1. Daś nāmi, or ten names, refers to the followers of Sankaracharya, an eighth-
century Hindu reformer and saint. Construction of this area dates to the time of
the reign of Jung Bahadur Rana. The temple was destroyed in an earthquake in
1934 and was rebuilt in 1935. See Amatya (1994:46).
2. There is no unproblematic translation from Nepali to Eng lish for sukumbasi,
although it is most commonly translated to “squatter.” A related word, sukumbasa,
is the state of having nothing. Used to refer both to people and their settlements,
sukumbasi refers to those who are assumed to be landless, or very poor, and who
occupy land for which they do not own a legal title. Although technically the term
refers to “the person lacking shelter and food; one having neither” according to
Pradhan’s (2001) Ratna’s Nepali Eng lish Dictionary, some of Kathmandu’s sukum-
basi population may not be said to be definitely and universally lacking these
things. The population is made up of both rural- to- urban migrants and migrants
originating within the Valley. In general, residents of Kathmandu tend to refer to
anyone “illegally” occupying public land as sukumbasi. The term can carry nega-
tive connotations and, although it is widely used, can be taken as an insult. See
Tanaka (1997) for more detailed demographic information on Kathmandu’s su-
kumbasi population.
3. Throughout the text, I use the terms “developmentalism” and “developmen-
talist” to signal the historically varied paths to social betterment promoted by the
complex of international development institutions established after the Second
World War. Relevant institutions here include the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, and the United Nations, as well as the governmental and non-
governmental organizations at multiple scales that broadly promote their social
improvement agendas and that draw from and contribute to their material and
discursive resource flows. Ideologies associated with developmentalism over time
include aid- financed industrialization, neoliberal economic and social reforms,
specific policy approaches to poverty reduction, and the use of specific metrics to
assess and define social progress. My use of “developmentalism” is intended to
foreground important connections between an international development appa-
ratus firmly rooted in a capitalist world economy and specific, albeit dynamic,
interpretations of the economic, governmental, bureaucratic, and technocratic
forms that best embody “progress.” I wish to emphasize that developmentalism is
always encountered rather than imposed; as such, it may assume multiple forms
in the same historical moment.
4. Kāntipur, December 21, 2002.
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