Nepalese people of Indian ancestry
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2012)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Related ethnic groups|
There is a large number of Nepalese people of Indian ancestry, consisting of the descendants of early migrants from the India to Nepal. There are currently about 4 million people of Indian origin living in Nepal making it home to the largest Indian community outside of India.
The wave of Indian immigration occurred during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The government of Nepal or its agents encouraged many Indian migrants to move into the Terai for settlement. In the early 1990s, this group mostly consisted of landless tenants and peasants from northern India's border states of Bihar and Bengal. Some of these Indian migrants later became large landowners.
Most of the Indo-Nepalese peoples, were primarily agriculturalists, although a majority of them also relied on other activities to produce supplementary income. They generally raised some farm animals, particularly water buffalo, cows, goats, and sheep for domestic purposes. The Paharis traditionally have occupied the vast majority of civil service positions.
Religion and caste system
The majority of the Indo-Nepalese are Hindus along with small numbers of Muslims, Buddhists and Jains. The Hinduism that is practiced by the Pahari has been influenced by Buddhism and indigenous folk belief.
A majority of Nepalese Muslims are of Indian descent. Nearly 97 per cent of them reside in the Terai region.
Anti-India sentiment in Nepal is partly driven by history. The root of the problem lies in the settlement of Indians in the Terai region of Nepal. Indigenous Nepalese people residing mostly in the hill areas have resented their presence. The Tharus are the original inhabitants of Terai Regions of Nepal and consider other Bihari peoples as Indians. They feel the Terai population exercises a disproportionate influence over Nepalese politics and economy. They also feel that the Indian-origin population in Terai Region is settled newly, there was no existence of them in past.
In 2009, a group of Nepalese Maoists posing as devotees and armed with iron rods attacked Indian priests in the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, tore their clothes and cut their sacred threads. The issue of Indian priests officiating at the temple has been simmering for some time. This, along with the alleged corruption within temple had been an issue among Nepalese people.
- Preeti Kaur - Singer
- Jamim Shah - Media entrepreneur and the chairman of Channel Nepal Pvt. Ltd
- Yuyutsu Sharma - Writer
- Shukraraj Shastri - Democracy fighter and writer
- Ram Baran Yadav - President of Nepal since 2008