Transformation is apparent in Nepal, a country that underwent a decade of civil war 1996–2006, abolished the monarchy to become a republic in 2007, agreed on a new constitution in 2015 and is currently struggling to implement federalism. Decentralisation and minority repre-sentation are being put on the political agenda alongside efforts to rebuild infrastructure dam-aged through two major earthquakes. Beyond this, Nepal appears to have developed into South Asia’s beacon of gender equality. Since 2016 Nepal has had a woman president, a woman chief justice and a woman speaker of parliament.
This paper explores the new alternative politics popularised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as an antidote to the conventional politics that plague Indian democracy. It locates this politics not in an already constituted framework like other caste-, community- and class-based political parties, but as a performative construct articulated through the symbols of the broom, the muf-fler and the Wagon R. Contrary to the understanding that AAP leaders are fully evolved com-mon men, it is proposed that their commonness was a product of these symbols.
“Elites and Aristocracy in Colonial and Post-colonial Sri Lanka” attempts to answer two major questions: First, what is an “elite” and how can we define one? Concentrating on aristocracy and with reference to Georg Simmel, I will describe forms of social and cultural self-aggrandis-ement and self-construction, which have served many elites as a model and ideal type for emula-tion and further development.