An extract from Unleashing Nepal: Past, Present and Future of the Economy by Sujeev Shakya, Penguin Books, 2009, pp 280. Price NRs 480. Available in Nepal from October 12, 2009.
Part I: The Part till the 1990s
Chapter 1: Isolation, Isolation and Isolation
There is a rich tradition in Nepal which encourages the aristocracy and rich land owners to do nothing but tend to the renting out of their land. Upper caste males of the Brahmin, Chhettri and some Newar castes frowned upon the idea of working. The belief was that work was meant for the lower castes and the only dignified service for those of the upper caste was religious activity (for the Brahmins) or military service (for the Chhettris). The pattern of elite members of society showing an aversion to work, remaining content with doing nothing other than collecting rent and being socially praised for such inactivity, is what I call here the rent-seeking mentality….