Skip to main content

Presenting a paper at the South Asian Conference

For the first time on Friday, I was presenting a paper on an academic conference. I was nervous. Besides presenting, I had to moderate the presentation as a chair of the panel. This responsibility added to the stress. And, the presentation was 8:30 in the Friday morning.

Despite that when the annual South Asian Conference 2005, organized by South Asia Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison began I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. I carried quite well.

My panels consisted of three presenters, Mahendra Lawoti, Li Onesto and myself and it was titled as “Causes, Strategies, and Consequences of the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal”. In the presentation Mahendra dai compared the Maoist movements of Peru, Nepal, and India. He looked at the participation of ethnic groups in each country. Li, well known for reporting from Maoist heartland in late 1990s and her bias towards the Maoists, presented paper on the theoretical aspect of the insurgency. My paper attempted at understanding the Maoist movement in Nepal from a little different perspective than commonly seen. In the paper I argued that the grievance based model, which says that insurgency is a result of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment causes political violence, cannot sufficiently explain the violence because the Maoist insurgency began and spread at the time when political and economical opportunities were expanding in the 1990s in Nepal. Thus, I asserted that other factors, mainly – strong commitment of the CPN (Maoist) to the violence, the incompetent governments, lack of political consequences, and lack of cooperation from Royal Palace and the Royal Nepal Army to Nepal’s government helped in the success of the insurgency.

After our presentation, there were three other panels, which discussed about contentious politics and democratization in Nepal. These presentations came from as varied individuals as students of anthropology to security analyst and peace negotiators. However, each presentation helped in understanding Nepal’s current politics from a new and different perspective. Anne’s comparison of river pollutions in Kathmandu to democratic politics of 1990s were amusing and thought provoking, General Ashok Mehta’s lively and assertive presentation was informative and Ivan’s presentation of negotiations were complex yet enlightening.

Finally, dinner with all presenters, at Chautara though expensive, was full of light moments, serious discussions, and humorous statements. Especially Krishna Gyanwali ji’s, a Humphrey fellow at Michigan State, discussions with General Mehta made us laugh a lot.

Overall, it was a very productive day and I enjoyed each moment of being a part of intellectual community that is working on Nepal.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nepal's Development Regions: Creating an Obstacle to national integration ?

When someone asks me where I am from in Nepal, I often get confused. Geographically speaking Tanahun, where I am from, lies in the middle of the country. Thus, I should say I am from central Nepal. But, because Nepal is divided into five development regions and Tanahun comes under Western development region, I internalized Tanahun as being in the West of Nepal.

Today, suddenly a thought emerged, the geographical nomeniculture of development regions, like almost everything in Nepa,l is Kathmandu centric and reflects what state and rulers perceived themselves as. Eventhough Kathmandu is not exactly at the center of Nepal, the development regions are named as though Kathmandu is the center of Nepal. For example, Kathmandu lies in Central Development region and anything east lies in the Eastern region and most of the Nepal is West. By this logic, Nepal has more West than east or center. There are three different variations of West - Western Development Region (Gandaki, Lumbini and Dhaulagi…

Nepal For Hyper Loop Connectivity with India and China

Kathmandu, Nepal


In the heels of securing train and water access to India and China and after successfully, disbanding Transportation Cartel in Nepal, Nepal government is planning to implement “HyperLoop” transportation system in near future. According to a highly placed source, Government of Nepal has realized the importance of connecting Asia’s two big and economically growing countries - China and India for prosperity of Nepal. However, current mode of transportation isn’t likely to meet the needs of the future.
China and India with world’s largest populations and rising middle class offer Nepal’s best chance to enter an era of unprecedented growth through trade and tourism. “Look, Out of over 2 Billion population in these countries, there are at least 600 million people who could potentially visit Nepal for tourism, however, due to poor infrastructure, distance and cost, it’s very difficult for most people to come to Nepal,” said a tourism official.
To facilitate fast movement o…

Attacks on the fourth estate.

One of the victims of Maoist insurgency and King’s terrorocracy has been the fourth estate – mass media that flourished under 12 years of democracy in Nepal. From only about two daily broadsheet, one radio station, and one television station, all owned by government, Nepal has witnessed an unprecedented level of media boom. There are several daily broadsheets, news magazines, five nepali television stations, and over 40 radio stations all over the country. The beneficiary, nepali people who have benefited from competitive views, have access to local information, can watch quality television programs, and run their own radio stations. In last several years, lok-geet (folk songs) have become a mainstay (I believe largely due to FMs). But, the plurality of view-points are antithetical to autocratic King and totalitarian Maoists.

Maoists regularly threaten, kidnap and kill journalists and reporters. For Maoists, anyone who writes against their atrocities are “enemy of people”. For King an…