Arts & Humanities

The next Darnal Award and symposium will soon be accepting nominees for its 2025 international award.

Arts & Humanities
The next Darnal Award and symposium

The next DASJ selection will focus on arts and humanities, with a spotlight on young change makers whose work and contributions to social justice causes have created value beyond the academy. We believe that expression through arts and humanities allows people the freedom to be contradictory and to challenge existing social norms— and that this can add unique public value for sustainable social change.

By recognizing, celebrating, and supporting individuals in and outside of Nepal who are taking a creative or artistic approach to social justice, we seek to broaden the possibilities for what constitutes activism and make the movement for caste equality accessible and meaningful to new communities.

Individuals and organizations working at the intersection of social justice and the arts are encouraged to self-nominate and find a nominator. The Award is open to anyone below 40 years of age whose work fits the description above, irrespective of class, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or nationality. Because Suvash Darnal’s life work focused on working toward caste equality in Nepal, we particularly welcome nominations of young Dalits worldwide.


The Darnal Award for Social Justice (DASJ) is currently accepting nominees for its 2025 international award for leadership in addressing caste-questions for addressing equal dignity, equal rights, and equal opportunities. Individuals, organizations, and movements working in and outside of Nepal are eligible to be nominated; however, individual nominees must be under forty years of age. Nominees that are competitive for the award will have a strong record of activism and demonstrated leadership, that entails a minimum of five years of substantive work or contributions involving caste and social justice issues. Those working in the Arts and Humanities are particularly encouraged to apply this year, as these disciplines will be highlighted during the June 2025 award ceremony and symposium.

Individuals, organizations, and movements can be nominated through two methods:

1.    DASJ Nominators:  Building on the contributions of past nominators, DASJ is inviting a select group of reputed scholars, experts, and leaders engaged with caste questions globally to submit nominations.  The names of the nominators will be made public after the announcement of the next DASJ awardee hopefully in 2025. See People Involved.

2.    Self-Nomination Process: For DASJ 2025, we have introduced the self-nomination process to increase the pool of deserving Nominees who may be missed by our invited Nominators.  Nominees (individuals under forty years of age, an organization or a Movement) may also apply by selecting a qualified Nominator. Interested Nominee must submit a brief statement (500 to 750 words) to DASJ via email on on why they should be considered and brief information of their chosen Nominator.  Interested Nominee is responsible for selecting a Nominator, who MUST be either:

Selection PROCESS

The Darnal Award for Social Justice uses a rigorous, multi-stage selection process, involving individuals from multiple backgrounds. Based on the vision and objectives of the Award, the Darnal Award Steering Committee develops the policies and guidelines for each cycle.  The Steering Committee selects and invites highly reputed scholars, intellectuals, leaders and activists from diverse backgrounds from within and beyond Nepal to serve as nominators.

Each invited nominator can nominate up to two candidates for each cycle. Self-nominations will not be taken into consideration. Award is open to individuals, organizations, or movements. Possible nominees include:

- Individuals: activists, academics/scholars/researchers, media professionals, writers, artists, singers/music composers, policymakers, political leaders, entrepreneurs and community leaders.

- Organizations: governmental, non-governmental, or community-based organizations.

- Movements for social justice: Movements dedicated to strengthening democracy and civil rights, particularly for historically marginalized groups.

At the end of the nomination period, the Darnal Award staff conducts technical review, and presents all the qualified nominees to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee carefully reviews the nominations and shortlists the most compelling candidates. A team of professional researchers gathers additional information from the nominee, as well as from other sources and present their findings to the Selection Committee. The Darnal Award Selection Committee, comprising of members of the Steering Committee and other social justice leaders, selects the awardee and a group of 5-7 semi-finalists, who are announced and honored at the award ceremony on June 8th to coincide with Suvash’s birthday.

Relevant information about the selection process, nominators, and the Darnal Award Selection Committee is made public at different stages of the award process.