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Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Wahiduddin Mahmud
S.R. Osmani and B.B. Bajracharya A short political history of Nepal The Kingdom of Nepal was formed in the 18th century when King Prithvi Narayan Shah brought together of a number of ﬁefdoms and small states at the foot of the Himalayas under his rule. The Shah dynasty was, however, soon embroiled in a protracted power struggle that culminated in the emergence of Jung Bahadur Rana in 1846, who introduced the system of hereditary prime minister, giving rise to the powerful Rana oligarchy. During the Rana regime, some isolated eﬀorts were made to bring about progressive political and social changes, but these were thwarted by conservative elements among the oligarchy who perceived such changes as threats to their hold on power. Eventually, however, the Rana regime sank under the weight of its own unpopularity and was overthrown by the joint eﬀorts of the Shah kings and the people in 1951, heralding the emergence of modern Nepal. The restoration of the Shah kings to power brought about fundamental changes in the polity and economy of Nepal. On the political front, the people of Nepal tasted multiparty democracy for the ﬁrst time in their history, and in the economic sphere, they witnessed the ﬁrst attempts to achieve planned socioeconomic development. The ﬁrst ever annual budget of the country was announced in 1953, and the ﬁrst development plan was launched in 1957. Unfortunately, the experiment in multi-party democracy soon degenerated into inter-party as well as intra-party squabbles for power that led...
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