Nepal is witnessing another political and diplomatic crisis with the promulgation of its much awaited constitution. The problem is mainly due to the dissatisfaction of the Madhesi community over some of the constitutional clauses. As a result of their protests there is an “unofficial blockade” at Nepal’s border with India, which has led to fuel shortages and disruption of normal life. This has created a diplomatic crisis with India—its largest trading partner. These developments come at an unfortunate time since Nepal is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in April this year. This roundtable is being held by the South Asia programme to discuss some of these issues and shed light on perspectives within the region.
About the Speakers:
Uddhab Pd. Pyakurel is Assistant Professor in Political Sociology at the School of Arts, Kathmandu University in Nepal. He is also associated with various democracy forums such as South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED), Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK), and Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD). He is the author of a book Maoist Movement in Nepal: A Sociological Perspective (New Delhi: Adroit Publishers, 2007), and co-author of two books: Dalit Representation in National Politics of Nepal (Kathmandu: NNDSWO, 2012) and State of Conflict and Democratic Movement in Nepal (New Delhi: Vij Books, 2013). In addition, he is editor of a monograph titled Higher Education in Nepal: Inclusive Guidelines (Lalitpur: KUSOA and SNV, 2014). He often contributes articles to journals and local newspapers on poverty, people’s participation, social inclusion/exclusion, state restructuring, conflict, identity, democracy, election, Indo-Nepal relations and other socio-political issues. Indra Adhikari is Executive Chairperson of South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy, Nepal (SADED-Nepal). She has been a visiting faculty at the Central Dept. of Political Science since 2011 and was SAARC Visiting Fellow (2011-2012) at Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi; Harka Gurung Research Fellow (2011-2013); and Project Coordinator at Nepal Center for Contemporary Studies (NCCS). She regularly contributes articles to journals and local newspapers on gender, conflict, security, military affairs, democracy and other socio-political issues. In addition, she is co-author of State of Conflict and Democratic Movement in Nepal (New Delhi: Vij Books, 2013), and ‘Military and Democracy in Nepal: A Study of Democratization of Nepal Army (New Delhi: Rutledge, 2015).