Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness in the Nepalese Army

Nepal is a multiethnic, multilingual, multi-religious and multicultural country with a common aspiration and commitment to a united bond of allegiance to national independence, integrity, national interests and prosperity. By virtue of its diversity, the government seeks to provide more inclusive state institutions. But despite of its efforts, the issue of inclusion (Samabesikaran) of different castes, ethnic groups, genders and regions have been frequently raised in the country. In the Gurkha Regiments of foreign armies, the practice of recruiting from specific ethnic groups is still prevalent. But in the case of the Nepalese Army, it has always endeavored to maintain a national character principally in terms of inclusion of all castes, ethnic communities, genders, regions and religions.

Maintaining its tradition and reflecting the spirit of the institution, the Nepalese Army incorporating a system of reservation. This practice was prevalent in the Nepalese Army decades before the Government of Nepal implemented the policy on inclusion in the state legislature. The Nepalese Army has ethnic based battalions from Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Kiranti/Limbu and Madhesi communities. The total strength of these five battalions is about 3950, which make 4.2% of current strength. In the rest of the formations, units and subunits all castes / ethnic communities, religions and regions are given an equal opportunity based on open competition.

In compliance to the Nepalese Law, which states that 45% of all vacant government positions be reserved for excluded groups, the Army in 2006, amended its Army Act. After which, out of the 45% reserved position within the Nepal Army 20% is reserved for women, 32% for Janajati, 28% for Madheshi, 15% for Dalit and 5% for remote regions.

Recruitment is voluntary and competitive. Hence forcing citizens to sign up in the proportion of the demographic breakup of the nation would violate the rights of the people who may not want to join the Army and at the same time be unfair to those qualified and wishing to join.

It is true that the racial and cultural character of the Nepalese Army is not a mirror image of the national picture but it depicts a picture which is far closer than most of the other organs of the state. The recruitment in the Nepalese Army is entirely voluntary in composition. The Army has been making a conscious effort in including as many of the minority groups as possible. It has aimed for inclusiveness since ages in the past. In recent times, the Army has also made important strides towards gender inclusiveness.

Presented below is a comparative table in which various castes and ethnic communities represented in Nepalese Army are compared with their respective population size.

 

State of Castes/Ethnic Inclusion in the Nepalese Army
(As of June 25, 2014)

S.No.

Caste/Ethnic Groups

Population (2011 Census)

% of total Population

(%) of Total Representation in NA

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

1

CHHETREE

4,398,053

16.60

43.50

2

BRAHMAN

3,361,009

12.69

8.64

3

MAGAR

1,887,733

7.12

7.38

4

NEWAR

1,321,933

4.99

6.41

5

TAMANG

1,539,830

5.81

5.56

6

THAKURI

425,623

1.60

3.51

7

GURUNG

522,641

1.97

3.12

8

KAMI

1,258,554

4.75

2.96

9

THARU

1,737,470

6.56

5.02

10

RAI

620,004

2.34

2.50

11

SANYASI/JOGI

227,822

0.86

2.03

12

SARKI/BHUL

374,816

1.41

1.03

13

KUMAL

121,196

0.46

0.81

14

THAKUR/HAJAM

117,758

0.44

0.77

15

LIMBU

387,300

1.46

0.75

16

GHARTI/BHUJEL

118,650

0.45

1.26

17

DAMAI/DHOLI

472862

1.78

2.15

18

MAJHI

83,727

0.31

0.31

19

SUNUWAR

55712

0.21

0.30

20

YADAB

1,054,458

3.98

0.23

21

DURA

5394

0.02

0.15

22

DARAI

16,789

0.06

0.14

23

DANUWAR

84,115

0.32

0.13

24

SHERPA

112,946

0.43

0.13

25

RAJBANSHI

115,242

0.43

0.13

26

DHIMAL

26,298

0.10

0.10

27

KHATWE

100,921

0.38

0.07

28

CHAMAR

335,893

1.27

0.06

29

JIREL

5,774

0.02

0.06

30

DOM

13,268

0.05

0.05

31

BOTE

10,397

0.04

0.04

32

DHANUK

219,808

0.83

0.04

33

PAHARI

13,615

0.05

0.04

34

TELI

369,688

1.40

0.03

35

MECHE

4,867

0.02

0.03

36

DUSADH/PASAWAN

208,910

0.79

0.03

37

MANDAL/GANGAI

36988

0.14

0.02

38

MUSLIM

1,164,255

4.39

0.02

39

DHOBI

109,079

0.41

0.02

40

TATMA

104,865

0.39

0.02

41

HAYU

2,925

0.01

0.02

42

BADI

38603

0.15

0.02

43

RAJPUT

41,972

0.16

0.02

44

GAINE

6,791

0.02

0.01

45

CHEPANG

68,399

0.26

0.01

46

RAJI

4235

0.02

0.01

47

THAKALI

13,215

0.05

0.01

48

THAMI

28,671

0.11

0.01

49

KANU

125184

0.47

0.01

50

MUSAHAR/SADA

234490

0.88

0.02

51

TAJPURIYA

19,213

0.07

0.01

52

KUSWAHA/KOIRI

306393

1.16

0.01

53

TAMATA/LOHAR

101421

0.38

0.01

54

JHAGAD/DHAGAR

37,424

0.14

0.01

55

SANTHAL

51735

0.19

0.01

56

SARDAR

55104

0.21

0.01

57

OTHERS

2,249,890

8.49

0.28

 

TOTAL

26,494,504

100

100

Source: CBS for (c) & (d) and AG Dept (Records Office), Army HQs for (e)