#22 BIG Podcast – “Nepal-India Border, Minorities and Cross-Border Networks”
featuring Kalpana Jha, Analyst and Researcher at the University of Victoria, BIG Graduate Student Fellow (PhD)
Country of 27 million inhabitants, in the Himalayan mountain range, Nepal shares a border with India for 1,690 km and with China for nearly 1,200 km. The majority of the inhabitants live in the south of the country (along the Indo-Nepalese border) and in the Kathmandu valley. Nepal became a republic in 2008 and the country adopted a new Constitution in 2015 which provides for a federal-type state, organized around 7 provinces which have their own assembly and executive power. This episode focuses on the State of Nepal, internal bordering processes, the marginalized people at its borders, notably the Madhesi People, and also relations with India and China.
Kalpana Jha is a BIG Graduate Student Fellow and the author of “The Madhesi Upsurge and the Contested Idea of Nepal”. She is currently a board member on the Nepal Policy Institute (NPI) – an international policy think tank. Jha is an alumni as well as former research fellow from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from TISS-Mumbai and a Master’s in Socio-legal studies from York University, Canada. Jha has worked extensively on identity issues, citizenship in Madhes and minorities and their status in Nepal and India. Jha has multiple publications including journal articles, book chapters, reports, newspaper articles and commentaries in the field of identity, citizenship, gender and borders. She has also worked in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, India as a Regional and internal security intern. Jha was a former researcher at Martin Chautari and worked on a comparative study on Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Nepal and Sri Lanka, commissioned by School of Oriental and African Studies, London, to Martin Chautari, in Nepal. She has also worked formerly in research foundations such as Social Science Baha in Nepal and Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, India.