2 min read

Nepal criminalises isolation of menstruating women

Nepal’s parliament Wednesday criminalised an ancient Hindu practice that banishes women from the home during menstruation. Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from home during their periods, a custom known as chhaupadi. The new law stipulates a three-month […]

5 min read

Racism at an American College leaves Nepali student’s future uncertain

Officials at Colby-Sawyer have refused to address their mistreatment of 21 year old Supragya Rijal

4 min read

Why Nepal is a crony capitalist state

Beneath the biggest tax fraud in history lies a corrupt nexus among politicians and businesses

3 min read

The problem with Nepal’s porn ban

Having failed at punishing rapists, the government polices sexuality

22 min read

Why did the British not colonize Nepal?

One of the key questions regarding the historical development of the Nepali state pertains to its independence. Even as “native princely states” of the subcontinent—such as those of the Marathas and the Sikhs, with whom the Gorkhalis were in close contact with, and had even attempted a possible alliance to overthrow the incipient East India [...]
3 min read

Government pressure shut down play about Tibetan refugees before PM’s visit to China

The director and the theatre were intimidated into remaining silent

6 min read

Women have no nationality

Why I burned my country’s new constitution

7 min read

The Making of the Gorkha Empire: Part I – Land

How the tiny Gorkhali hill-state territorially expanded to become Nepal

3 min read

We were sexually harassed by a Tribhuvan University professor

A #metoo story about abuse of power in the University

4 min read

2017 Nepal Floods – Live Blog

Rolling coverage of developments as the floods hit across the country.

11 min read

Untouchable stories of touchable vaginas

The history of sexual exploitation of Dalit women

2 min read

Introducing podcasts : The History Series

Get hype! Now you can listen to The Record

6 min read

Nijgadh Airport to be Catastrophic for Nepal’s Tiger and Elephant Populations

Conservationists believe that the habitat degradation will have an adverse impact on large mammals

54 min read

Days and nights in Nepalgunj

Life, politics, and identity in an underappreciated border city

4 min read

Budhanilkantha School: The Center for Exclusion?

An alumna examines the culture of patriarchy at Nepal’s elite boarding school.

5 min read

How two journalists broke Nepal’s biggest tax scam story

Earlier this month, two journalists from the Kantipur daily came out with an explosive story on the largest ever case of tax fraud in Nepal. In collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, Krishna Acharya and Krishna Gyawali had investigated how the Tax Settlement Commission had abused the law to give tax exemptions of over […]

14 min read

The hunt for Nirmala Panta’s killer

The rape and murder of a young girl stuns Nepal

15 min read

Rebel with a cause

Lessons on living fearlessly from the writer Sulochana Manandhar Dhital

9 min read

The dark side of Nepal’s national parks

As the elites profit from natural resources, the poor and marginalized pay the price of conservation with evictions, fines, and jail sentences

6 min read

#Metoo and Nepal’s patriarchy problem

Bringing attention to the everyday abuse faced by women

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51 min read

The Indian checkposts, Lipu Lekh, and Kalapani

A resolution to the disputed territory along Nepal’s northern boundary will come only when India and China agree to demarcate their border

6 min read

Oli and the Jhapa Rebellion

The legacy of a revolt, 49 years on

8 min read

Cheated and silenced, the voters in the Terai will go to the polls with a heavy heart

The stage has been set for Nepal’s second phase of local elections in three provinces on June 28, with polling in Province 2 deferred to September 18 amid protests by Madhes-based parties demanding an amendment to the new constitution. That the elections are happening at all after two decades suggests there is overwhelming public desire […]

4 min read

How the left alliance won

Similar to 2008 and 2013, the 2017 election results have been surprising. The alliance of left parties—communist in names but capitalist in practice—have captured two thirds of the directly contested seats, leaving the Nepali Congress, which has been in the government most of the years since 1990, trailing in third place. The magnitude of their [...]
5 min read

City cracks down on street vendors to “drive them back to their villages”

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has seized goods from 400 vendors

8 min read

A Ghost Settlement in Gorkha

Non-Resident Nepali Association wasted NPR 350 million on houses no one wants to live in

4 min read

INGOs paying Nepal government hundreds of thousands of dollars to approve projects

International aid agencies accuse the government of hampering their work by requiring fees, stipends, and bribes

6 min read

Police brutality in the Himalaya

Three years since a traumatic night of violence in Dolpo, the community still awaits justice.

