The Fault Line: Caste-Based Disparities Before, During, and After Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

By: Sarah Watson

April 22, 2023

Spring 2023 Student Symposium: REWA Minors

My project intends to understand the connection, or lack thereof, between Hindu philosophy and the caste system in Nepal. It analyzes the cross-cutting role of caste throughout Nepal’s religious groups, even outside of Hinduism. The project then charts the development of Nepal’s social hierarchy from religious texts to embedded political practices of discrimination against lower castes and Janijati ethnic minorities. After establishing the role of caste in Nepal’s society, it analyzes the socioeconomic, political, and legal exclusion of Dalit caste communities. Finally, this project uses the 2015 Gorkha earthquake as a lens of analysis to understand pre-existing vulnerabilities for marginalized groups (based on caste, ethnicity, and religion) before, during, and after the earthquake.


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