Nepal strikes back

Nepal strikes back

The recall of the Nepali ambassador to India, and the cancellation of the Nepali Presidential visit to India, is another low point in deteriorating relations between, arguably, the only two ‘Hindu nations’ on the planet. Kathmandu is livid that New Delhi continues to meddle in its internal affairs,  that India continues to treat Nepali affairs as events which it should logically control. Actually, it can be a surprise to consider that India has had tense relations with virtually all its neighbours, at some point or the other. This runs contrary to the stated intent to live peacefully with other nations. In fact, critics, including Indian commentators, have pointed out that Indian foreign policy towards its neighbours seems to based on a simple formulation: don’t mess with the powerful ones (read China), and try to exert unwarranted influence on smaller neighbours. Nothing exemplifies the utter myopia of such a policy better than what New Delhi has been doing with Nepal. That Himalayan nation is one with which India could claim to have deep links, and yet no other country has complained as often of India’s ‘big brother’ attitude.

Nepal, despite all the problems, has been a model of how a state transitions from conflict to vibrant – though complicated – democracy. Much of the credit for that goes to the Nepalese people who forced the political class, including the Maoists, to stay away from a breakdown and press ahead with the formulation of a Constitution. India, incredibly, wants to have a say in how that Constitution is framed: and the current crisis has to do with India’s so-called espousal of Madeshi (people living in the plains) rights since they have close links with neighbouring states of India. New Delhi earlier tried to blame the ‘blockade’ on protests by sections of Madeshis over the division of Nepal into seven new states. The people of Nepal, however, are clearly blaming India for trying to coerce it.
Oil shortages hurt Nepal, even pharma companies were hurt, during the blockade. Ultimately, this forced Nepal to seek alternative routes to break the stranglehold (since it is surrounded by India on three sides) and forge closer links with China. The recent fracas is another link in this chain. An Indian commentator has called India’s policy ‘sledgehammer diplomacy’. And the notion of India being the bully in the region is being buttressed, even as little Nepal is learning to teach big brother new lessons.

4 Responses to "Nepal strikes back"

  1. Mesquiteice (@mesquiteice)   May 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    We dont want an inch of Nepal. Millions of Ghorkas are employed in India. All i am saying is dont immerse yourself in hate. It may feel good in finding fault with others in the short run, but will only lead you to make wrong decisions. Just address the concerns of Madhesis instead of fighting with India. Are Madhesis your people or not? Clarify them if you dont like them and be a man to tell it to them. Dont make Indians a punching bag.

  2. Gus   May 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Gorkhaland will be created but the state in Indian federal system has to agree . In this case it is west bengal state and not indian govt. . West Bengal state has given some autonomy and also providing some additional benefits so that Gorkhaland people stay within state.

  3. shiva   May 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Nepal must give a lesson to evil and Big Brother India. Nepal should fence its borders with India. Nepal should also scrap Citizenship law that was made 9-10 years ago. This law, that gave Nepali Citizenship to millions Indians is completely not tolerable to patriotic Nepalese people. Nepal should also raise a strong voice against encroachment of its lands by India at multiple border areas including Susta, Kalapani and Lipulekh. We Nepalese won’t give an inch of our land to India. STOP aggression against smaller neighbor Nepal. We are a sovereign nation and we (Nepal) must give India a lesson that bullying and Big Brother attitude won’t help look India a great country.

  4. Ryan Dhakal   May 11, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    India is supporting Madeshis (Indian origin people), for a state for them. Despite having Gorkha ( Nepalese origin people) regiments, in the Indian army. They want a state for themselves, called, Gorkhaland. But it wasn’t created. So accordingly, India should stay out of Nepal’s internal matter.