4 min read

Why does rape have a low conviction rate in Nepal?

Weak laws, political pressure and social attitudes perpetuate impunity

4 min read

The courts can’t try us, Nepal Army tells Supreme Court

Maina Sunar case will set precedent for Army trials in civilian court

8 min read

Bunu Dhungana is fed up with patriarchal culture

Her photographs confront the culture of silence that surrounds women

24 min read

A secret Nepal file and the battle for information

Filling a gap in the diplomatic history of Nepal from the Cold War days.

17 min read

The machinery of brutality

Remembering the Royal Nepal Army’s actions in wartime

5 min read

Injured in Saudi Arabia, a worker is told: “It was your bad fate”

Lured abroad with false promises, Mumtaz Rain returned in pain and in debt

11 min read

Breaking Nepal blames white writers for Nepal’s ills and here’s why it’s completely wrong

The judgment of events past—the conquest of Gorkhali empire two centuries ago for example—still divides Nepalis. For the critics, the legacy of the conquests are far more indicting than just the brutalities of the battles, evident in the two centuries of state formation, from an extractive agrarian bureaucracy to a communal legal code. Social forces […]

21 min read

Kathmandu Your Kathmandu

Thomas Bell kicks off our new Classics series with an introduction to Kamal P. Malla’s timeless essay

17 min read

The old weight of caste

Throughout Nepali history, the brutality of the caste system has stunted social transformation

5 min read

The police and the paramilitary biased against us: Saptari locals

Relationships deteriorate after the police forces killed five Madhesi protesters in the district.

9 min read

Comrades at war

Badal and Biplab turn against each other

11 min read

The success of sustainable agriculture in Nepal depends on finding a balance between the traditional and the industrial

In the modern scheme, nothing quite compares to the way villages in Nepal grow food. In contrast to the world’s present agricultural landscape of mass monoculture—GPS-directed tractors on thousand-hectare swaths of GMO corn, soybeans, canola, rice—Nepal can feel like a saving grace. Steep, complex geography and the late acceptance of Western influences have kept much […]

43 min read

The maharaja and the monarch

Two visits to the United Kingdom in different eras

40 min read

The curious case of the Mustang incident

In 1960 a Nepali officer was shot by Chinese soldiers along the border, causing a heated diplomatic dispute. Decades later, the details of the case are still contentious

6 min read

The Making of the Gorkha Empire: Part III – Dominance and Hegemony

How the Khas-Arya Hindu elite created a nation in its own image

3 min read

Let it evolve

Nepal’s constitution needs an amendment before the second round of elections

6 min read

Lady-oriented cinema: A review of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’

‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ shows women’s desires without apology.

10 min read

On the road in Humla

Commodities, trade, and transportation in Northwest Nepal

19 min read

A history of magazines in Nepal

Editor’s note: This is a translation by Niranjan Kunwar of an article from Uttam Kunwar’s anthology, Anubhav ra Anubhuti (Experience and Sensations), first published by Rupayan Press, Kathmandu, in 1981. This essay was first published in the literary magazine Ruprekha in 1976. Just like modern education, magazines started very late in Nepal; the developmental trajectories [...]
7 min read

The Making of the Gorkha Empire: Part II – The Ruling Class

Why the Gorkhali court was plagued by intrigues and conspiracies

6 min read

Speaking good English does not make you intelligent

A reflection on the hegemony of the language that is robbing us of fluency in our mother-tongues

13 min read

The silences of history

Stiller’s analysis of Nepal’s early rulers

7 min read

Can we stop talking about public intellectuals?

Nepal’s cultural life faces an embarrassing fact: there are far more writings about “public intellectuals” than there are actual writings showing the public intellectual at work. Almost every other week, there is a think piece telling us, for the umpteenth time, what sort of creatures public intellectuals are, how wonderful they used to be, and [...]
4 min read

Communist government moves to curtail civil liberties

Two new policies look set to curb dissent

12 min read

The cost of British recruitment on Nepali youth

What happens to the Nepali youth who try to get into the British Gurkha, and fail

3 min read

Hindu mob attacks feminists gathered in a park to discuss women’s security in public spaces

The mob, calling the women “Christians,” vandalized their tent and threatened to decapitate all of them

7 min read

The Making of the Gorkha Empire: Part IV – The Present

How Nepal’s imperial history resulted in today’s inequalities

47 min read

Corruption in world football and the fall of Ganesh Thapa

A chronicle of how corruption sabotaged football in Nepal.

