Ujwal Thapa

Ujwal Thapa is a Nepali youth activist, entrepreneur and the founding chairperson of Nepal’s youth-led political party BibeekSheel Nepali Party. Thapa became co-coordinator of the Bibeeksheel Sajha Party when Bobeeksheel Nepali Party united with the Sajha Party.

Before joining active politics in 2013, he initiated several start-ups and led some of them into success. He is one of the co-founders of Entrepreneurs for Nepal, a platform that inspires Nepali entrepreneurs to network and coordinate; and Nepal Unites campaign, an active citizenship campaign.

In addition, Thapa is the founder of Digital Max Solutions, a web application service provider and a social media consultancy; Shangrila coffee, an organic coffee farm in Syangja, western Nepal; Exotic Buddha, a travel website and Dmllist.com, a Job listing and recruitment site. As of 2015, Exotic Buddha and Dmllist have been shut down.

Ujwal Thapa ran for the 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections from Kathmandu-5, formally as an independent candidate, but representing the Bibeksheel Nepali Party and its election symbol dog. He finished 5th out of 28 candidates securing total 1163 votes.

ujwal-thapa

Nepali Name: उज्वल थापा

Born: 1976, Syangja, Nepal

Profession: Politician/Youth Activist

Affiliation: Bibekshil Nepali Party

Early Life & Education


Ujwal Thapa spent his childhood in Kathmandu and attended the prestigious Budhanilkantha School from 1986 to 1995, graduating with the University of Cambridge’s GCE A-levels. In 1996, Ujwal moved to the USA and in May 2000 graduated with a BA in Multimedia, Interface Design and Hybrid Arts from Bennington College,Bennington, Vermont, USA.

Ujwal often describes in his autobiographical notes that his life in the USA was a difficult one and he had had a series of eye-opening experiments.

“In my last year of college I became disillusioned with the materialistic life-style I was drowning into. So I started searching for a better way to live and I immersed myself in ancient religious and spiritual teachings.  I contemplated dropping out of college. I flew all the way across the US to enter in a zen buddhist monastery in Berkeley, California.” 

In addition, he has openly said that he nearly quit his education at Bennington College to become a Buddhist monk, he used to be a computer game addict, often binge-gaming computer war games, and considered investing into Apple stocks while living in the USA. He has also said that he suffered a significant psychological damage due a severe acne problem and at one point considered relinquishing everything to become a football player.

Back to Nepal & Political Activism


After spending 5 years in the US and completing a college degree, Ujwal returned back to Nepal in 2001. The country was ravaged by an ongoing Maoist civil war and he set out to become a conflict resolution trainer in Rolpa and Surkhet districts. Reflecting upon his experience as a conflict resolution trainer, he writes:

I tried to train warring sides and different stakeholders on how to start a ‘dialogue’ between them.I must confess, I learnt much more from my ‘trainees’ than they ever possibly did from me. They changed me, more than I changed them.

ujwal thapa
Ujwal Thapa dressed as a woman and demanding for women’s equal treatment.

Since his career as a conflict resolution trainer was going nowhere, he started experimenting with a number of start-ups. Some of them were successful and a few of them never progressed. Fed up with Nepal’s frequent general strikes (commonly known as Nepal bandhas), Ujwal started initiating and participating in activist movements that called for an end to Nepal band has. He also advocated for women’s equal treatment as men in Nepal’s public spheres and on one occasion dressed as a woman in a protest demanding an end to gender violence in Nepal.

Ujwal Thapa’s continuous engagement in civic activism eventually led him into establishing a political force which is nowadays known as Bibeeksheel Nepali party. Writing about the inception of the party, he explains:

“On May 28th, 2012 the Constituent Assembly tasked with building the new constitution of Nepal collapsed. 4 years of work amounted to nothing! This awakened me to another painful realization, to clean this dirty pond, one has to jump in (and survive long enough to clean it). I turned all my energies to clean Nepal’s toxic political culture which is the root of many evils here.”

Ujwal is a soccer fan and an avid traveller.