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Professional member- Kalpana Jha

Kalpana Jha is a researcher at Martin Chautari, a research foundation based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is the author of The Madhesi Upsurge and the Contested Idea of Nepal. She has authored multiple single and co-authored chapters on Indo-Nepal relations and minority issues in Nepal. She has also written multiple op-ed pieces and commentaries on the Madhesi and women’s issues in Nepal. She is an alumnus as well as former research fellow of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is also the former Regional and Security Intern of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, India.


Currently pursuing PhD at the University of Delhi

Skills and Expertise

Political Philosophy

Human Rights and Democracy

Legal Theory

Law and Legal Studies

Conflict Resolution



This book is set against the burning issue of ethnic uprisings in the Madhes region of Nepal and analyses debates on the idea of contemporary Nepal. The limited view of Nepal as a primarily hill nation with Nepali-speaking people ignores the vast ethnic and linguistic diversity of the country. It has particularly rendered stateless the Madhesi community which inhabits the plains bordering India and shares closer cultural affinity and marital ties across the border. Increasing demands for ethnic and territorial autonomy by the Madhesis suggest the need for redefining the idea of Nepal and establishing Madhesi identity as Nepali identity while at the same time addressing the deeply contested idea of regional versus social identity in the region. This book uses narratives from the Madhesi community including from prominent Madhesi analysts and activists, to define their identity as well as their aspirations in a democratic Nepal. It also provides a perspective on the internal dynamics of caste and language of this region and their possible impact on consolidating ethnic identities in Nepal.

Articles by Kalpana Jha


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