The Ngolops

Michael Hutt

in Unbecoming Citizens

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195670608
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081806 | DOI:
The Ngolops

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This chapter addresses how Lhotshampa dissidents subsequently came to be identified as ‘Ngolops’ or ‘antinational terrorists’. The term ‘ngolop’ was applied first to the oppositional activists who had gathered in the tea estates of West Bengal in India. Many new rules and procedures were introduced in the south which the Lhotshampas in Nepal described as measures designed to attack the economic and social basis of their communities. The Bhutanese National weekly Kuensel recorded a dramatic increase in violent crime and robbery in southern districts of Bhutan during the early 1990s, and blamed all such crimes on ‘anti-national terrorists’. Most of the schools in southern Bhutan were closed in the immediate aftermath of the 1990 demonstrations. Many Lhotshampa left Nepal. The author then describes the imprisonment and punishment of Tek Nath Rizal. The author concludes by pointing out how, while in prison, Rizal worried that he was being cast in the role of the leader of the Bhutanese Nepalis, while in exile their leadership was bedevilled by factionalism and infighting.

Keywords: ngolops; Lhotshampa; antinational terrorists; Nepal; Kuensel; southern Bhutan; Tek Nath Rizal

Chapter.  7861 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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