In politics, it is said “No one is permanent enemy or friend“. In our case, Nepal and India could neither remain a friend nor an enemy, emerging Nepal-India relation into a special relationship.
Historically, the doubtful friendship of Nepal and India flourished with steady increase of “Indian Monopoly” in Nepal. Contrary to the Nepal’s interest, India is still continuously forcing to retain it. This tussle have resulted numerous ups and downs in Nepal-India relationship. Till date Nepali/Nepalese people lacks confidence on Indian government. This situation expanded more after the unofficial blockade imposed by India.
The scenario could have been changed after the rise of Modi, Prime Minister of India. Nepalese believed the Nepal-India relation will enter into the new era. People of Nepal were hopeful to regain its “Hindu State” status. The development projects owned by India would finally be initiated after 3/4 decades. His speech during the first visit in Nepal touched Nepalese people’s heart could be seen clearly as he was overwhelmingly accepted. He words showed respect towards Nepali language and sovereignty. Most importantly PM Modi confessed “Lord Buddha was born in Nepal“.
There is a saying in Hindi “उचि दुकान फिका पकवान”. Within few months after his visit to Nepal, Mr. Modi showed his hypocrisy. He delivered bogus statement”India is the land of Lord Buddha” on his visit to Japan and Germany. He just needed few more months to strain Nepal-India relation by imposing unofficial economic blockade in support of madhesi agitation. Nepalese, who warmly welcomed him were forced to struggle for medicine, petrol, gas and even fire wood. It took India 6 months to stop that blockage – walking minimum of 15-20 kilometers, one way, to the office was a daily routine for the Nepalese people.
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In Nepal, more than 80% of international trades are being performed via India. Hence, the blockade literally halted economic growth and Nepalese struggled for living.The blockade was planted right after Nepal suffered devastating earthquake in 2015. India seems to be not so delighted with our constitution thus Nepalese suffered for practicing democracy.
While India playing that nasty game over Nepal, Europeans also started to invade in Nepal. Bible is being exchanged with food and education; a seed for religious conflict. It is clear that Europeans wanted to see un-stabilized condition of Nepal so they could take action against China. Now, India is gradually falling in their (Western Nations) hands to counter China. India has joined hands with America to counter china. But I see India is being played by Americans.
On the other hand, China is approaching for development of OBOR(One Belt One Road). This project needs strong Nepal-India relation to enter into the Indian market and a strong and stable Nepali government to keep anti-China factor away from Tibet. Hence, Nepal is forced to Choose China for development and act as a bridge between two economic giants. Nepal needs balanced relation with both China and India but India perceives it as a China card.
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The statement recently delivered by Former Foreign Secretary (Kanwal Sibal) on The Big Picture( video) “Oli, if he comes back would be a big setback to us and we should do any thing to prevent it” clarifies that Indian government is much more interested in micro management over improving relation. This will obviously present India as an anti-development factor of Nepal. The decade long halt of crucial development projects of hydro electricity and roads along with the arrogance of Indian authorities will further push Nepal away from India.
It is petty; both nations and their humble people connected geographically and religiously are being pushed behind by international politics. People have started a blame game on social media. We are not late to repair the relation but soon we might go beyond its repair.India, being on better position in every aspect in terms of geography, economy and politics, the responsibility of India also increases. India must openly co-operate to redefine 1950’s treaty, border issues and immediately act to secure Nepalese from BSF (Border Security Force) authorities residing on Nepal – India border. On the other hand, Nepal must respect the security and other sensitive issues of India.
This is the era where every nation and people regardless of their size deserves a respectful life with their self-image and identity. Power houses must focus on connecting the world with development and prosperity instead of influence. Calling yourself democratic nation, many nations has already been covered into rubble, resulting an endless terrorist activities. It’s time for India to practically connect with South Asian Nations for sustainable prosperity, securing regional cultures and religions. Nepal is always with India for development and regional security but not at the price of sovereignty and self respect.