Masculinity, Media and Political Parties: An Interrogation of Contemporary Nepali Masculinities
In this paper I examine controversies in Nepali print media following Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda)'s description of the middle classes of Kathmandu as sukila mukila or "neat and laundered" peoples. In addition, I also examine media controversies following Maoist leader and current Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s
description of UML (United Marxist Leninist Party) as a teshro lingi or “third gender” party. I contend that a study of these two controversies --sukila mukila and teshro lingi--shows how hegemonic masculinity functions at the heart of contemporary political discourse of Nepal; a fact that has serious consequences for women, homosexuals and third genders as well as for those heterosexual men who practice non-hegemonic, and non-violent forms of masculinity. My aim is to revisit Nepali history from a masculinity studies perspective, and to show that debates concerning masculinity often trace broader political debates concerning class, consumption and ethnicity.
Sanjeev Uprety completed his masters from SUNY-Binghamton and his Ph.d from Brown University. Currently he is in the US, doing his post-doctoral research on South Asian masculinities at Harvard and UC-Berkeley universities. An associate professor at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University (Nepal), he has written number of research articles on South Asian, especially Nepali masculinities. Sanjeev also coordinated M.Phil in English program for two years when it was offered for the first time by Tribhuvan University in 2009 and supervised the construction of IMAP (Interactive Mapping and Archival Project) a digital archive of art and theater related materials of Nepal. Sanjeev has written a number of papers on Nepali literature, art and theater and is the author of two books in Nepali. His first book was Ghanchakkar, a bestselling Nepali novel, and his second book Siddhanta Ka Kura interprets various western theories--including modernism, postmodernism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism and so on--by linking them to Nepali cultural texts and contexts. Sanjeev is a member of SANAM (South Asian Network to Address Masculinities) and has performed male lead in two Gurkul (the premier theater group of Nepal) productions, including Nepali adaptation of Albert Camus' famous play Les Justes.