Today Nepal stands at the crossroads amidst the swiftly changing political tracts and it becoming scarce now to found a closer understanding over the core issues among all the political parties. Such political opportunism truly missing the plight of democracy besides pulling down the national priorities in crucial matters;lucidly it’s an outcome of internal political strife instead from an imposed international pressure. Stability is very crucial for Indian point of views,as in the case of Nepal,India hasn’t any option except to see a sovereign Nepal; concerned authorities in India’s External Affairs Ministry have been consistently showing similar concern and landed all possible support to assist in Nepal’s integration.
Through an honest introspection it’s easily revealed that India never resolute any action in past against the national interest of Nepal, further India never obstruct the formation of any democratic government even including the Maoist government and send their foreign secretary just three days before the government formation.
India- Nepal relations are so strong that it’s very hard to shape in mere words because these two neighboring nation has a history of deep ties and shared concern from ancient times. Quality of relationship between these two countries shouldn’t be seen in terms of treaty; having faith in each other’s role any dispute can be solved and consensus could be formed between these two friendly nations. Indeed there are no reasons among the peoples of the both side of border to involved in any sort of hate campaign against each other; any development in this regard would be ended with an impractical and unviable consequences.
So, it must realized that that interest of India wouldn’t affect the any move of peace process in Nepal; it’s need of hour to end the causes of political insecurity among the diasporas on the both side of borders.
State of Nepal’s internal security possessed as much concern as her own existential safety for India, so any anti Indian move will jeopardize the friendly terms and left alarming ramifications for both the country. India’s concern over the presence of ISI’s agents inside the territory of Nepal must be seen in genuine light by the Nepalese government since it could be highly disturbing in long term for Nepal’s own sake as well. Indian government is very serious towards tackling the terrorist network with wrenched resoluteness and would keep affirming on Nepalese government to check their activities from their sovereign territory.
With more meticulous action some unfortunate developments may be easily avoided; that would required a consensus based approach in top notch Nepalese political circle and within their civil society towards the India’s plight for security.
India never felt any sort of discontents with the democratic proceedings in Nepal; of course Maoist should stay and play active role within their national political framework. Indian government would remain very keen for strengthening of democracy in Nepal and issues like human rights would be a key priority for them with putting finest efforts to see it in universal way beyond the geographical boundaries. In recent past Gorkha’s role in Indian Arm Forces has gained some critical applauds from a reactionary section in Nepal which is quite unfortunate and is an effort to dampen the historic and marvelous symbolic ties between these two friendly nation.
The word consensus has been largely misused in Nepal consequently ultra nationalism in Nepal largely seen in the context of anti- Indian sentiment; a very clear approach would be needed from Nepalese side over such relentless unfortunate developments.
In international affairs domain Nepal needs to play more matured role and must develop a sense of its own best interest; mutual integrated relationship with India paves way for safe passages of trust between them which is quite symmetric to the actual requirements and should remain a foremost concern for both the countries to keep intact these flame of spirits; any constructive solution of joint interest would be emerged from mutual effort instead through isolatory stances.
In changing circumstances it’s quite essential for both the countries to make immediate revisions in bilateral treaties and shaping them as per the suitability of present time. Infrastructures are major issues that needs to look on in such active manner since perennial floods is a major impediment for socio-economic structure of Terai region in Nepal and entire north Bihar.
A radical shift in policy towards the existing infrastructure of water management is the first step that required to be taken by the governments of both countries. Water management possessed very crucial and strategic place in the sphere of India- Nepal relations as their catchments are very productive for the vast agricultural areas as well an alternative source of energy; projects like Pancheswar, Saptakosi, Naumure etc needs rational handling as they are immensely crucial for the sake of both countries energy requirements.
Border management is another issue that needs more regulated treatment though it should remain open as even before because prevalence of open border is the biggest asset of India- Nepal relation and it has potential to be framed as an ideal border of south Asia.
Indeed open border plays crucial significance in the lives of population adjacent to border; since time immemorial they have been sharing the ties of Roti (Bread) and Beti (Matrimonial ties) which even creates complexities of identity.In present state Nepal is coping with the difficulties of constitution making besides having to win the trust of peoples in democratic institution which shown severe fluctuation in immediate past.In this situation grooming of an idea of ethnic federalism and other major issues wouldn’t be less than a fatal as handling of such major issues depends upon the state of stability which is completely out of seen in present circumstances.
Terain’s plight and refugee’s problems are some other rudimentary issues that need proper concern and action from the governments of both the side as law and order situation is a matter that requires the co-operation of other side due to geographical nature and open borders.
In decade long civil war like situation, the Terai region faced adverse setbacks and witnessed the losses of human lives, infrastructure, ecology, law and order etc. Even in last few months toll of losses in Terai is quite frightening, almost 1200 peoples has been killed and more than 3600 were abducted; situation is still very grim inside the Terai region and peoples have some distraught feeling as they used to feel during the bloody strife phase.
Glorifications of Terain Armed groups are caused by the political affiliations and patronage that’s making situation worse in any effort to contain and disband their growing role; catchments areas of North Bihar or Mithilanchal region becomes a hideout place for these groups in the absence of a specified and clear set of mechanism on joint level; a strategic move in this regard is immediately required.
Till today Nepal is missing the actual taste of democracy and whatever has been represented on the name of democracy that never touched the ground of actual aspiration of its citizen. Maoists short stint in government couldn’t materialized their own professed goals instead they turn up to attack on religious identities, authoritarianism, non-pluralism, against right of property besides showing very immature stand on Nepalese Armed Force chief Rukmangad Kotwal; such bad conflict management with Arm force deciphered the feeble understanding of realpolitik in Maoist camp.
Before that incident Nepali Army has history of passive presence and following the civil supremacy which was very conducive with the expectation of Nepalese intelligentsias. But now stands humiliated, Nepalese Army becomes more powerful and strategic which may played crucial roles in further phage of development.
India too witnessed some implications after this incident as the role of India felt prominent by a section of reactionaries in Nepalese politics; former Prime Minister Prachanda’s remarks as “Promped by Prabhu” to present Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was clearly referred towards the India which was completely unjustifiable. India maintains silence over such rambling propositions even the Indian side never downbeat with the growing Chinese influence in Maoists rule and regarded it just as lacking immune system.
India has huge concern with Nepalese state of affairs in similar manner; Nepal too has immense benefits from a stronger India, so despite some ups and down in events it would be compatible to remains in same strong bond of sharing forever’ Brotherhood always remains a great idea as in such set of relationship every member has some specific roles to play irrespective of identities like big brother and small brother; being sanguine for same must in case of India- Nepal relations.
Atul Kumar Thakur
17thAugust 2009, New Delhi