Krishna Bhattachan (1987)

Associate Professor of Sociology,Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

I started my teaching career in 1981 as one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology in Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. When I was nominated for a Fulbright-Hays scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. degree in sociology in USA in 1987, I gave top priority to UC-Berkeley because of my interest in qualitative sociology. I spent six years (1987-1993) there. I am very proud that I did it from Berkeley. I miss Berkeley and its very excellent, stimulating and inspiring academic and socio-cultural environment. I have a very fond memory of inspiring teaching style of Prof. Michael Burawoy, guidance of Prof. Robert N. Bellah, administrative and academic help and support of Ms. Elsa Tranter, books and journals of the library and local book stores, specially MOE's, sproul plaza, family life in UC Village at Albany, social diversity of the campus, and fellow graduate students with great academic performance.

After my return from Berkeley to Nepal in 1993, I developed my own working model, which I call RATOS: R stands for Research, A for Advocacy, T for teaching & Training, O for Organization building and S for Social Mobilization. I believe that this model is a Nepalized version of what life was at Berkeley as I experienced during my six years of stay. Since 1993, my only goal has been to contribute for rapid transformation of the Nepalese society for social equity and equality. By now, I have presented dozens of papers in international and national seminars, published about 150 articles on Nepalese society, culture and ethno-politics, and co-edited several books. The kind of research I do is mostly what I call it 'advocacy research' and I am heavily engaged in right-based social movements of indigenous nationalities, women, Dalit ("untouchables"), Madhesi (people of Terai region), mother tongue speakers, religious groups and other minorities. My teaching has spread its wings from graduate classrooms to outside the university premises including the remote villages. Also, I encourage different suppressed, oppressed and marginzalized groups to get organized and socially mobilized to claim their rights. Berkeley has given me full confidence and re-chargeable epistemological, theoretical, methodological and practical energy in juggling with these five different balls at the same time.

Berkeley taught me to think, imagine and practice sociology for common good and also to eat, drink, smell, play and live with sociology. I would have never been what I am in Nepal now, if I was not lucky enough to get a Ph.D. degree from Berkeley.

Dissertation Title: 
Public Debate of Development: Sociological Perspectives on the Public Philosophy of the Development of Nepal