Dalits of Nepal: Towards
Dignity, Citizenship and Justice
edited by Arjun Guneratne
with an introduction by Mary Cameron
2010, pp. viii+162
ISBN: 978 9937 8266 9 3
Dalits of Nepal: Towards Dignity, Citizenship and Justice is an interdisciplinary book that provides readers with a range of social science perspectives, from local in-depth ethnographic detail and interpretation to summaries of national educational and other trends in citizen rights and social justice. The authors employ a mix of research methods to more fully describe the situation of Nepal’s Dalits while arguing that Nepal is wasting its human resources by keeping Dalits poor and uneducated, and that the political will to change is weak. But as Dalits wait for the political transformation promised, they forge new organizations and relationships from the freer society around them. The authors suggest that there is still much more we need to learn about and from Dalits.
Arjun Guneratne is Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College, Minnesota, USA, and the editor of Himalaya, the journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. He has carried out research in the Nepal Tarai since 1989 and is the author of Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu iden-tity in Nepal (Cornell, 2002) and the Editor of Culture and the Environment in the Himalaya (Routledge, 2010). In addition to his work on ethnicity formation and the state in Nepal, he has published on the development of an environmental movement in his native Sri Lanka.
Mary Cameron is a medical and cultural anthropologist and Professor of Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University. She is the author of many articles and book chapters on Dalits, women, artisans, farmers, and Ayurvedic doctors and healers of Nepal. Her books include the award-winning On the Edge of the Auspicious: Gender and Caste in Rural Nepal (University of Illinois Press, 1998) and Three Fruits: Ayurvedic Doctors on Health, Nature and Social Change in Nepal (in progress). Cameron is currently working on a project that identifies ways to join health and health care as equal partners with conservation and development titled “Ayurveda and Nature in Nepal” (funded by a Fulbright fellow-ship), to be presented in a book currently outlined as Trading Health: Medicine, Conservation, Natures, and the Poor in Nepal. She received her doctorate from Michigan State University, and has directed two Gender and Women’s Studies programs, at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and at Florida Atlantic University. Cameron is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, and lives with her husband and two children in Delray Beach, Florida.