ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

JOURNAL OF INDIAN RESEARCH
VOLUME : 2, ISSUE : 2, April-June, 2014 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)
 
LIBERATION INDUCED CONFLICT : THE CASE OF KAMAIYA EMANCIPATION IN NEPAL
Raju Thapa
 
ABSTRACT
The term “Kamaiya” refers to agricultural indentured labourers, lacking land or property requiring serving the landlord to whom they are financially indebted until the debt is repaid. Typically, the Kamaiya and other family members work for landlords and in return get payments in kind, or in-kind payments plus a wage. But in most cases, the earning is so meager that the Kamaiyas are unable to pay back the loan and end up serving their landlord for a lifetime. In some cases, they serve from one generation to another. The Kamaiya problem is the most prevalent among the Tharu ethnic community that inhabits the Mid-and Far-Western lowland of Nepal where landlessness, low level of human capital development, and lack of employment opportunities contributed to this exploitative form of employment. On 17th July 2000, the government made a landmark decision to outlaw bonded labour system. Freedom from bondage was a historical moment in the lives of thousands of Kamaiyas. However, the careless and unplanned manner in which the government announced to free Kamaiya has further victimized them. Problem of Kamaiya has been worsening day by day and government effort being almost ineffective. Though they are freed on papers they are not freed from rampant poverty, injustice and inequality. After a decade of emancipation, with no better life opportunities, Kamaiyas are on the verge of losing their patience which may act as a spark to cause another high intensity armed conflict in Nepal. This study intends to find out the various aspects of the liberated Kamaiya and also to examine the developing contours of a potential conflict.
 
KEYWORD
bonded labour, Kamaiya, Kamaiya Labour (Prohibition) Act, Mukta Kamaiya Samaj (MKS), sauki, slavery, Terai, Tharu.
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