Revolution and reaction in the Himalayas: Cultural resistance and the Maoist “new regime” in western Nepal



The projects of modernity and revolution tend to marginalize and erase the experiences and intentions of their local subjects. Focusing on a women-led uprising against the “people's government” formed by Maoist rebels in one of the western hill districts of Nepal, I examine the disjuncture between external ideological practice and local cultural worlds. I conclude that the radical encounter in this case was culturally mediated, as was the resistance to it. The outcome of the uprising points to “the event” as critical in causing structural indeterminacy—to the possibility that human agency and the contingent can alter the presumed linearity of even the most compelling projects by inserting themselves within structural interstices. [resistance, Maoism, Nepal, peasant, funeral, event, structure]