Your search keywords:

Shankar Tiwari: On literature and politics

Shankar Tiwari: On literature and politics

Shankar Tiwari wears multiple hats as an author, freelance journalist, and a youth leader of the Nepali Congress. Renowned for his regular columns in national newspapers and his literary works focusing on figures such as BP Koirala, Pradip Giri, and DB Parihar, Tiwari’s persona is a blend of literature and politics. Like BP, he divides his time almost equally between these two domains. Recently, he has put forth his candidacy for the position of central committee member of the Nepali Congress in its 2024 General Convention.

Reflecting on his entry into politics, Tiwari recounted, “During my Bachelor’s studies, amidst King Gyanendra’s takeover, I was more inclined towards study and research than active political involvement. However, an opportunity to stand as a student leader via the Nepal Student Union arose just before the Free Students Union election. It was then that I realized the futility of personal development without addressing the political landscape of our country.”

Tiwari’s interactions with leaders like Gagan Thapa and Pradip Poudel further spurred his interest in political activism.

Asked about the intersection of his roles as an author and a political leader, Tiwari shared, “I’ve delved into the writings of political figures, ranging from Karl Marx to BP Koirala. What I’ve noticed is that writers possess a clarity of thought and secure a lasting place in history.”

Tiwari stressed the enriching impact of both literary and political pursuits on one’s personality. His columns in various newspapers, starting from Himal to Annapurna Post and eventually in Kantipur, not only bolstered his reputation but also provided a platform for personal growth and understanding of national and global literary trends.

Although his previous bid for a central committee position in the Nepali Congress was unsuccessful, Tiwari views it as a valuable learning experience. His vision for reforms, if elected, revolves around prioritizing general elections over party conventions, ensuring leadership renewal, and curbing the tendency of party dominance.

“If the party fails to enter the government after the elections, the party president’s term must be terminated within six months. This will pave the way for a new generation to lead the party,” he said. “In European democracies, it is an established notion that political parties are not rejected but leadership can be rejected. I want to establish the same value here.”

Tiwari’s academic journey, including his study of Gandhi’s philosophy at the Gandhi Center and his observations of student politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), solidified his commitment to political activism. He emphasizes the importance of ideological clarity and the necessity for senior leaders to make way for the new generation.

Echoing the liberal values of the Nepali Congress, Tiwari envisions a space for healthy debate and collaboration between different viewpoints. Drawing parallels to past predictions, he sees the party’s role in shaping Nepal’s democratic future.

Advocating for a shift in perspective regarding Nepal’s brain drain, Tiwari perceives migration as a developmental process. He believes that when governance becomes more effective, brain drain can transform into brain gain, fostering innovation and progress within the country.

“Modernization in the country has been driven due to people migrating overseas. Look at Kathmandu, we can see new and innovative businesses, new ways of doing things. It was all possible due to those people who migrated overseas and brought those new ideas back home,” he said.

Tiwari reminisces about his involvement in projects like the biography of DB Parihar, which debunked misconceptions surrounding Nepali cinema’s history. His academic pursuits, particularly in Gandhian studies, reinforced his dedication to social activism over conventional career paths.

In Tiwari’s view, politics should respect and foster cultural and literary expression rather than imposing its will. Positioned as a guiding light for Nepal’s new generation, Tiwari follows in the footsteps of esteemed figures like CK Prasai, Narahari Acharya, and Pradip Giri.