Posted by: Rajesh BP April 9, 2016
I am a Newar and I love my Bahun friend.
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Good statistics. I have read stats that among the top tier (1st and 2nd Gazetted Nijamati posts), the share of Newars at one time was as high as 30%, although it is around 15-18% today. Even till now, share of Newars is x3, x4, x5 times their share of population (which is a small 5% compared to Bahun-Chetri who are 32% or Mongol Janajati who are 27%) in many government, private and NGO/INGO. I think you know this but even though the Newar leaders have forced the government to provide Janajati quota to Newars (which is a subject of debate), all the INGOs of Nepal have a stated policy of providing preference to all the ethnicities except the BCN (Bahun-Chetri-Newar) groups. In fact, Newars are even given less preference than Chetris - and this is a valid point because compared between the two (Newar and Chetri), Newars' development index (including per capita, literacy, health, political reach and representation) far exceeds that of Chetris and is in fact of whole Nepal. And no need to give you examples of legions of entrepreneurs like Jyoti group, Panchakanya group, Dwarika group, Vaidhya group, Rajkarnikar House, KGH group who are the big business houses of Nepal owned by Newars. Similarly most of the 2nd tier businesses of Kathmandu including big banks are run by Newars.

But just like we should not generalize all Bahuns or Chetris as 'oppressors' and how so many portray them as all things bad of Nepal - which is not true at all, we should also not generalize all Newars as one single group. Because 1st) Newars are not a single caste, it is a community comprising of many castes who do not inter-marry, all united by a language, 2nd) Not all Newars are rich or socially upfront. You will see the actual reality if you go to the outlying Jyapu villages around the Valley, or go to areas of Patan and around Bishnumati where still the traditionally 'Dalit' castes still live in utter poverty.

The real reason and a point of dissertation to be studied for anyone could be how come it is the Shresthas (and by this I mean the 'Shrestha' Newari caste consisting of surnames like Shrestha, Amatya, Malla, Onta, Pradhan, Mathema, Joshi, Rajbhandari, Karmacharya, Vaidhya, Kakshapati and the like) are soo soo overrepresented? I mean, they are (according to a 1990 report) around 24% of total Newars (a minority compared to Jyapus for example who are 40%), or 1.2% of Nepal's total population. But that 1.2% literally is the most over-represented group of Nepal, period.

Even in the case of Miss Nepal, 7/21 (33%) have been Shrestha Newars, the other 4 Newars have been Usha Khadgi, Payal Shakya, Jharna Bajracharya, Evana Manandhar (who are of Kasai, Bare, Bare, Sayami caste respectively). The only non-Bahun/Chetri PMs of Nepal both have been Shrestha Newars (Marich Man Shrestha and Gehendra B. Rajbhandari), all the Chief Justices of Supreme Court from Newar community (amounting to 22%) have been Shresthas. In other words, for a population whose share is 1.2%, they have controlled 22% (i.e. 18 times their population) of overall Nepal's share of Chief Justices. Similarly, the trend is similar in all political representation. Even among the martyrs and political leaders, all or almost all Newars have always been Shresthas (3 of the 4 great martyrs, 4 of the 4 communist party chairman). The same trend goes in the list of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force generals who have been Newars.
Last edited: 09-Apr-16 12:46 AM
Last edited: 09-Apr-16 01:11 AM
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