ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Jeevan Raj SharmaSubscribe to RSS - Jeevan Raj Sharma

Torture Redress Mechanisms in Nepal and Bangladesh

Human rights organisations have been active in documenting widespread torture in Nepal and Bangladesh, taking very different paths towards accountability—Nepal stressing civil compensation and Bangladesh, criminal liability. Accountability in both countries, however, is limited, with the poor and marginalised, who are particularly vulnerable to torture and ill-treatment, fearful of reporting incidents and seeking justice. This paper explores the appropriation and unfolding of rights vocabularies in two distinct political, institutional and legal contexts, and suggests that human rights organisations should place protection of victims and legal assistance alongside advocacy for accountability.

Bodies in Search of Freedom

One of the significant transformations in the political economy of rural Nepal is the gradual weakening of traditional forms of attached and caste-based division of labour. Not only has there been a diversification of rural livelihoods from land- and agriculture-based to non-agricultural- and non-land-based sources, there is also a growing and widespread mobility of labour within and outside the country. Research findings show that mobility of labour has not necessarily meant more freedom for poorer migrants, although the idea of freedom appears to be driving much of the out-migration from rural Nepal. For marginal migrants, the circulatory nature of migration does not appear to be as transformative as might have been expected: while life in the destination may well be urban and modern, their identity remains marginal, reflecting their liminal position. Despite known risks and suffering attached to work, a large number of migrants continue to be attracted to work in exploitative working conditions within Nepal or across the border in India.

Nepal: Challenges to Democracy

Nepal - Nation-State in the Wilderness:Managing State, Democracy and Geopolitics by Lok Raj Baral (New Delhi: Sage Publications), 2012; pp xvii + 308; Rs 750 (HB).

Social Science Engagement and Political Interregnum in Nepal

Silence on the part of the social scientists on the questions of ethnicity and state restructuring in Nepal ought to be a matter of concern, especially in a context where sociological, historical as well as anthropological knowledge appears to be critical in shaping the political debate on these issues. It must be clear to the scholars of Nepal that the nature of structuralviolence and inequality in the country is not about "ethnicity" alone. Therefore, it cannot be dealt within the framework of the proposed model of ethnic federalism. It is in the realm of livelihoods that structural violence is mainly rooted and so marginalised populations within the ethnic groups ought to be the focus of attention.

On State Reconstruction in Nepal

The growing scholarship on the causes and complexities of the Maoist rebellion in Nepal in the 1990s and early 2000s gives undue emphasis to state failure and "internal" factors, which offer only a partial explanation. Understanding the armed revolt and the process of state reconstruction must include a broader geopolitical analysis on Nepal's integration into the processes of globalisation, felt primarily through the economic and political dominance of the Indian state.
Back to Top