

Landlessness and political struggles in Nepal are deeply inter-related. Landlessness in Nepal is rooted in a long history of feudal land governance, political inertia and nepotism. Furthermore, the skewed landownership patterns practiced were deepened by a deeply discriminatory and strictly hierarchical society that excluded women, ethnic minorities and tribal groups, especially, those of lower castes and classes. Due to this prevailing exclusion and discrimination, the call for land reform as a rallying cry has long been used by politicians as a tool for political mobilization and for garnering support in Nepal. However, despite several political developments and repeated political commitments, the land reform policies have largely failed to redistribute the land to the actual tillers. The land and agrarian policies introduced by several governments, since the 1950s, to address the demand for land rights and to distribute land to the tillers have either been flawed or poorly implemented or lacks political commitment. All political powers despite their rhetoric, have failed to transform the traditional feudal agrarian systemin which a small elite class continues to oppress majority of the poor Nepali population, to this day. Hence, the failure of the political parties to adopt radical land and agrarian reform policies also depicts serious democratic deficit in Nepal.

With the end of the decade-long civil war in 2006, Nepal has been on the crucial path of transformation. But, the prevailing political instability and lack of accountability in governance have put the issue of land reform on the backburner thus, further failing to deal with the multiple causes and problems associated with landlessness. Nepal’s history itself is testament to the fact that unequal land ownership is a threat to social cohesion, political stability and economic prosperity. Therefore, unless the political establishment ensures access of poor people -from the different strata of the society who have been historically marginalized - to land and land-based resources, there is always a threat to Nepal’s fragile democracy and peace. Successful land and agrarian reform in Nepal is an imperative for equitable and democratic development, including for the economic, political and social transformation of Nepal as a whole.

[尼泊尔的土地改革与政治过程]

摘要

在尼泊尔,无地的状况与政治抗争是紧密相连的。无地的状况源自长时期的封建土地统治,政治惯性和任人唯亲。而且,尼泊尔社会长久以来的带歧视性和等级森严的制度把妇女、少数群体及部落群体-尤其是那些底层阶级-排斥在外,所以不公平的土地所有制在这种社会制度下被加强。由于这种普遍存在的社会排斥和歧视,要求土地改革则成为人民集体的诉求,对于许多政治家来说,这则是一个重要的政治动员工具,并且可以帮助政治家们争取到更多支持。尽管有许多政治发展并一些与土地改革相关的政治承诺,但是土地改革政策还是大规模的失败了,无法把土地重新分配给实际的农夫。自从1950年,许多届政府引有进过土地和农业改革来满足人民土地权益的需求,并把土地分给无地农民,但是,这些政策有的本身有瑕疵,有的执行很差,有的缺少政治的保证,最终都失败。在尼泊尔,所有的政治权利,尽管他们有很华丽的辞藻和承诺,仍然无法改变传统的封建农业制度,直到今天,仍然是一小部分精英阶层不断压迫社会绝大多数的穷人。因此,这些政党无法采取激进的土地和农业改革的政策,这些失败也显示了尼泊尔严重缺乏民主。

在2006年,随着长达一世纪的内战结束,尼泊尔到达一个非常关键的转型时期。但是,长久以来不稳定的政治环境和缺少责任的管理,使得土地改革议题无法成为核心,也更加导致了无地农民的问题以及深层原因无法被深入处理。尼泊尔的历史已证实了不公平的土地所有制对于社会团结、政治稳定和经济繁荣是一个威胁。因此,除非建立一个新的政治制度,让那些长久被历史边缘化的不同的社会阶层,也就是那些贫穷的人民能够参与到政治过程,同时让他们能够真正地影响土地议题以及土地的相关资源,不然原本脆弱的尼泊尔的民主和平将会不断受到威胁。为了尼泊尔的民主与公正社会的发展,成功的土地改革和农业改革才是关键的,这将给尼泊尔带来整体的经济、政治和社会转变。

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Recommended Citation

Karki, A. K. (2012, December). Political process and land reform in Nepal. Paper presented at 2012 International Conference on Sustainability & Rural Reconstruction, Southwest University, Chongqingng, China.

