Alan Macfarlane


[From Michael Hutt (ed.), Nepal in the Nineties (Oxford Univ. Press, Delhi, 1994)




It is possible to take very different views about the way in which Nepal

is currently heading.(1) An optimistic assessment culled from official

statistics and superficial impressions could be made. In contrast to India

there appears to be little absolute poverty, with no begging and no real

shanty towns. Famines are infrequent. There is a notable absence of

violence; the police are few, crime rates are low, and political violence

has been limited.


    These impressions could be backed by impressive statistics. From a

standing start in 1950, when the Ranas were overthrown and Nepal

began to be transformed from a medieval oriental despotism into a

modern nation-state, a great deal has been done. An all but roadless

country In 1950, Nepal had built more than six thousand miles of

property paved highways by the late 1980s. Between 1950 and 1980 the

cumulative growth in various sectors has been estimated as follows: '70

times in power generation, 13 times in irrigation facility, 134 times in

school enrolment, 12 times in number of hospital beds'. (2) Epidemic

diseases have been practically eliminated. Infant mortality rates have

been halved. Piped water has been brought to most villages. An

international airline has been started. Nepal now exports goods worth

more than 25 million US dollars a year. A large tourist industry has

been created, with over 300,000 tourists (other than Indians) a year. A

literacy rate of two per cent in 195 1 had been increased to over 40 per

cent by the late 1980s. There are more than 150 university campuses.

Kathmandu and other towns have grown remarkably and now have

many facilities, including television, computers and many modern

goods and services. All this has been achieved with no significant revo-

lution or bloodshed. It looks like an economic and social miracle.

Yet an equally convincing case could be made to support a



(1) This article was originally published in Cambridge Anthropology, 14:

1 (1990). 1 am grateful to the Editors of that journal for permission to

reprint it in this collection. Some of the fieldwork upon which it is based

was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Sarah Harrison

gave valuable advice on earlier drafts of the article and helped with the

fieldwork. Some interesting comments on an abbreviated form of the article

are contained in a letter by David Seddon to the London Review of Books,

16 August 1990.

2 Gurung, 1926: 246.







pessimistic assessment. Despite a long established family planning

policy, there has been little success in controlling population. In 1800

there were less than two and a half million people in Nepal. By 1941

there were about six million. By 1971 the population had nearly

doubled to eleven and a half million. It is currently over eighteen

million and is projected to be at least twenty-five million by the year

2001. It will thus have increased four-fold in sixty years. At present the

population is growing faster than almost anywhere in Asia, at 2.7 per

cent per annum, and the use and knowledge of contraception is lower

than in any other Asian country. (3)


    This population pressure is particularly worrying because of the eco-

logical situation. The population density in relation to cultivable land

is as high as in many of the far more fertile Asiatic deltas. People press

on land that is usually a thin covering of soil on extremely steep rocky

slopes, swept by torrential monsoon rains. The growing numbers

exploit the remaining forest ever more intensively for firewood, fodder

and grazing. The results are very serious. Moddie concludes that 'Nepal

provides the most dramatic example of the spread of desertification....

In a flash, within the decade ending 197 1, Nepal had lost 50 per cent of

its forest cover....' (4) Eckholm claimed that Nepal faces 'the world's

most acute national soil erosion problem'. (5) One expert estimated that

Nepal was losing 164,000 cubic inches of top soil each year. (6) A figure

quoted by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project suggests that 'one

hectare of cleared forest loses 30-75 tons of soil annually. In Nepal,

approximately 400,000 hectares are cleared each year....' As Seddon

puts it, 'the country now faces a crisis whose major components

include serious over-population, ecological collapse in the densely

populated and highly vulnerable hill areas ... and overall declining yields

in agriculture. (7) In one hundred years, with present trends, the

mountains will be stripped of forest and soil, and a population of over

one hundred million will be forced to live in absolute poverty or

migrate elsewhere.


    These facts arc well known and easily visible. Less obvious is the

serious deterioration in the material standard of life of a majority of the

population, despite the massive inflow of 'aid'. One of the most omi-

nous developments in the last thirty years in Nepal has been the way in

which the formerly rice-surplus middle hills have become grain deficit

areas. The western hills, for instance, became short of grain before

1976, with an average of up to three per cent decline in food production

per annum over the last few years. (It is predicted that the food deficit in


3 Seddon, 1984: 1, 87.

4 Quoted in Gurung, op.cit.: 191.

5 Quoted in Seddon, op.cit.: 72.

6 Gurung, op.cit.: 192

7 Seddon, 1979: 46.






Nepal will increase at least ten times between 1985 and 2000.8 Hill

farmers, who once produced a surplus, now only survive with the help

of a steady flow of outside grains. Harka Gurung quotes a recent

estimate that 'in comparison to the 2.12 per cent annual increase in

population during 1964-78, annual agricultural growth was only 0.78

per cent and this indicated a reduction of annually 21 kg. per head in

food consumption'. (9)


     What these general trends mean for individuals is best seen in one

central hill village where data has been collected over the last twenty

years. Between 1970 and 1990 there has been an almost 50 per cent

drop in grain production as the land loses its fertility and goes out of

production. In 1970 most families had enough rice for themselves and

practically no rice was bought outside the village. By 1990 only a quar-

ter of the villagers had enough rice for their needs; rice had become a

luxury rather than a necessity and a large amount was being bought

from the south.


      The number of animals has also dropped by half. This means that

less manure is available for the fields, hence there are reduced crops. It

also means a worsening of the diet. Twenty years ago people in mid-

dling families had a protein-rich diet, eating meat every two or three

days, drinking milk at almost every meal. Now they eat meat only once

or twice a month and drink milk occasionally. Their personal wealth

has visibly declined; the women have sold their gold ornaments, the

clothing is less adequate, the houses and paths are deteriorating.

This growing impoverishment reflects a dramatic decline in the

return on labour. It is estimated that the maize equivalent (the poor eat

maize) of wage rates fell by roughly 30-60 per cent in the period 1968-9

to 1976-7 alone.'() In the sample hill village, there has been an

approximate halving on the returns on labour during the last twenty

years, thus a halving in the standard of living. For instance, in 1970 it

took just over a day's work to earn enough to buy a chicken. In 1990 it

takes two to three days work to do so. A day's hard work in the fields

produces grain worth 15-20 rupees (30-40p sterling in 1990); this Is

certainly not enough to feed a family, let alone clothe, house, marry,

bury, nurse and educate it. Many villages are propped up by money

from migratory labour in the army or civilian work in India.


