About the Speaker:
Prashant Jha is a journalist and author. He has written Battles of The New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal, a deeply personal, reportage-based account of war and peace in his country. He is currently the Associate Editor of Hindustan Times, writing on Indian politics and foreign policy. Mr. Jha was a political columnist for Nepal’s leading dailies for over five years, focusing, in particular, on the role of the far-left, rise of identity politics, and Nepal-India ties. He has been the Kathmandu correspondent for The Hindu, a contributing editor with Himal Southasian magazine, and an analyst with the International Crisis Group.
About the Lecture:
On April 25, Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake. Over 7,000 people have died and the numbers are steadily increasing. The full scale of losses in terms of human casualties, homes destroyed and cultural heritage reduced to rubble is still not known. The earthquake has tested the already limited resolve of the Nepali state, which is struggling to cope and respond to the disaster – especially in rural areas. In this backdrop, what is the current situation on the ground and challenges ahead for the government? How did Nepal get here and could a functional political order have equipped the country to deal with this better? What will be the possible political implications of this disaster – in terms of the quest for a new constitution? What has been the role of India in relief efforts – and in general in Nepal? Where does the rest of the international community come in? This lecture will focus on these and related issues.