Unravelling the Mosaic: Spatial aspects of ethnicity in Nepal
by Pitamber Sharma
2008, 2009 (reprint), pp xii+112
ISBN: 978 99933 43 91 2
Price: U$ 21
Unravelling the Mosaic: Spatial Aspects of Ethnicity in Nepal is being published at a time of rising identity consciousness in Nepal. Public discourse is dominated by the idea of reconfiguring the state along federal lines and a number of competing models of a federal state have been offered, ranging from those that hark back to an atavistic past and advocate federating the state along traditional territories of origin to those that claim a basis in economic rationalism. Pitamber Sharma has himself taken part in this discussion. But, here, he takes a dispassionate look at the 2001 census data to provide an objective analysis of the spatial distribution of Nepal’s population groups at the micro level and makes an important contribution to understanding the stage on which the conflictual social, political and economic processes are currently being manifested. The book, thus, lays the background for a more informed debate on the issue of federalism in Nepal while also educating the lay reader in general.
Born in Phalebas Khanigaun in Parbat District in 1947, Pitamber Sharma has a PhD in urban and regional planning from Cornell University. He has an MA in geography from Tribhuvan University, and an MSc in urban design and regional planning from the University of Edinburgh. He was a Professor of Geography at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, and also worked as Regional Planner with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) for over a decade. The main areas of his professional interest include urbanisation and migration, mountain tourism and development, and economic and environmental planning. Among his publications are Urbanization in Nepal (1989), Tourism and Development (2000), and Market Towns in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (2001).