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Dec 10th, 10:15 AM Dec 10th, 11:15 AM

Political process and land reform in Nepal

Abstract

Landlessness and political struggles in Nepal are deeply inter-related. Landlessness in Nepal is rooted in a long history of feudal land governance, political inertia and nepotism. Furthermore, the skewed landownership patterns practiced were deepened by a deeply discriminatory and strictly hierarchical society that excluded women, ethnic minorities and tribal groups, especially, those of lower castes and classes. Due to this prevailing exclusion and discrimination, the call for land reform as a rallying cry has long been used by politicians as a tool for political mobilization and for garnering support in Nepal. However, despite several political developments and repeated political commitments, the land reform policies have largely failed to redistribute the land to the actual tillers. The land and agrarian policies introduced by several governments, since the 1950s, to address the demand for land rights and to distribute land to the tillers have either been flawed or poorly implemented or lacks political commitment. All political powers despite their rhetoric, have failed to transform the traditional feudal agrarian systemin which a small elite class continues to oppress majority of the poor Nepali population, to this day. Hence, the failure of the political parties to adopt radical land and agrarian reform policies also depicts serious democratic deficit in Nepal.

With the end of the decade-long civil war in 2006, Nepal has been on the crucial path of transformation. But, the prevailing political instability and lack of accountability in governance have put the issue of land reform on the backburner thus, further failing to deal with the multiple causes and problems associated with landlessness. Nepal’s history itself is testament to the fact that unequal land ownership is a threat to social cohesion, political stability and economic prosperity. Therefore, unless the political establishment ensures access of poor people -from the different strata of the society who have been historically marginalized - to land and land-based resources, there is always a threat to Nepal’s fragile democracy and peace. Successful land and agrarian reform in Nepal is an imperative for equitable and democratic development, including for the economic, political and social transformation of Nepal as a whole.

[尼泊尔的土地改革与政治过程]

摘要

在尼泊尔,无地的状况与政治抗争是紧密相连的。无地的状况源自长时期的封建土地统治,政治惯性和任人唯亲。而且,尼泊尔社会长久以来的带歧视性和等级森严的制度把妇女、少数群体及部落群体-尤其是那些底层阶级-排斥在外,所以不公平的土地所有制在这种社会制度下被加强。由于这种普遍存在的社会排斥和歧视,要求土地改革则成为人民集体的诉求,对于许多政治家来说,这则是一个重要的政治动员工具,并且可以帮助政治家们争取到更多支持。尽管有许多政治发展并一些与土地改革相关的政治承诺,但是土地改革政策还是大规模的失败了,无法把土地重新分配给实际的农夫。自从1950年,许多届政府引有进过土地和农业改革来满足人民土地权益的需求,并把土地分给无地农民,但是,这些政策有的本身有瑕疵,有的执行很差,有的缺少政治的保证,最终都失败。在尼泊尔,所有的政治权利,尽管他们有很华丽的辞藻和承诺,仍然无法改变传统的封建农业制度,直到今天,仍然是一小部分精英阶层不断压迫社会绝大多数的穷人。因此,这些政党无法采取激进的土地和农业改革的政策,这些失败也显示了尼泊尔严重缺乏民主。

在2006年,随着长达一世纪的内战结束,尼泊尔到达一个非常关键的转型时期。但是,长久以来不稳定的政治环境和缺少责任的管理,使得土地改革议题无法成为核心,也更加导致了无地农民的问题以及深层原因无法被深入处理。尼泊尔的历史已证实了不公平的土地所有制对于社会团结、政治稳定和经济繁荣是一个威胁。因此,除非建立一个新的政治制度,让那些长久被历史边缘化的不同的社会阶层,也就是那些贫穷的人民能够参与到政治过程,同时让他们能够真正地影响土地议题以及土地的相关资源,不然原本脆弱的尼泊尔的民主和平将会不断受到威胁。为了尼泊尔的民主与公正社会的发展,成功的土地改革和农业改革才是关键的,这将给尼泊尔带来整体的经济、政治和社会转变。