Class and Identity Conflicts
This chapter discusses the nature, causes, and consequences of the violent class and identity conflicts, beginning first with the Maoist rebellion. The majoritarian democracy Nepal adopted in 1990, ironically, contributed to the initiation and growth of the violent Maoist rebellion. The exclusionary democratic process alienated marginalized groups, which subsequently participated in the armed conflict in significant numbers. The Maoist armed conflict saw much higher participation by indigenous nationalities, Dalits, and women than did mainstream political parties and the state. The Maoist actively began to target, attract, and recruit members of the marginalized groups by recognizing and raising their problems and issues and taking action against untouchability, ethnic prejudice, and sexism. In Nepal, one could argue that the weak, divided, and incapable state also contributed to the growth of the Maoist rebellion. The Maoist impact on economic equality and welfare is less certain as the Maoists have not been able to push through their economic reform agendas, such as land redistribution.