29 min read

The maharaja and the monarch

Two visits to the United Kingdom in different eras

14 min read

The revolutionary and the lawyer

The Maoists grapple with demands to hold them accountable for the violence of the conflict

10 min read

A Maoist dream deferred

They appear weak, but the Maoists aligned with ‘Biplab’ haven’t given up

5 min read

Nepal’s newsrooms need guidelines, training and women journalists to improve coverage of sexual violence

Incident reporting more prevalent than analysis of larger social picture

6 min read

All rubble on the road to China

Slow progress on the Rasuwagadhi route revived after the earthquake

11 min read

“A lot has changed but Nepal’s security dilemma has remained unchanged since the 18th Century”

An Interview with Former Army chief Gaurav Rana about Nepal’s Challenges in Diplomacy

11 min read

‘I don’t have faith in this thing called God,’ Conversation with Parijat from 1963

Parijat on literature, marriage and faith

16 min read

Prisoners of war

New research looks into Chinese treatment of Indian Army Gorkha prisoners during the 1962 Sino-Indian War

4 min read

Does Nepal have freedom of speech online?

And what you can do if you get arrested.

11 min read

Keeping open Nepal’s road to China

A photo essay on the Rasuwagadhi road and why landslides are cutting it more often

6 min read

How Nepal managed to increase its tiger population

Coordinated efforts among police, community members, and conservationists have been fruitful

3 min read

The ruling Nepal Communist Party, among others, breaks the law to exclude women

They have three months to comply

49 min read

Four Nepali short stories

Introduced and translated by Theodore Riccardi, Jr.

9 min read

Raid into Tibet

New research reveals high-level tensions in Kathmandu after the 1964 Khampa raid against the Chinese

9 min read

Fast Track brings fear of displacement to Khokana

As the Army sets up camp, locals are tense about what costs they will have to bear

4 min read

Centralised and failing

Fixing public schools requires a labour market for teachers

4 min read

Ramdev: From godman to tycoon

How Patanjali Ayurveda uses cheap and substandard raw products to outcompete their rivals in the market.

14 min read

“It’s difficult to govern a place if you don’t understand its ecology”

Tsewang Lama discusses life and governance in Humla.

9 min read

KP Oli’s early life and influences

An interview with KP Sharma Oli on 29th November 2003

43 min read

Development or destruction?

In a cautionary letter to Baburam Bhattarai, Mary Des Chene urges the self-declared Marxist to abandon the neoliberal path that will turn Nepal into wasteland

8 min read

Pampering the army

Excesses in military spending

2 min read

History Series, episode 2 – Kathmandu becomes a target

A young prince from Gorkha sets his mind to conquer the valley of Kathmandu

4 min read

Disappearance of the alu-chop girl

In rural Madhes, a success story comes undone

3 min read

Uneven development means identity politics is here to stay

In 2012, the first Constituent Assembly, the most representative legislative body in Nepal’s history, was dissolved before it could pass the new constitution. Thereafter the gains of the 2006 people’s movement unraveled one after another. Marginalized groups who demanded inclusion and identity-based federalism were portrayed as communal hate mongers in the media. High-caste commentators warned [...]
4 min read

To be young and Madhesi in Kathmandu

Four Kathmanduites share what it was like growing up Madhesi in the capital

9 min read

Bardiya Tharus wait for justice

Lack of political will stalls investigations

22 min read

Who will guard the guards themselves?

