chapter  5
25 Pages

The National Political Culture and Institutions in Nepal

Diversity is the norm in the political cultures of the South Asian states. They all must contend with a wide variety of political, social, religious, and ethnic traditions and values in their efforts to construct coherent and integrated national societies. India was the only state in the subcontinent that formally adopted 'unity in diversity' as its operating principle for national integration tasks at independence, but the others have had to pursue similar strategies in fact, if not in form. While the results have not always been particularly impressive, the latter have had some success in integrating a national political culture that is usually identified as modern, with subnational cultures based on religion, ethnicity, language, local customs and values, or a combination of some or all of these. The subnational cultures are commonly classified as traditional and seen as potentially fissiparous forces. Full integration has certainly not been achieved, but there has been substantial progress.