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Book Review:

High Inequality

Strategy for the Upliftment of the Oppressed

Edited by Professor Haribansha Jha

Published by Center for Economic and Technical Studies and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Price: Not mentioned

Pages: 144

Ethnicity and the plight of the oppressed class are popular themes among Nepalese intellectuals. This book highlights different facets of the situation of the oppressed class, including their social status in the context of Nepalese society. Interestingly, Brahmins still lead the process of social reform in the terai and hills. A terai Brahmin himself, Dr. Jha comes out with important issues of discrimination against the community. The book highlights the plight of the large segment of the oppressed class that continues to be deprived of its right to equality.

The book, which is based on articles presented at seminars organized by the Center for Economic and Technical Studies, provides a historical perspective of the oppressed class. Whether in the terai or in the hills, Nepalese society has evolved through the tenets and structures of Hinduism. According to the Manu Smriti, society is divided into two classes, "touchables" and "untouchables". The class division is based on the profession of the individual.

Although Dr. Jha tries to make a distinction between the "untouchables" of the terai asnd the hills, he has not been able to show any significant differences in the way they are treated in those regions.

SPOTLIGHT The National Newsmagazine, Vol. 20, No. 28, Jan 26 - Feb 01, 2001

Copyright©2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office
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