The process of modernisation owes its origin and development in the Western countries late in the 19th century. The modernisation can not be considered as a concept or a theory, nor can it be equated with westernisation. The process has resulted from industrialisation and commercialisation in the West. The modernisation has been characterised by changes in technology, increasing use of inanimate power, growth of trade and commerce, breakdown of traditional feudal structure and rise of modern polity and economy and above all development of scientific world view according to some well known scholars.
Perhaps, the studies on modernisation have aroused the largest interest of a great number of social scientists from various disciplines and, therefore, modernisation can claim itself to be the centre of interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches. But the most important form of ideological response to modernisatlon has come from the forces of nationalism in the Third World countries. Modernisation, therefore, creates challenges from traditional societies of Asia and other Third World countries. The process of modernisation is an integrative one and any polarity between tradition and modernisation is illogical, since tradition may also modernise itself and modernisation may change-itself into different facets of tradition.
The processes of modernisation in Nepal, India and other South Asian countries will have to be understood from the new emerging trends and patterns from the blend and synthesis between forces and processes of tradition and modernisation during last one hundred and fifty years or so.
The present volume of papers submitted by different eminent scholars consists of various aspects of their thoughts on political economic and social modernisation of Nepal and South Asia. The contributors to the volume reflect an interdisciplinary approach and cover a broad canvas of socio-economic and political scenario of Nepal.
The contributors have, therefore, given their own perceptions of social reality of modernisation of Nepal which represents a unique blend of traditional structure and modernisation of tradition in terms of emerging economy and polity which stand at the threshold of a new era. We hope and trust that Nepal shall emerge as a great example of this synthesis and usher in a new' horizon of development, a new path of progress and a new perspective of growth by the turn of the century.
I congratulate the authors of the papers in providing new insights into the complexities of evergrowing and changing scenario of Nepal. I am confident that they would inspire the scholars of coming generations who want to see new horizons of peace, prosperity and progress in the Himalayan Kingdom, of Nepal.
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