Imagine you are entering your room at dusk. As you push open the door, you see in the dim light a snake coiled on your bed. You freeze in horror. But when someone flashes a torch, you realise with great relief that it is only a coil of rope. Nepali society today is beset with confusion, uncertainties and fears as an old order passeth but the new one, still unborn, giveth nothing as yet but intense labour pain. Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities and its larger collegia hope to provide that flashlight to interpret and realise a peaceful and prosperous Nepal tomorrow. The pressing need of our times is to make sure that there are those around, especially among the upcoming generation, who not only understand the deeper tectonic forces roiling Nepali society but are also able to see the emerging potential and future joy amidst all the pains of today.
In a sense, the foundation of Nepā School was laid over a dozen years ago in the form of the Immersion Course in Contemporary Social Issues by an intrepid group of Nepali social scientists eager to transmit the excitement of their disciplines to a commensurately curious cohort of young students. The effort itself ended up energising many of the Immersion Course faculty to band together through the Course’s host institution, Social Science Baha, to take that collective effort to a new level and set up this college. Hopefully, in the years ahead, it will graduate still higher to a full-fledged university, but that is for much later.
In this venture, we see a much larger body of well-wishers, academics and professionals here and abroad as our partners. We expect the alumni of the Immersion Course, most of whom are quite successful as professionals or academics spread across the globe, to join hands with us to make the Nepā School a centre of cutting-edge learning and research. There is also a large number of social scientists in universities abroad, both Nepali and foreign, who either have an interest, or did their fieldwork, in Nepal. It is our hope that all of them, and other social scientists in Nepal, will collaborate with us at the Nepā School to galvanise new dynamism in exploring and understanding our society as well as its place and role in today’s rapidly changing world.