Indian Embassy and B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation organized 18th edition of Conversations on Friday, June 20, 2014 at Nepal-Bharat Library, Nepal Airlines Building in New Road.
This edition of Conversations invited Prashant Jha – a widely read columnist in Nepal and an associate editor of Hindustan Times. Jha spoke about his recently released book – Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.
A noted columnist, author and director of Social Science Baha Deepak Thapa and political scientist at Martin Chautari, Seira Tamang were the panelists at the event. The two panelists and Prashant Jha engaged in discussion on the strength and weaknesses of Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.
Speaking at the event, Jha shared, “This is not an objective book and does not intend to push or enforce any ideas. This is a recount of what I saw while reporting here. This deals with how I see Nepal’s political transformation – from monarchy to being republic and from being mono-cultural nationalist society to a citizen driven society.”
Highlighting about the book, Seira Tamang said, “I congratulate the author for managing to give the facts that people often are aware of but yet ignorant. This book interestingly deals with day-to-day realities of Madhesh and Madeshi people.”
Deepak Thapa added, “The author has visibly projected what it looks like being a Madeshi in Nepal through his book. The only problem I felt with Jha’s book is, it has been titled as Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal, which gives an impression that it talks about a contemporary history of Nepal at large, but focuses primarily the issues of Madhesh.”
Seira Tamang also elaborated on this and added that the book could have incorporated more of contemporary political history of Nepal including issues related to gender and power.
The event further discussed the age-old India-Nepal bilateral ties, the geo-political problems between India and Nepal, the challenges Nepal has been facing in terms of growing as an economically and politically sound nation as well as the challenges Madhesi people are facing in Nepal in terms of recognition, the rise of Maoists in Nepal, the end of monarchy and the possibilities the new constitution will open for the Nepalese people.
The event concluded with Jha interacting with the audience