      Thus, on the one hand, we have the national statistics of growing

literacy, improved health, water, roads, trade, while on the other the ma-

jority of the population are year by year growing poorer and worse fed

and the environment is rapidly deteriorating. A strange contradiction.

Furthermore, the contrast between a small affluent minority in

Kathmandu and other towns, who enjoy almost First World standards,



8 Gurung, op.cit.: 182.

9 Ibid.

10 Seddon, 1984: 115-6.






and the 95 per cent who live in growing poverty, is growing ever



       In fact, the contradiction between progress and impoverishment is

not as dramatic as it seems, for behind the impressive statistics, the

actual progress is far less notable. The figures giving total numbers of

schools, hospitals, health workers, miles of road constructed, are mean-

ingless without taking into account the quality of what is being devel-

oped. Those who have worked in Nepal all have their own stories. The

following tiny set of examples, all taken from one small valley over a

short period of time, could be multiplied a million-fold.


     The school statistics are impressive and some of the private schools

are good. But the average village school is very badly equipped, often

not even having benches or blackboards; it teaches a curriculum which

is of practically no use to the children unless they obtain one of the

scarce office jobs in a town. Many of the teachers do not understand the

language of the ethnic group they are working with and are disillusioned

and homesick. Much learning is by rote, there is high absenteeism, and

a high failure rate in exams. Attempts to reform the educational system

have been unsuccessful and the general standard is very low. Likewise

the universities are very poorly equipped, the staff badly paid and in

constant turmoil. Education is avidly sought by the wealthier, who send

their children to expensive schools, thereby using up all their own capi-

tal and producing an alienated middle strata who find it impossible to

reintegrate into the basically agrarian economy.


      There has been a massive foreign investment in medical improve-

ments and a superficial counting of the number of medical personnel or

health posts would suggest a country going through a medical revolu-

tion. Yet if one visits the hospitals and health posts, or talks to vil-

lagers who have tried to use them, there is an overwhelming impression

of a waste of resources and considerable inefficiency. The government

hospital in the second largest hill town, Pokhara, is notorious for its

absentee doctors, poor hygiene, careless operations, shortage of

medicine. The wrong limbs lopped off, all the nurses absent when

women are in labour, totally inaccurate diagnosis and prescription, the

siphoning off of time and medicines to private stores, all are endlessly

alleged. Even allowing for exaggeration and gossip, there seems to be

much to be concerned about.


      Likewise, the health posts are over-staffed, but under-equipped. One

near the sample village has ten workers, but anyone seeking the sim-

plest medicine for sores or cuts will be told to walk a day and buy their

own in the bazaar. There are two nurses, but neither has even the sim-

plest of gynaecological instruments. Other large villages have no health

post or health worker and women die needlessly in childbirth, unable to

make the eight hour journey to the nearest nurse. The government con-

tribution in one such village of a thousand people is one rupee per year






(less than 2p sterling in 1990). This is the reality of medicine in Nepal.

The situation with agricultural development projects is broadly simi-

lar. Most of the budget goes on constructing buildings, often in the

towns, and on paying staff. Very little reaches the villages and fields for

which it is destined. The staff themselves are often disinterested in agri-

culture. As Bista writes, 'Agricultural training institutions are built yet

farmers are not the ones who go there for training. People who have no

interest in the soil are the ones who get degrees in agricultural science'.


    A typical example in the related field of veterinary medicine concerns

the location of the nearest veterinary station to the sample village.

When I asked why it was located in the plain, two thousand feet below

any of the villages where the animals which it was to treat were located,

I was told that the expert who worked there lived in a nearby town. He

did not want to walk up the steep hill to his office. It Is not surprising,

with no animals. that it is seldom used. Furthermore, villagers allege

that they are unable to find anyone present most of the time. When

there was a chicken epidemic and they enquired about vaccinations, the

official demanded a large amount for merely walking to the village, let

alone payment for the injections. They did not bother and almost all the

chickens in the village died.


     Another example could be taken from the massive effort to install

piped water. A large system, starting in the sample village, is currently

being built. It is in its early stages but is already a catalogue of ineffi-

ciency. The pipe joints are inappropriate and will soon break, the junc-

tion pipes are set at the wrong angle, the pipe is left exposed at crucial

points to be punctured by passing livestock, the inflow and outflow

pipes in the tank are at the wrong level. After a few months, a landslide

fell and blocked the top reservoir entirely, and a rock fell a little lower

down and severed the pipe. This was quickly reported and a team came

to investigate. Eight months later, nothing has been done and no engin-

neers have been seen. The water dribbles down to only one or two of

the taps in the village.


      Again, there are constant complaints about the working of minor

bureaucrats, who need bribes, are insolent, and are usually absent from

their offices. Villagers commonly allege that even for the most minor

business they are told to come back another day, unless they produce

extra cash, when the business will be quickly done. There are fears of

the police, who can be brutal, undiscriminating and not accountable for

their behaviour.


     As for the transport revolution, many of the bridges are unfinished

or badly maintained, the roads soon deteriorate into a bad condition, the

public transport is ramshackle, public facilities scarce.


    The question then is, why is Nepal heading towards economic, eco-

logical and demographic crisis, and why has foreign aid had so little

impact? Two possibilities can be immediately ruled out. The first is






that the people themselves are incapable of developing. In fact, the

country is rich in human talent. For a century and a half the middle

hills have supplied the Gurkha troops in the British and Indian armies.

With training, leadership and organisation, these hill soldiers have

earned a reputation as one of the most efficient, brave, hard-working and

efficient fighting forces in the world. They are full of initiative, practi-

cal, flexible. quick to pick up new ideas. These qualities, if effectively

harnessed, Could have turned Nepal into a small example of the south-

east Asian economic miracle. The religion, social structure and egalitar-

ian values are very similar to what are called the 'Confucian cultures',

which have been so successful. Yet this is not happening.


