Nationalism, Dogmatism, and What More: The Crisis of Vision in Nepali Society

Photo by Zoe Johnson

Speaker: Diwakar Acharya

As a Nepali citizen who has lived abroad for several years, Acharya used his insider/outsider perspective and knowledge of Hindu philosophy to comment upon Nepal’s current political situation.

Drawing upon comparative experiences in both Japan and the UK, Acharya suggested that Nepal’s political upheaval has been exacerbated by a turning away from key moral and ideological principles from the Hindu tradition that used to anchor the country. In the question and answer session, he clarified that he was not advocated a return to Hindu nationalism, but rather a form of introspection that would help Nepal’s policy-makers move beyond the calculus of immediate political gain to develop strategies for long-term, culturally appropriate forms of development that would truly benefit all Nepalis.

Acharya’s talk creatively bridged his deep knowledge of Sanskrit literature and Hindu philosophy with his observations about contemporary political dynamics. Attended by many members of Vancouver’s Nepali community, as well as a diverse range of UBC faculty, students, and staff, the event provided new insights into both Nepal’s current situation, and the power of scholarship in the humanities to provide a foundation for policy-relevant analysis.

This event was co-sponsored by the UBC Himalaya Program, the Centre for India and South Asia Research (CISAR), and the Department for Asian Studies.


Photos by Zoe Johnson


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