What the earthquake revealed about the state of civil-military relations in Nepal

9 min read

Intoxication, Music, Revelations: A conversation with Rabi Thapa on Thamel

The author discusses his new book on the conflicted Kathmandu neighborhood that “won’t sit still”

3 min read

The Nepal Army has been deployed for elections, and that’s bad news for democracy

On June 26, President Bidhya Bhandari, the supreme commander of the army, approved the government’s request to mobilize the army during the second phase of local elections. Lack of presidential approval had not deterred the army, of course; it had been patrolling the streets in the Terai-Madhes for weeks. Deploying the army during elections is […]

3 min read

For Govinda KC’s protest to succeed, he must attack crony capitalism

Nothing, it seems, is sacred – not even people’s health. The tentacles of money in politics are deep, and businessmen masquerading as politicians are seeking profit everywhere, including in medical education. As we’ve explained before, this is the natural result of crony capitalism. A resistance to this sick state of affairs has come from a medical […]

12 min read

After Years of Media Trial, a Stunning Verdict in the Tikapur Case

11 have been sentenced to life in prison while the Tharu community in Tikapur continues to pay the price for the horrors of 2015

4 min read

Why Lamjung communities are demanding EU funded energy project respect rights

They want free, prior, and informed consent

3 min read

The failures of neoliberalism

Mallika Shakya’s new book explains the “death” of the Nepali garment industry

3 min read

Why is the Nepal Army above corruption law?

Almost all chiefs of the Nepal Police who came to power after restoration of democracy in 1990 have been convicted or implicated in multi-million rupee corruption scams over the years.  The Armed Police Force (APF), the country’s elite paramilitary force, is facing a similar fate. In December 2015, ex-APF chief IGP Kosh Raj Onta was […]

5 min read

Data Reveals Local Elections a Disaster for Gender Equality

2 percent elected to head rural or urban municipalities, 1 percent elected to head wards

3 min read

The Acharya dance

All Photos by Prasiit Sthapit

3 min read

Technically included, practically left out

The number of Dalit candidates for top jobs in municipal and village councils is near zero despite commitments for inclusion in the constitution and party documents.

7 min read

Nepali Diaspora in Thailand struggles to get citizenship

Statelessness is amongst the many problems plaguing the immigrant community

9 min read

Maleth: a mourning village, a dead industrial estate

Amid poverty and unemployment, the village reels after police forces killed five Madhesi protesters earlier this month.

2 min read

History Series, episode 3 – Gorkhali Aayo

How Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu valley

7 min read

The mountain people of northern Humla

Navigating Nepali citizenship, Tibetan heritage, and a dependence on China

5 min read

An unending tide of trafficking in Nepal

Investment in girls’ education can stem the tide of trafficking caused by poverty and patriarchy

3 min read

Nepal’s growth is the highest it’s been in two decades. Is it time to celebrate?

It appears heady times for Nepal: the Central Bureau of Statistics recently forecasted that the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fiscal year 2073/74 will be 6.94 percent, a 24-year high. The high rate of economic growth is certainly welcome; no country has escaped poverty and underdevelopment without high and sustained growth. […]

5 min read

A tenacious and perceptive witness

Sam Cowan’s new book offers deep insights into modern Nepali history

4 min read

Langtang rising after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake

Portrait of a village that has a history of rising from the rubbles

9 min read

The Dalit at the gate

The Maoist war molded Kapileshwar Sardar, a leader unthinkable a generation ago. But he is still denied the national stage.

2 min read

Women of the People

New photo collection brings light to women’s participation in political struggles

9 min read

Ambitious pride projects threaten Khokana heritage

In a Newa village south of Lalitpur Municipality, a community grapples with the prospect of monumental change.

3 min read

Sher Bahadur Deuba has managed to become prime minister for a fourth time. What does this mean for the rest of us?

Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba became prime minister for the fourth time on June 6. Such things don’t usually happen in well-functioning democracies, but nobody ever accused Nepal of being one. Deuba’s last three terms are notable for chaos and corruption, and there’s reason to believe that his return to power signals a return […]

9 min read

A Life in Nepali History

Remembering Fr. Stiller, who chose to dedicate his life to Nepal and to the study of Nepali history

18 min read

The death of a journalist

A trial in Dailekh and its lessons for transitional justice in Nepal

31 min read

An interview with Padma Ratna Tuladhar

In 1996 Padma Ratna Tuladhar spoke about his background, on the need for linguistic inclusion, the prevalent political culture and foreign aid in Nepal

7 min read

Dalits and women the most under-represented in Parliament

Demographics of the federal legislature

4 min read

NhuDanYaa Bhintuna, Padma Baa!