     Another possibility is that aid has not been at a sufficiently gener-

ous level. Again this does not seem to be the case. It is probable that in

terms of its Gross Domestic Product, Nepal has received more foreign

aid per head than any other country in the world. Its strategic position

as a zone between two power blocks, with India and China competing

for friendship, and Russia and America for cold war influence, is com-

bined with the sentiments of the Gurkha association and Swiss-like en-

vironment which bring in British and European aid. This means that

Nepal has been flooded with aid and advice. Nepal was only able to

spend less than 65 per cent of the total allocated aid budget during the

first five year plan period of 1956-6 1. During the two decades 1951-2 to

1969-70 foreign aid totalled more than 178 dollars. (11) If we remember

that at that time the total exports of goods were worth less than an

average of 10 million dollars a year, we can see that money from aid far

outstripped all foreign earnings. There can be few countries in that

position. Since 1970 the amount of aid has grown substantially. Of

course. much of the money went back to the donor countries in the

form of large salaries to their 'experts' and to pay for machinery and

goods from the donor country. But even after this, there has been a great

deal left to spend. Combining this money, the offered expertise and the

natural talent might have led to real advance. As it is, while the towns

grow and a small segment of the rich get richer, the population rockets

and the number in considerable poverty grows daily. How and why has

this happened?


      The conventional wisdom comes in two main forms, demographic-

ecological -geographical, and- politico-social. The first argument is as

follows. Nepal is a barren, mountainous country with little good agri-

cultural land. Furthermore, there are few useful mineral resources, coal.

oil, gas, metals. Communications are very difficult because the country

is long and thin, from east to west, while the ridges cut across this

from north to south. There is no sea access and trade has to pass

through India. All these geographical considerations make it unlikely

that Nepal would become wealthy.



11  Gurung, op.cit.: 6 1.






     On top of this is the rapid and uncontrolled growth of population

which has already been documented. It is truly a Malthusian situation,

and it is not surprising that Malthus himself quoted Turner's 'Embassy

to Tibet' to the effect that 'It certainly appears that a superabundant

population in an unfertile country must be the greatest of all calamities,

and produce eternal warfare or eternal want'. (12) It is argued that the

combination of growing population and poor resources is enough to

account for most of the problem. (13)


    While it would be foolish to ignore such arguments, and they do

indeed provide some of the essential explanatory frameworks, they do

not account for all the present trends. The Malthusian argument only

suggests possible tendencies, what will happen if all else is equal. But,

of course, all else is not equal. As Malthus himself argued in the second

edition of his 'Essay on Population', people can control their popula-

tion if they wish. Furthermore, since Malthus wrote, the equations have

been altered by the industrial and scientific revolutions, which allow

production to expand exponentially with the application of non-organic

energy. Consequently, population and resources are not determining,

they condition the situation. We only have to look at Holland, Japan,

Singapore, or Hong Kong, to see how an inauspicious environment can

be transformed into a centre of wealth through human ingenuity. In

principle, there is no reason why this should not happen in Nepal. We

therefore have to seek other causes.

    A second set of arguments concerns the political economy of Nepal.

In a series of studies, Blaikie, Cameron and Seddon have extensively

documented what they call 'Nepal in Crisis'. They give detailed evi-

dence to support many of the impressions noted above. They quote the

Fourth Five Year Plan (1970-75) to the effect that 'although a number

of development works have been undertaken in different sectors of the

economy, there has not been virtually any noteworthy change in the

basic condition of agriculture'. (14) Most of the money from foreign aid

and the surpluses generated in the villages is siphoned off to the

Kathmandu valley. They quote Rana and Malla who wrote that 'in

terms of development expenditures, a disproportionately large part of

the total investment in the last two decades has gone to Kathmandu and

its surrounding areas....' (15)


     They show that much of the wealth has been used to produce a

massive expansion in the bureaucracy, a 'combination of rural neglect

with massive redistribution of State revenues in the form of salaries and

rents to government officials and offices in urban areas'. They quote

Caplan's study which showed a 32-fold expansion in the number of



12 Malthus, n.d.: i, 122.

13 Macfarlane, 1976.

14 Blaikie et al, 1980: 63.

15 Ibid.: 78.






civil servants in one district in 35 years, whereas administrative income

had only increased three-fold. They contrast this bureaucratic growth

with what has been achieved: 'given the massive increase, both

proportionately and absolutely, in officially 'development oriented'

government departments situated in the (West Central) Region, the

extremely feeble impact they have had to date on rural economy and

society in West-Central Nepal is all the more serious in its

implications'. (16) They show how Indian manufacturing has crushed

indigenous manufacturing in Nepal, and how little real development is

occurring. They conclude very pessimistically. They 'see no reason to

believe' that the peasantry (or anyone else) will act collectively in time

'to save millions of people from impoverishment, malnutrition,

fruitless migration, and early death'. (17)


    While the detailed statistics and analyses are very useful in providing

an objective picture of Nepal's serious position, the explanatory frame-

work they offer is only partially satisfying. They acknowledge the geo-

graphic and demographic difficulties of Nepal, but then proceed with

two other kinds of explanation. The first is an application of

'dependency theory' as developed by various economists and historians

in the 1970s. They summarise their argument as follows. 'We follow

more closely the general direction of dependency theory, which argues

that underdevelopment is a consequence of the incorporation of a pre-

capitalist system into the global capitalist system dominated by

I western' economies and 'western' powers'. What this means in Nepal's

case, which they equate with that of Afghanistan, Lesotho and Ethiopia,

is described as follows. 'Neither fully incorporated as a colony, nor

genuinely isolated, Nepal suffered ... the stagnation that is a product of

its specific form of partial incorporation as a semi-colony of the British

Raj and more recently within the political economy of India. (18)

Elsewhere they write that this 'experience as a 'semi-colony' ensured a

degree of 'forced stagnation' in production and productivity which led to

increased population pressure on marginal land, emigration, and

ecological decline'. (19)


    In this last quotation the line of causation is made explicit. The

semi-colonial status is the cause of the demographic and agricultural



    The idea of core and periphery, or metropolis and satellite, is applied

in two ways. Firstly, in relation to India, their studies do indeed show

that Nepal's development is constrained by India, though we may won-

der whether it might well be that Nepal would be a net loser if Indian

aid, markets, grain and employment were not available. Be that as it



16 Ibid.: 122.

17 Ibid.: -?84.

11 Ibid.: 187.

19 Ibid.: 5.






may, it is not a new or particularly major advance to portray Nepal as

dependent on India. It is clear that such dependency is a,-ain not deter-

mining, but just one of the constraints within which the Nepalese are

forced to operate.


     A second application of dependency theory is within Nepal. While

India is a periphery of the first world, and Nepal a periphery of India.

most of Nepal is a periphery of the Kathmandu valley. Again this is

certainly true, and has often been affirmed, though not usually as well

documented. But again this is largely a descriptive statement; it

explains little, in itself needing explanation. Here dependency theory

gives out, unless we take it to be axiomatic that predatory international

capitalism will inevitably have such effects.


