Crack in India-Nepal relations and the Chinese ploy

Crack in India-Nepal relations and the Chinese ploy

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The two Himalayan children India and Nepal share an interconnection from the time of Buddha and the Gupta Dynasty. From a religious, cultural point of view to sharing boundaries and helping each other in the freedom struggle. During post-independence, the founding stones of friendship were laid and a treaty signed between the two governments in 1950 regarding trade, friendship, peace etc is a testimony to it. India provided a sea route to Nepal who had a Geographical disadvantage of being a landlocked country. Such was one the peak of relations along with an open border that facilitates workers to work in India.

Cut to present

Off late tensions has crept up between the neighbours, the moot issue is related to ‘Kalapani’ and how both the sides have their own versions, one claims that it is a part of Pittorgarh district and the other claims that the river has origins in Lipu Lekh Pass, and in lieu of which joint technical committee was also formed. The treaty of Sugauli which was a result of Anglo-Nepal war. Ever since the outbreak of corona Nepal has been portraying a step sisterly feeling towards India. Nepal has accused India of breaching territories, PM K.P Oli Sharma openly supporting China’s claim over Indian territory, etc. If we go back to the year 1996 the same person Mr K.P Oli Sharma had split his own party to act as a facilitator to ensure smooth functioning of Mahakali river water sharing treaty between the two nations. The memories of the devastating earthquake in Nepal(2015) is still fresh and the contributions carried out by India through ‘Operation Maitri’ cannot be undermined.

The grey areas

Although China had contributed then and also provided eight-point transport facilitation in 2016 India has always been a constant support for Nepal right from appointing Indian Military Liasion Group(IMLG) in check posts of Nepal as there was always a potential threat of attack by China especially after Tibet’s case and Nepal has always been a more of a ‘chameleon’ at times it readily accepted India’s aid and at times has turned it’s back in the name of promoting National Interest such as giving in to the demands of China by building an air link between Kathmandu and Tibet, building road with the help of China which acted as a potential threat for India. In fact, the condition of Nepal was so despicable that it was dependent on India because of lack of capital and knowhow and a catena of projects were carried out which were a part of the water resource development projects between the two nations. But in spite of everything Nepal has never shied away from the blame game and has constantly tagged India as a ‘Bully’ and accused it of encroachment, being the lone beneficiary, causing flood etc. Even the labour laws of Nepal imposes a ban upon skilled Indian personnel. Despite everything, India has always followed the love thy neighbour policy by providing economic concessions, transportation etc. Apart from that, the famous Gujral Doctrine emphasized helping neighbours who were facing problems. The relation between the two-nation has observed all-time low as well when, after signing an agreement on Understanding on the Air Service Agreement a Plane Hijack took place in 1999 which was sponsored by a Pakistan’s ISI who breeding ground was traced to be Nepal and also Maoist uprising in Nepal as India had already witnessed the wraths of Naxal Movements. It is not wrong to say that despite the tug of war or a topsy-turvy relation it is seen that the B.P Koirala foundation had been set up the bolster the relationship between the nations on various fronts such as education, culture, science and technological cooperation.

Also read: The illusion of truth in Char Chaporis of Assam

Beyond the issue

As has been defined by scholars such as Nirmala Singh and Mamta that both the countries are interdependent on each other and despite Nepal’s periodical animosity both the countries have to sort out their differences. Nepal should realize that India is a country which has never invaded any other country, it is a peace-loving country and on the other hand, their current agony aunt China is actually a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, the economic grants and aids that they are providing is actually the silence before the storm and these interim benefits can well escalate into long-lasting and never-ending miseries and China is known for it especially the Tibet chapter and apart from that, the atrocities inflicted to them especially with their minorities such as the Uighurs justifies the whole point. It is high time that Nepal which is a small country does not turn into China’s puppet and should try and maintain its individuality as it has done ever since it’s independence. The situation of Nepal can be compared to the folklores in Christianity who strikes a deal with the devil or Satan and end up landing in Murky waters from where there is no return.

Written by Prakreetish Sarma. He is currently practising as an Advocate in Gauhati High Court, completed graduation in law from National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam. Interests are playing football, badminton, interested in cooking, discovering new places and going for trekking and into social work.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Jun 15, 2020