In loving memory of Padma Ratna Tuladhar

9 min read

How visibility is changing the lives of LGBTIQ+ people in Nepal

Society acknowledges but does not accept

2 min read

History Series, episode 4 – Turmoil and confusion

The conclusion of a conquest brings conspiracies and a fight for power

10 min read

Koilabas: a town left behind

Along the Nepal-India border lies a place where history runs deep, but the future is uncertain

8 min read

Youngsters battle severe emotional and psychological stressors

Changing the culture of silence surrounding mental illness could save lives

7 min read

Resham Chaudhary’s victory marks the rift between the Tharus and the Nepali state

How did a fugitive win by a landslide?

4 min read

Madhesis among us

Once again, ultra-nationalists turn against their own citizens

7 min read

Anatomy of a rape

A judge orders release of men suspected of a horrific gang rape and attempted murder in Lalitpur two months ago

21 min read

Anatomy of a police investigation: have authorities in Nepal’s Bardiya district passed a murder off as suicide?

14 year old Pramila Tharu’s death remains shrouded in mystery

13 min read

Nepal-China railway will not change geopolitics in South Asia

An interview with China expert Andrew Nathan on China and its neighborhood

10 min read

The Rajakot massacre, 16 years on

The wounds of impunity remain fresh

3 min read

Here’s the one thing that brings radical change in Nepali women’s lives: an income

On the way to the main square of the hill town of Putalibazaar in Syangja district, you’ll find a small retail store, opposite of the Women Development Office, that sells bangles and bead necklaces. The shopkeeper inside is Sunita Chhetri, a 26-year-old woman sitting behind her fat accounts book, happily chatting away with her customers. […]

3 min read

Can Upendra Yadav fill the leadership void in Nepal’s identity movement?

When Upendra Yadav took the center stage in Nepali politics following the first Madhes movement in 2007, many of his critics believed that his popularity would be short-lived. Despite suffering multiple schisms, Yadav and the party he founded—Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum (now called Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum), continue to remain as relevant in Madhesi politics as [...]
5 min read

What will happen to the Maoists after merger with UML?

Unification throws party ideals into question, once again

4 min read

Good intentions gone wrong

Nepal’s conservation practices are leaving indigenous communities unprotected

3 min read

Silencing CK Raut

It’s clear the government wants to silence those who champion the minorities

5 min read

Violence against women in Nepal is intensifying

The crucial details about cases of violence against women in Nepal are still fresh in my mind. In 2067 B.S., a murder case was filed against Surya Bahadur, who brutally killed his wife. While the husband roams around the town drunk, the wife works as an agricultural laborer and supports the family. And for working [...]
4 min read

Game of thrones

The English translation of Baburam Acharya’s Aba Yesto Khahilyai Nahos offers a glimpse into Nepal’s shockingly bloody past

5 min read

Freed from bondage, ready to vote

Seventeen years after emancipation, many ex-kamaiyas prepare to vote in local elections for the first time

6 min read

Press Council colludes with the government to subvert free press

Several incidents show that journalists are not free to do their work

5 min read

Death in Madhes

The Nepal Police continues to defy a six-month old court order to investigate Ram Sevak Dhobi’s alleged murder

3 min read

Why many Nepalis are converting to Christianity

As you drive across the bridge in to Manahari, a small town in Makwanpur, you can see a lime green mosque on one side, the red and white stripes of a temple on the other and in the distance, faded Buddhist prayer flags hanging from roof tops. But hidden off the main road and among [...]
8 min read

Trouble in Tikapur

Violence sparked by the “fast track” constitution still divides the Tharus and Pahadis

6 min read

Portrait of a city in flux

1990’s Kathmandu comes alive in Shradha Ghale’s debut novel

6 min read

From the Shangri-la to a hippie paradise

A new book traces the history of Nepali tourism through encounters between Western travelers and Nepalis.

4 min read

In a police state

From the extrajudicial killings in the Madhes to the repression of people in the highlands, the Nepali state has shown its discriminatory character everywhere

2 min read

The Record’s word of the year 2018

The ultimate revenge of the hill bureaucrats

10 min read

A voice from the past speaking to the present

Why Devkota’s English essays are still relevant

3 min read

The diversity of Nepal’s women’s movement must be recognized

Portraying Nepali women as a homogeneous group obscures the diverse forms of discrimination they face

10 min read

The business of business class

Should development professionals feel guilty about traveling business class?