     The authors themselves are aware of some of the limitations of this

approach and admit that 'concepts of centre and periphery ... are not by

themselves able to provide the complete framework....' (20) In order to do

that, they argue, a class analysis is also needed. Thus they try to

provide such an analysis. Here they are immediately in trouble. Firstly,

as they admit, it is practically impossible to isolate or delineate classes

in Nepal. One can very roughly talk of a 'ruling class', but its edges are

very blurred and it is not at all clear that it has any sense of class-

consciousness or monopolises the ownership of the means of

production. It would be much more appropriate to call it a powerful

elite. As for the bourgeoisie, 'In so far as it can be identified', it is said

to consist almost exclusively of the larger merchants 'and those

involved in such recent growth areas as tourism and construction'. (21)

This constitutes a rather feeble bourgeoisie and furthermore 'it is

difficult to distinguish individual members of this merchant class . (22)

As for the petty bourgeoisie, they are 'notoriously difficult to define',

and in Nepal especially so. Only with the 'peasantry', who constitute

the majority of the population, do we seem to be on safe ground.

Unfortunately for the future of Nepal, they argue, the peasantry have no

class consciousness or unity.


    The difficulties of a class analysis are not limited to the impossibil-

ity of finding classes, or finding any real class consciousness. There is

also the fact, noted several times, that caste and ethnic allegiances cross-

cut any class identity and are often more powerful. All this means that a

significant analysis in terms of the dynamics of class conflict is really

impossible. While the authors assert that 'the interests of the different

classes outlined above are distinct and in some cases in overt conflict

with each other', not a single instance of overt conflict is given. (23) It

would appear that beyond the general statement that different people and



211 Ibid.: 84.

11 Ibid.: 86.

22 Ibid.: 87.

21 Ibid.: 89.






groups have differing access and control over the means of production,

class analysis is really inappropriate in this setting. It explains very



     Thus we are left with an enriched description of Nepal's plight, and a

deeper awareness of the influence of India and of the inequalities

between Kathmandu and the rest of Nepal. But we still do not know

why Nepal is in its present predicament.


    Most of the theories about Nepal's problems have been put forward

by outsiders. Here we may consider a novel and interesting hypothesis

put forward by Dor Bahadur Bista (Bista 1991). Bista is both an outsider

and an insider. He has an unrivalled width of experience in relation to

Nepal. As a young man he travelled over most of Nepal in the company

of the distinguished anthropologist Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf.

On the basis of this experience he wrote the standard survey, The

Peoples of Nepal (1967). He is trained in anthropology and became the

first Professor of Anthropology in Nepal. Combined with foreign trav-

els, this gives him the comparative framework which allows him to see

his country in perspective. It has distanced him from his own culture.

Yet he also knows the culture from the inside. As a member of the

Kathmandu elite. with powerful family and friendship connections, he

knows the centre, as well as the periphery of the village. He knows the

political and diplomatic world intimately, having one son who has been

the Minister of Education and having himself been the Nepalese Consul

General in Tibet. He knows the educational world, having begun his

career as a High School Headmaster in 1952 and later through his

Professorship at Tribhuvan University. He has experience of the inter-

national ai d world through his own and his son's involvement in the

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. He knows

the world of business and trade, having been involved in setting up sev-

eral businesses, a brick factory, carpet factory, metal crafts manufactory,

and experimental dairy farm. He knows the world of hierarchy and caste,

himself being near the top of that hierarchy as a member of an old

family within the Chhetri caste.


     This multifarious life experience of over thirty years has been dis-

tilled into this book, which is an attempt to give a portrait of a society.

It attempts to diagnose Nepal's ills through the eyes of a sympathetic

yet critical insider. It has something of the flavour of other such

attempts; De Tocqueville's Ancien Regime, Weber's Protestant Ethic,

Taine's Notes upon England. It is worth considering at some length be-

cause of its insights and because Bista, as an insider, can say things

which no outsider could say. The Nepalese are a proud and sensitive

people and the kind of analysis Bista makes, striking at the heart of

many cherished institutions, could not be borne from an outsider. But

these things need to be raised, and only Bista can do so.

Bista starts with the same problem, namely the patent failure of






Nepal to make substantial progress. He approvingly cites Pandey, writ-

ing that 'enormous financial resources are devoted to bureaucratic plan-

ning with very little demonstrated results. A former high level bureau-

crat has even commented that, in spite of almost four decades of foreign

assistance, agriculture has not benefited; the poor have been bypassed;

the needs of women have not even been understood; the relations of

production and distribution have become worse; and technical assistance

has not contributed to the improvement of administrative capability'.

He points to the 'snowstorm of statistical wizardry' embodied in

numerous reports 'without any inkling of how these abstract figures

relate to the conditions of the bulk of the people'.


     Bista provides plenty of instances of waste and corruption. For

instance, in relation to education, he gives a very useful survey of

educational development up to the present. The expansion in the 1950s

led to a 'certificate orientation' and in the 1950s and 1960s 'education

was becoming quickly a symbol of status, as high school and college

degrees were used simply for the purpose of acquiring higher status

positions'. An attempt to reform the system in the National Education

System Plan had collapsed by 1979; 'students sabotaged the examina-

tion system through widespread and large scale cheating, which was

largely ignored by supervisors and teachers'. He notes that figures of

educational expansion are 'Impressive', 'but they belie the abuse and

misapplication of educational qualifications. Education is not

directed to any practical ends, but merely to enable people to get a job

where they will be able to do as little work as possible.


     In the field of agricultural development, he cites the Pokhara Crop

Development Project as an example of a total waste of time and

resources. Those who are trained as agricultural specialists 'loathe agri-

culture and hate soiling their hands with the earth. What they learn is

never applied'. The picture is a familiar one. What is novel is Bista's

explanation of why it is thus.


     Although Bista concentrates on the internal, cultural and social con-

text, he does also refer to the external pressure of foreign aid which

I reinforces a sense that Nepal is basically a weak and helpless country'.

He notes that massive foreign aid has helped to mask widespread eco-

nomic abuse and corruption and points to the ethnocentricism of foreign

advisers, who are 'often insensitive to the peculiarities of the cultural

system in Nepal'. But it is this cultural system that he wishes to

expose. For, while others such as Lohani point to 'powerful external

others' as the root cause of Nepal's problems, Bista considers this as

yet another example of that evasion of responsibility and fatalistic atti-

tude which itself is 'the root cause of the problem'.


    Let us first look at some of the features of that cultural system. It is

a complex of factors which Bista labels 'fatalism' and locates in the

Bahun (Brahman)-Chhetri minority which dominates Kathmandu and






other towns. He does not give statistics, but this disproportionate dom-

inance is shown by a figure given by Blaikie et al, namely that while

22 per cent of the population in 1972 were Chhetri/Brahman/Newar,

these groups held almost 93 per cent of all the higher civil service and

political posts. It is this culture, which Bista contrasts strongly with

that of the Mongoloid peoples of the hills and Tarai, which dominates

Nepal's development. As a member of this culture, Bista attempts to

analyse its working.


     The complex has a number of castes and a number of manifesta-

tions. At its heart there lie two inter-acting principles, namely fatalism

and caste. The most important feature is fatalism, the belief 'that one

has no personal control over one's life circumstances, which are deter-

mined through a divine or powerful external agency'. This partly arises

from the Hindu notion of kal-ma, that one's fate is written on one I s

forehead at birth and there is nothing that can be done to alter it.

This fatalistic belief undermines personal responsibility: 'under

fatalism, responsibility is continually displaced to the outside, typically

to the supernatural. There is a constant external focus for the individual.

The individual simply does not have control'. Bista contrasts this to the

situation in western societies and Japan where people have an inter-

nalised sense of responsibility. The current dominant value system does

not teach people to accept responsibility for their failures or to accept

defeat with dignity and grace. They characteristically blame others.

'Altruism is suspect. Similarly, one is never obliged to anyone for any-

thing because everything occurs as it should. No sense of obligation is



     The second main thread is hierarchy, or caste. Bista argues that the

caste principle is not intrinsic to Nepal; 'Nepal's native Hinduism has

not included a belief in caste principles ... only in the last 135 years has

the caste system gained any kind of endorsement....' But now it per-

vades all parts of the elite, who feel themselves superior to the majority

of the population. In particular, it makes the elite identify with the anti-

practical, non-work, ]deals of the Brahman priests, who abstain from all

physical work and depend on the charity of others. This ideal has been

secularised and re-directed through education, so that 'as a career objec-

tive in modern Nepal, every Nepali tries to have a jagir, a salaried job

where one does not have to work but will receive a pay cheque at the

end of each month'. In Brahman belief, the material world is maya, an

illusion, hence 'there is no dignity in labour. High caste people have

always despised physical labour and are accustomed to believing, as

well as teaching others to believe, that erudition and ritual are the only

important things'.


    While despising those below them, the hierarchic mentality produces

sycophancy and dependence on those above; 'whenever Nepalis receive

good treatment from anyone and become comfortable, they begin to






identify that as a father figure'. The institution of chakari,

institutionalised sycophancy, is one important manifestation of this

hierarchical tendency.


    Chakari, originally 'to wait upon, to serve, or to seek favour from a

god', was institutionalised in the nineteenth-century court of the Ranas.

As in all despotisms, whether in Rome or Versailles, a court system

was instituted whereby potential over-mighty subjects were forced to be

constantly visible, and constantly spying on each other by attending

daily on the most powerful rulers. Later, 'government employees had to

perform Chakari to ensure job security and in order to be eligible for

promotion'. The system has flourished behind the facade of modern

bureaucracy; the vast expansion of the salariat, which feeds off foreign

aid, merely exacerbates the tendency. 'Though it will be commonly

denied, today Chakari remains a solid fact of social life, and is evident at

all levels of government'. It Is a way for information to pass informally

through the organisation, endless gossip and back-biting is encouraged

as each morning junior officials wait around their seniors, 'paying

court' and offering small presents. This leads to widespread paranoia, as

each person maligns others whom he thinks may be gossiping behind

his back: an alternative to the anonymous poison pen letter which is so

prevalent in India.


    The Chakari system also interferes with the development of a

Weberian 'rational' bureaucracy, by warping appointments and deci-

sions. The superior is forced to recognise some of the chakariwalas and

receive their gifts and servile courtship. This 'leads to a point where the

patron is forced into actions that he would not normally perform, and

that are not in the best interests of his higher obligations to the organi-

sation of which he is a part' in other words, corruption. Decisions are

often made on the basis of the needs of chakari. Bista concludes that

chakari is a 'built-in guarantor of incompetence, inefficiency, and mis-

placed effort'.


     Chakari is a vertical relationship, a particular manifestation of those

widespread, personalised, dyadic ties, called patron-client relations,

which anthropologists have widely documented in Mediterranean, South

American, Indian and other societies. The description by Bista fits well

with these accounts, adding the special courtly feature of bureaucratic

organisations, namely that the main service of the client is to provide

information, and his main duty is to spend long periods of time attend-

ing on his patron.


     Complementing chakari and flowing from it, but lying on a hori-

zontal rather than vertical social axis, is the other main institution, a '

manchhe. There is a strong distinction made between 'us', who are

trustworthy, loyal, to be helped, and 'them' to whom one has no

responsibilities, and who deceive and are to be deceived. In Bista's

words, 'Afno Manchhe is the term used to designate one's inner circle






of associates-it means 'one's own people' and refers to those who can

be approached when need arises'. Almost every activity is influenced by

it: the length of time it takes to cash a cheque, whether one receives a

permit, the treatment one receives in hospital, one's child's success at

school, all are influenced by afno manchhe connections. 'Afno manchhe

is a critical institution. It Is integrally connected with the smooth run-

ning of society'. Sometimes it is institutionalised into Rotary Clubs,

Leo Clubs, Lions Clubs and the numerous equivalents of western

masonic-type associations. But usually it is just a circle of mutually-

supporting associates, whose personal ties cut across and through the

supposed impersonalities of bureaucracy.


       The workings of a combination of fatalism, hierarchy, chakari and

afno manchhe are examined in studies of education, politics and gov-

ernment and foreign aid. We have seen that education becomes a path to

non-manual jobs which are secure and work-free. In the burgeoning

bureaucratic and governmental system, 'the practice of chakari is so

ingrained in the modern situation that an attempt to by-pass it or elimi-

-nate it is treated as an act of social deviance        In the growing

Ministries, based on an Indian model, 'chakari was rapidly institution-

alised as an integral part of all the ministries'. There is a ritualised use

of 'meetings' and *conferences' and 'seminars' to cover over the fact that

nothing much is being done, just a lot of talking.


     One central feature is the fear of decision-making and the taking of

responsibility. 'As the level of responsibility increases within the

administration, the fewer the decisions actually made. Making decisions

can be a risky business. In a fatalistic society people are not thrown out

for not making decisions but for making bad decisions.... People do not

really expect things to happen.... But doing something means taking

responsibility~, for it'. Anyone who has tried to get anything done in

Nepal will know how true this is. Requests are passed from place to

place and years may pass before a simple decision, to release some cor-

rugated iron or bridge-building cable or cement, which has been agreed

in principle, can be taken. 'A variety of not doing work which might

entail risk, is to pass it on to a higher level'. Often this means that the

simplest of decisions on small matters goes right up to the top, to be

decided by the King or a senior Minister. Passing the buck is an end-

less, and often infinitely circular, game.


    Fatalism and hierarchy also influence the impact of foreign aid.

Firstly they heighten the sense of powerlessness and dependency which

aid on such a huge scale is in any case likely to instil. Foreign aid

donors are seen as father surrogates; the only active agent of develop-

ment becomes the foreign party'. The infatuation with speculative,

abstract, non-practical and ritualistic thought deadens action. Those who

go abroad and see alternative systems are soon defeated by the fatalistic

attitude when they return. Often they leave the country, those who







remain 'become cynics and adapt to Chakari and Afno Manchhe



     Within this corrupt and corrupting system there is a massive squan-

dering of resources. Putting it charitably, 'the Nepali foreign aid civil

servant operates from Kathmandu, and is oriented to the Kathmandu val-

ley as the real hub of national life. The welfare of ethnic villagers in

remote places is hard to identify with.'. Thus the many dangers of for-

eign aid, the political motives of donors, the over-paid and ethnocentric

advisers, the high degree to which aid is 'tied', the absence of any

involvement or consultation with those for whom the aid is supposedly

designed, are compounded by the administrative system through which

the development effort is filtered. It is not surprising that, as Bista

writes, the National Planning Commission's five-yearly planning doc-

ument 'is worth very little', since it has little power; 'roads and schools

get built, but most often in areas not designated by the NPC.'

Development is uncoordinated and ill-planned, reflecting the random

interests of donors and local patronage networks. 'The size of such

administrative machinery requires a vast amount of resources for its

maintenance', but, Bista writes, 'the contribution of such an apparatus

to real development has been negligible'.


     It is a brave man who reveals these characteristics; it is an even

braver one who honestly tries to explain the source which he believes is

poisoning a potentially viable development. Bista locates two main

causes, which are again interconnected.


     According to Bista, the root cause of 'bahunism' or Brahmanism.

'Bahunism' is a cultural configuration

combining caste and fatalism. To demonstrate this, Bista provides an

overview of Nepalese history from ancient times, showing the gradual

spread of Brahmanic values. Caste principles began to be seriously

introduced into Nepal in the fourteenth century, and were strengthened

by Jang Bahadur Rana in the nineteenth. An overview of caste

principles in each region of Nepal is provided. Various features of

priestly Brahmanism are stressed; its dislike of manual labour, its

hierarchical view of the world, its dependence on ritual and magic as

opposed to practical behaviour. For instance, in relation to education,

'Being educated, then, has a superstitious connection with high caste,

and the act of being educated becomes the magical act that draws forth a

sympathetic and supernaturally supported result of being treated as a

Bahun ... education is another form of ritualistic behaviour....' The

belief in fatalism arising from the idea of dharma, the chakari system

arising from the seeking of favour from a god, the strong distinctions

between 'us' and 'them' in afno manchhe, all stem from priestly



     One needs to add the adjective 'priestly', because Bista is not talking

about the majority of Brahmans, hard-working farmers who do not prac-







tise as Brahmans and who work alongside the other ethnic groups in

apparent harmony. It is a small stratum, which also includes higher-

class Chhetris and some Shreshta Newars and Thakuris, of whom he is



      Bista examines how the upbringing within such 'Bahun' houses

contributes to the fatalistic and hierarchical attitudes. Young children are

brought up without much discipline; long breast-feeding on demand, an

absence of any parental control or strong standards lead, he believes, to

an absence of an internalised morality. 'There is no moral pressure or

guilt feeling regarding immoral acts, because there is little sense of

morality instilled in children: a sense of social responsibility is simply

not internalised and social sanctions are only effective in an external

form'. Only fear leads to good behaviour, and fear can be mitigated by

building up a ' network of friends, afno manchhe, and a dependency on

outside forces. Bahuns grow to adulthood 'being self-righteous but

without an ability to be self-critical'.


     Much of this picture of relaxed child-rearing applies to most ethnic

groups in Nepal. What differentiates Bahuns is their attitude to women.

'Women in Nepal generally have equal status except among Bahun-

Thakuri and some middle and upper level Chhetri'. Whereas Gurung

women, for instance, control their husband's purse, are consulted on all

major decisions, are not considered inferior or impure, work at similar

jobs to men; none of this is true of the Bahun culture. Bahun women

are part of the hierarchical system, impure and inferior, given no control

of money, often badly beaten, often carrying huge loads while their

load-free husbands walk ahead of them. This applies to hill Brahmans as



      This attitude to women affects the family at a particular point. High-

caste sons, who have formed a deep bond with their mothers, are sud-

denly taken from them and taught to treat them as second-class, pollut-

ing, inferior: 'relations are autocratic, with females subservient to

males'. A Bahun father, on the other hand, is an autocrat whose power

remains very strong throughout a son's life. A son thus learns both

dependency and autocracy in his family and applies this to the world

outside. The system of partible inheritance, which shields all sons from

the world, leads to 'a protective and patronising attitude towards junior

children, especially the youngest' which 'helped develop the dependence

syndrome to the extreme....'


     Thus Bista's explanation combines sociological and psychological

features arising from the Brahman priest's role and his family system.

During the last hundred and fifty years, this small group has taken con-

trol of Nepal politically and bureaucratically, submerging the majority

whose ethics and attitudes are much closer to the protestant values of

hard work, honesty, equality and internalised conscience, which Bista

clearly admires.






     Two other insights are worth considering. One concerns the attitude

to time in Nepalese culture. Time is seen as a river, with no sense of

past, present and future. It is circular rather than progressive. There is

thus no idea of time as a 'commodity', no idea of 'wasting' time, little

idea of being able to plan or control future time, little interest in past

time or history. Bista's account reminds one of many discussions of the

contrasts between protestant and catholic, 'modern' and 'medieval',

I agricultural' and 'Industrial' attitudes to time and work discipline.

