Throes of a Fledgling Nation

Hill Hinduism, monarchy and the Nepali language — the conventional symbols of a historically weak Nepali nationalism — are all presently under attack. A crisis of identity prevails among Nepal's educated.

Hidden among the advance sample tables from the 1991 Nepal Census is data that is politically significant. There has been a net decline of 5.14 percent among Nepalis who say that Nepali is their mother tongue — from 58.36 percent in 1981 to 53.22 percent today. Although preliminary findings for population distribution by religion have not been published so far, there are strong indications that the percentage of population reporting Hinduism as its religion will also decline significantly. If these findings are confirmed, they would constitute major reversals of national trends. Population percentages in both these categories had been on the rise in all previous counts.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian