RIP: Suvash Darnal, an Inspiration

Caste discrimination is perhaps one of the most pressing social/cultural issue facing modern Nepal. This centuries old practice of discrimination based on accident of birth is inhumane and totally against democratic values.

Unfortunately, due to arrogance and willful ignorance, caste is still deeply rooted in Nepali society. In rural areas, those belonging to the supposed “lower” caste face routine harassment, even children at school are not safe. Cities, though are more hospitable, still carry relics of the past and cling on prejudices based on caste when it comes to marriage, and religious observations.

Following the 2006 peace agreement between the State and the Maoists, and subsequent Constituent Assembly elections; the Dalit( supposed “lower” caste) Community has made remarkable progress in organizing and demanding their rights. Struggle to end heinous practice of caste discrimination is ongoing, and has a long and tough road ahead.

Now that road will be bit  quite and dark because Nepali Dalit movement has lost an inspirational leader in a tragic accident.

Suvash Darnal died in a  traffic accident in Washington DC on Monday, August 15th.  Moments after the announcement, Nepali tweeples expressed their sorrow,

nepaliketi85 nepaliketi
Rest in Peace dear friend and a real hero, Suvash Darnal.”
svbel Subel Bhandari
Subash Darnal, super social mobilizer & activist for dalit political social movement died in a car crash in DC. via @kashishds @prashantktm
UjjwalAcharya Ujjwal Acharya
Rest in Peace, Suvash Darnal, 30, the prominent Dalit activist.bit.ly/oKemAC It’s a loss for the country.”
US Embassy in Kathmandu also expressed their sympathy,
USEmbassyNepal U.S. Embassy Nepal
Embassy offers condolences to the family of dalit activist Suvash Darnal, who died in a car accident in the US earlier this week.”
He was pragmatic and positive leader.Sradda Thapa at Republica has a very moving tribute,
“From his academic excellence at the primary level in Mujhung, Palpa, his hometown, all the way to prestigious fellowships at the National Endowment Center in Washington DC and, more recently, at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, he had big dreams, but he had a calm and counted way in achieving them.In realizing the need for a Dalit-focused medium of communication, he founded the now well-established Jagaran Media Foundation. In understanding the importance of civil society during political upheavals leading to Janaandolan II, he founded Collective Campaign for Peace. “
Nepal has lost a bright star and the Dalit Movement has lost a leader. I hope that Suvash Darnal’s legacy of hope and struggle will live on. Getting rid of caste discrimination-any form of discrimination, and strengthening Nepali society will be a real tribute to his dedication and service.
Rest in Peace.

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