Certainly the relaxed lack of punctuality, the 'timelessness', which

tourists often find so attractive, is less appealing when it is found

within an attempt to introduce modern bureaucratic methods. The

absence of a strong sense of the future, and the fatalism and lack of any

sense of control, combine to make forward planning, saving, invest-

ment, weak. 'They squander whatever food, grain, or money they get at

once without any consideration for the future. Being highly consuma-

tory, no savings take place and there can be no investment. The society

must remain dependent on foreign investment in the future....'


    Another important side-effect of Bahunism is on the relations

between individual and group. Bista argues that under the pressure of

western models, 'traditional group orientation' is being replaced by

'individualism'. But it Is not that individualism which De Tocqueville

perceived in America., namely 'a mature and calm feeling, which dis-

posed each member of the community to sever himself from his family

and his friends...', but rather the earlier form, which De Tocqueville

calls 'egotism', namely, 'passionate and exaggerated love of self, which

leads a man to connect everything with his own person, and to prefer

himself to everything in the world'. 'Nepali individualism operates

largely at the more primitive egotistic stage'.


     This egotism is the worst solution to the problem of individual-

group relations. It leads to a mild version of the Hobbesian war of all

against all, where there is no sense of public duty or service. 'Very few

people take high positions responsibly, as a duty to society at large'.

Although there is a residual sense of the local community and the fam-

ily, 'by contrast, the public, the state, the nation, are all abstract con-

cepts' which mean little to most people. One effect of this is visible in

the corruption and laziness of those in positions of responsibility,

whose main goal is to promote their private and sectional interests.

Another is in the field of development.


    Bista points out that despite the rhetoric of 'grass-roots develop-

ment', 'back to the village', 'community participation', the vast major-

ity of 'development' projects are undertaken with little involvement or

consultation with local communities. Bridges, roads, dams, health posts

are built often with serious disadvantages to particular communities.

They are perceived by local inhabitants as 'the whimsies of the foreign

project directors'. When the bridge, road, dam, has been built and the






facility has been left as 'public' property, supposedly to be maintained

by 'the public', 'people lack any sense of either pride or of possession,

as they would towards things they build through their own efforts'.


    Bista argues that 'locally initiated projects, when funded by the cen-

tral authorities. have the greatest chance of success'. This is certainly

true. But the absence of a sense of the 'public good', which is a very

unusual and abstract idea which took many centuries to develop in the

west, is even deeper than this. The idea of 'citizenship'. of doing a job

for the good of an association larger than the family, is little developed

throughout Nepal. Thus in the villages, each development initiative

falls as the individuals employed to carry it out take their salary to be

an entitlement to do the minimum amount of work. The tree nursery is

allowed to fade away; the young trees are not watched by the paid

watchers and are eaten by animals; the water bailiffs fall to inspect the

water pipe and it leaks badly; the health workers at the local health post

sell off the best medicine privately and refuse to visit sick villagers

without large payments; the schoolmasters appropriate school funds and

absent themselves frequently. These are widespread activities. Of course,

there are honourable exceptions, but the pressures of insecurity and fam-

ily need are usually much stronger than some abstract idea of gener-

alised good. The acts of religious merit, the making of resting places,

of temples, of paths, are quite frequent. But the idea of merit, the near-

est equivalent to the protestant idea of 'calling', does not seem to be

applied to the new tasks generated by development. It is almost as if the

payment of a salary automatically deadens any sense of public responsi-

bility. It is a social equivalent to the well-known finding that, contrary

to classical economic laws, the more people are paid for their labour in

pre-capitalist economies. the less they work.


    Much of Nepal thus seems to be in a position where primordial

loyalties. to family, neighbours, oneself, are very much stronger than

impersonal ones. people see no benefit in putting their efforts into

doing things well for the general good. Anthropologists have

investigated 'amoral familism' quite extensively, a morality where

people only apply ethical rules within their own family. One might

well apply the concept here. But in the Nepalese context, and especially

in the ethnic communities of the mountains, the community of moral

and responsible behaviour is wider than the nuclear family of the

Mediterranean and South American examples where the concept of

amoral familism' was developed. All villagers are bound together

through marriage, kinship, friendship, work associations and patron-

client ties and hence will work together in what is perceived as their

mutual self-interest. But this only applies to traditional activities where

mutual support is essential. It is an entirely different matter with

something which an individual, paid by the State, is expected to do for

some larger abstract entity such as 'the community', 'the country', 'the







nation'. In calculating the best course of action, the individual state

servant finds that the advantages of leisure or private reward far

outweigh any feeling that he has a duty to help such abstract entities, or

that he should do so because he is paid for his services.


    The idea of 'paying back' something to a society, which lies behind

a vast amount of vaguely altruistic voluntary behaviour in western

societies, of the noblesse oblige variety, such as Justices of the peace,

jury service, voluntary associations and institutes to do good works, is

absent. For instance, only a tiny proportion of the large amount of

money brought back to Nepal by returning British Gurkhas, million-

aires by local standards, is ever spent on public works in the villages

where they were brought up and their families live. If one hundredth of

this money had been productively invested in the villages, they would

have been transformed. But such ideas are not at all familiar. They

would probably be considered luxuries, only suitable to societies which

had escaped from the knife-edged insecurities of subsistence living.


    Examples from non-Bahun ethnic villages suggest one type of criti-

cism that could be made of Bista's explanation. He tends to idealise

non-Brahman groups. He does this for two main reasons. Firstly, he

uses them as a stick to beat the Bahuns with, a way of pointing up the

insidious and powerful, but ultimately 'un-Nepali' character of their cul-

ture. The majority of the population are not hierarchical, but hard-

working, with a conscientious discipline, a sense of guilt and respon-

sibility and a practical attitude to life. The village is 'an efficiently

productive and harmonious social group. Secondly, Bista sees these

ethnic groups as providing an alternative to the present disastrous

tendency; the only real hope for Nepal lies in giving their culture

priority over the recently- imported Hindu culture of priestly

Brahmanism. 'Among the ethnic peoples, then, are located some very

significant human and cultural resources. These people are hard-

working, persevering and long suffering, co-operate well and work with

a dedication towards collective well-being, and have the qualities

necessary to be successful merchants'. But instead of cherishing their

cultures, Bista argues, they are belittled, ignored and destroyed by the

spreading Bahun culture.


