Symposium and Film on Dalit Issues in Nepal

Photo by Sara Shneiderman

Speakers: Dr. Drona Rasali and Mr. Moti Lal Nepali

In the caste-based social structure of Nepal, at least one-seventh of the population, so-called “Dalits”, have experienced discrimination, marginalization, and oppression for centuries. At this event, Dr. Drona Rasali, an active member of the Nepal Cultural Society of BC, gave an overview lecture about the history and current status of Dalits in Nepal. Mr. Moti Lal Nepali, a Dalit activist from Nepal, then brought the audience up to date about current social movements for Dalit rights, and also drew connections between such movements in Nepal and in India, with reference to BR Ambedkar’s teachings and the ongoing struggles that have emerged from them. This was followed by the screening of a short film, Yash Kumar’s Bato Muniko Phool – the Prologue (Flowers Under the Path – the Prologue), which poignantly highlighted the daily struggles of Dalits in Nepali villages today. This feature-length drama tells the story of a young Dalit girl who becomes a pawn in a power struggle between a group of high-caste men. It was extremely moving and provided a strong basis for lively audience discussion. Despite being held during the holiday period, the event was well-attended by UBC faculty, students, and staff, as well as community members from Nepali and Indian organizations in the Lower Mainland.

This event was sponsored by the Himalaya Program, the Centre for Indian and South Asian Research, and the Department of Asian Studies.

Photos by Sara Shneiderman


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