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Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood, and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan

Unbecoming Citizens: Culture, Nationhood, and the Flight of Refugees from Bhutan
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From the Jacket : This book recounts the plight of about a hundred thousand refugees of Nepali ethnic origin who claim to have wrongly evicted from Bhutan. They arrived in Nepal during the early 1990s and since then not a single one of them has returned. The author explains who these people are and analyses the Bhutanese government's new policies on citizenship, language, and that ultimately led to the flight of many erstwhile citizens. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of ...
From the Jacket :

This book recounts the plight of about a hundred thousand refugees of Nepali ethnic origin who claim to have wrongly evicted from Bhutan. They arrived in Nepal during the early 1990s and since then not a single one of them has returned. The author explains who these people are and analyses the Bhutanese government's new policies on citizenship, language, and that ultimately led to the flight of many erstwhile citizens. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of South Asian and Himalayan politics, anthropology, cultural studies, and refugee studies.

About the Author :

Michael Hutt is a Professor in Nepali and Himalayan Studies and Dean in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Excerpts From Reviews:

'[This] is a rich, carefully researched and important book. It provides rare case study of the dynamics of nationalism in the Himalayas.'

- Journal of Refugee Studies

'The most memorable part of the book are the narratives, the stories the refugees try to tell, the memories they try to evoke.'

- Frontline

'It is for the historical construction of the migration of Nepalis into south Bhutan and the recording of their history from their settlement to expulsion that the book is valuable.'

- Himal South Asia

'In this absorbing book, Michael Hutt provides a cogent analysis of the problems and challenges of nation-building…'

Hindu

CONTENTS

Prefacevii
Acknowledgementsxi
Illustrationsvii
1. Introduction1
1.1Context: lands on a rim1
1.2 Bhutan and the Bhutanese 2
1.3Authenticity and historical truth8
1.4Unbecoming citizens13
2. Matters of history15
2.1The history of Umbho15
2.2Nepali migration to Bhutan: the historical context22
2.3'Since the time of the Shabdrung'24
2.4'Priests and patrons'27
2.5'To protect the land of Dharmadeva'29
3. Southern Bhutan in early British accounts33
3.1Early encounters33
3.2'A narrow slip of land'34
3.3Bhutan and the Younghusband mission39
3.4'First sightings'40
4. The legend of Garjaman Guring46
4.1 Ponlops and thekadars46
4.2D.B. Gurung's memoir47
4.3Using the legend51
4.4Questions of historicity54
5. The settlement and administration of the south58
5.1A chronology of Nepali settlement58
5.2The ethnic boundary61
5.3The administration of southern Bhutan63
5.4The Paro Ponlop and the Dorjes65
5.5The Mandals68
5.6Land ownership and registration71
5.7The payment of taxes74
5.8Revenue from below80
5.9The contribution of labour82
6. The changing bases of subjecthood85
6.1Calling the raiyats back home85
6.2The case of Akhal Singh89
7. Lhotshampa culture94
7.1Bhutanese Nepaliness94
7.2Caste and ethnicity95
7.3Assumed characteristics99
7.4Ascribed characteristics102
7.5The absence of Nepali literature105
7.6Of pandits and pathshalas106
8. The first activists113
8.1'Jai Gorkha!' 113
8.2The death of Masur Chetri116
8.3The Bhutan State Congress120
9 Coming closer to the King127
9.1Coming down from Tongsa127
9.2Political representation 130
9.3The granting of citizenship134
9.4Opening the schools137
9.5Building the roads139
9.6Moving east141
9.7A sense of belonging145
10. The conditions for belonging147
10.1Legislation on citizenship147
10.2Censuses150
10.3The 1988 census152
11. Becoming the same160
11.1A homogenizing nationalism160
11.2Driglam Namzha165
11.3A national costume167
11.4Enforcing culture170
11.5Anxieties and dissent177
11.6A national language178
11.7Demoting Nepali183
11.8Bhutanizing buildings190
12. 'Now we will be criminals'193
12.1'Nepali politics in India'193
12.2The petition to the King197
12.3Early Lhotshampa dissidence200
12.4Arrests and reprisals201
12.5Demonstrations204
13. The Ngolops211
13.1The creation of the Ngolop211
13.2The propagation of fear214
13.3The closure of schools220
13.4'Voluntary emigrants'221
13.5The punishment of Tek Nath Rizal227
14. Dil Maya: fragments of a life231
14.1Refugees and life histories231
14.2Introducing 'Dil Maya'234
14.3Dil Maya's life238
14.4Becoming afraid246
14.5Leaving Bhutan251
14.6The future253
15. Refugees from Shangri-la256
15.1A postscript256
15.2The gaps between nation-states263
15.3The construction of national cultures266
15.4A small state, a Shangri-la270
15.5Repairing the tear in the fabric272
15.6Some legal perspectives276
15.7The Brahmans of Shambhala280
Appendix283
Bibliography286
Index300

Item Code: IDE906 Author: Michael Hutt Cover: Paperback Edition: 2005 Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN: 0195670604 Language: English Size: 8.5" X 5.5" Pages: 327 (Color Illus: 6, B & W Illus: 9, Maps: 2) Other Details: 330 gms
Price: $22.50
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