    Bista would probably argue that the instances of lack of public spirit

instanced above are the result of the spread of Brahman values into the

villages. Everyone has become aware of the corruption, laziness and

inefficiency that pervades most of the salariat. There is widespread cyni-

cism and a lack of any models for hard-working and public-spirited

activities. Each individual feels disinclined to make marginal sacrifices

of his short-term good for the long-term general good when he thinks

noone else is doing so. Everyone believes that all others are 'on the

make'. Even if an individual shows some deviant altruism, his family

and friends would soon put great pressures on him to desist.






     This idea of the spread of egotistic values is partly true. But it is a

little over-simple. The features described are very widespread in agricul-

tural peasantries which almost everywhere have little idea of the public

good. But Bista is right that if the elite had by some extraordinary acci-

dent shown a very different and more 'rational -bureaucratic -protestant I

character, then the response at the village level as the new institutions

were developed would have been very different. One can see this from

the enormous difference between the behaviour of Gurungs when in the

British army, self-disciplined, hard-working, altruistic, co-operative, and

when they are working in government employment in Nepal where they

are often listless, unmotivated and as prone to pursue their self-interest

as the most acquisitive Brahman or Chhetri. There is nothing intrinsic

about the differences, but Bista is right that the tendencies of Brahman-

Chhetri culture and the Mongoloid cultures of Nepal are very different,

and the balance is swinging towards the former.


     In assessing the degree of success of Bista's analysis it is important

to distinguish three levels of problem. In order to understand Nepal's

predicament one cannot ignore the gross geographical and demographic

facts. Scarce, land-locked, resources pressed on by a very rapidly grow-

ing population are bound to make the task of development difficult.

This is one type of explanation, a necessary but not sufficient one.

Ecology and demography, for instance, do not explain why many aid

schemes fall, or bureaucracy is so clogged. But cultural explanations do

not account, in themselves, for the shrinking of the forests and the soil



     At a second level, Bista is right to say that it is not sufficient to

blame outside forces. international capitalism, neo-colonialism, Indian

imperialism or whatever, for all of Nepal's ills. They do not explain the

waste and inefficiency in local health posts or aid projects. But they do

help to explain why Nepalese manufactures have been so unsuccessful,

why hill agriculture is withering, why Nepal is a minor dumping

ground for medical drugs, drinks and tourists. It is an incomplete expla-

nation which does not take the international politico-economic context

of Nepal into account.


     At a third level there are the social and cultural factors which have

largely been left out of account until Bista was prepared to state them.

Many of his observations are tacitly accepted, but as with the

Emperor's invisible new clothes, no-one has dared to say them out

loud. They help to explain a good deal. But there are qualifications to be

made even at this level. To start with, they do not explain many of the

pressures on the Nepalese, which are undoubtedly demographic., eco-

nomic and external. Secondly, it is not clear how much of the phe-

nomenon of fatalism/hierarchy is due to Brahmanism.


     It is indeed true that the only Hindu kingdom in the world, Nepal, is

to an exceptional degree dominated nowadays by a Brahman-Chhetri






elite and their values are as Bista describes them. The problem is that

anyone familiar with other developing societies, whether in Africa or

Asia or Latin America, will recognise many identical features. Much of

the lack of western 'rationality' appears to be an integral feature of such

societies. In particular, anyone familiar with India will recognise a good

deal of Bista's world in the pages of Kipling, Paul Scott, V.S.Naipaul

or Varindra Vittachi.


     We might expand Bista's argument to say that certain structural fea-

tures of a society with little experience of competitive, individualistic

capitalism, suddenly thrown into such a world, have been combined

with pressures which are more generally Indian, rather than specifically

priestly Brahman. The thesis would then probably be nearer the truth.

Much of the educational, political and bureaucratic system of Nepal is

modelled on India, and it has inherited the defects, as well as a few of

the merits, of that land. Nepal is thus a periphery of a periphery in

another sense also.


    What Bista does show, and this is his major argument against fatal-

ism, is that it need not be so. If present trends continue, Nepal will

grow more and more impoverished and dependent on foreign aid, as

Blaikie and his collaborators argue. But there is nothing inevitable

about this. Miracles have happened before, and in particular in cultures

not dissimilar to Nepal. In the 1950s, most professional commentaries

were still predicting that Japan was doomed to poverty and insignificant-

cancer, would never recover and so on. In a relatively short time it has

become the most powerful economy in the world. No-one could have

predicted the success of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and

other 'miracles'.


     Current prophecies of Nepal's imminent collapse could prove

equally wrong in this rapidly changing world. The sudden demise of

international communism and the Cold War; the new scientific

discoveries which may make it possible to properly harness Nepal's one

immense natural resource, hydro-electric power; new international com-

munications which suddenly open up Europe and the Far East to

Nepalese products, avoiding the Indian stranglehold, all these may have

unforeseeable consequences.


     Yet they are unlikely to do so unless those who decide Nepal's

future, both insiders and outsiders, are prepared to take seriously the

grave defects of present developments and try to change course. It is too

early to say whether the result of the recent elections will make this

easier or more difficult.


      What is clear is that it will be tempting to dismiss Bista's work,

even though he cannot be swept aside as an ignorant outsider, or as a

jealous member of an inferior caste. But it is important that his argu-

ments , as well as those of others who love Nepal and care for its future

be heard. Their anger at the wasted potential, the unnecessary deaths, the




grim future, arises not from malice but from a genuine care for one of

the most beautiful countries and peoples in the world. Furthermore,

Nepal's fate is part of all our fate. Ask not for whom the bell tolls.







Bista, Dor Bahadur, Fatalism and Development: Nepal's Struggle for Modernisation.

Madras, 1991

P. Blaikie, J. Cameron and D.Seddon, Nepal in Crisis: growth and

stagnation at the periphery. Oxford, 1980.

Gurung, Harka, Dimensions of Development. Kathmandu, 1986.

Macfarlane, Alan, Resources and Population.- A Study of the Gurungs of

Nepal. Cambridge, 1976

T.R.Malthus, An Essay on the Principles of Population. (Everyman edition,

no date), 2 vols.

D. Seddon, P. Blaikie and J. Cameron, Peasants and Workers in Nepal.

Warminster, 1979.

Seddon, David, Nepal: A State of Poverty. (University of East Anglia

Monographs in Development Studies, 11, April 1979).