Ujwal Thapa, founder chairperson of Vibeksheel Nepali Dal and a former coordinator of Vibeksheel Saja Party, who played a pivotal role in establishing alternative politics in Nepal passed away at the young age of 44 on 17th Jestha, 2078 due to the serious illness caused by Covid-19 and pneumonia infection while undergoing treatment at Medicity Hospital, Kathmandu. The country has lost not only an alternative, but also a civilized leader in Nepalese politics.
He led a different stream, thinking that there was a need for an alternative party in Nepal and that it should be led by the youth. Under his leadership, Vibekshil Nepali Dal was established on June 3, 2008. The party had fielded four independent candidates in the second CA election.
This party, which was legally registered after the second election of the Constituent Assembly, merged with the common party founded by Rabindra Mishra and became a Vibhekshil Saja Party.
Ujjwal Thapa is an exception in Nepali politics. After returning from the United States, Thapa launched a campaign called ‘We are Nepali One’ for change and formed a ‘Vibhekshil Nepali Party’ with young people like him. He united with the common party of the same stream and handed over the leadership easily while the party was taking a height.
Born into a middle class family, Thapa got the opportunity to study at Budhanilkantha Secondary School in Kathmandu on a scholarship. He was a very normal, fast-paced student since his childhood.
Thapa was a different type of student. His activities and creations showed that he handled everything in a different way neglecting the traditional means. An interesting incident happened while he was sitting for the exam of Cambridge University’s ‘A-Level English Literature’. Thapa did not prepare well, so he thought he was sure to fail the exam. But he couldn’t leave the exam hall. Instead, he had to do something. Then he answered the question by drawing a cartoon.
All his friends said that he was crazy, but they were surprised when the result came out. He got better marks than most of his friends.
After completing his studies at the age of 19 in Budhanilkantha, he got a scholarship to study higher education at Bennington College, USA. There he went to study astrophysics. However, he left to study multimedia and interface design.
As the study drew to a close, he turned his attention to religion and spirituality. Then, he left college to become a monk in a Buddhist monastery in California. After staying in the monastery for more than a week, he did not feel comfortable there either. Then he came back to the college again saying that he could finish his studies.
After settling in the United States for five years, Thapa came to Nepal in 2001 to open an IT company in the country.
“He came back home carrying only two big bags with Apple’s Mac GeFor computer and a 21-inch monitor what he had written in his blog post.
If he wanted, he would have a good future in America. But, Thapa had returned to Nepal to look for the ‘meaning of life’ in his homeland. When he came to Nepal, the armed conflict of Maoists was continuing. He began training on conflict management. He went to places like Rolpa and Surkhet and taught them how to start a dialogue between the other sides.
Two years later, he started an IT company called Digital Max Solutions (DMS), a website development and software branding business. He also employed his friends, but at a time when access to information technology was expanding, his company was not doing as well as he had hoped. Conflict, load shedding, and Internet problems were the main reasons. However, those who worked in the field of technology realized the foundation of the IT industry in Nepal. He then helped to build WordPress Nepal, an IT Community in Nepal. He also formed a group by connecting those involved in IT.
Thapa was also involved in non-organic coffee farming. He established Shangrila Coffee, a coffee farm in Syangja district in 2009. He tried to make a village in Syangja an ‘agrarian coffee village’, which is being promoted by his relatives.
The entire country is in deep sorrow for the demise of Thapa whose inspirational thoughts and philosophy shown to Nepalese society are staying inside the hearts of every Nepali.