BY D. M. THAPA
There has always been niggling doubts in the minds of most Nepalese in the country’s relationship with India. And why not, when India imposes sanctions against its small neighbour, it dictates terms to the political leaders and it influences the majority of the media and civil society leaders. But still the people believe what the same political leaders, media stooges and greedy civil society leaders say.
One other regular phenomenon is that the so called Nepali members of the top level “think tanks” always ask the question what will the attitude of India be after a general election there. This is a foolish question, although media members continue to ask them and the supposed experts try and blow their horns, whether in newspapers or electronic media.
Right from the time of India’s independence from Great Britain, the policy has been the same. If the policy of leaders like Jwahar Lal Nehru and those after him was to annex Nepal and make it its territory, in recent times a little bit has changed, as leaders like former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and present Prime Minister Narendra Modi do not want to take such a drastic action.
Apart from abundant water which is needed by India, there are few resources Nepal has which India as a much larger country does not have. The only thing is Nepal is geopolitically strategic, specially after the quick and steady economic rise of China. Nepal is placed in such a point that, it is easy for India and others to penetrate China from Nepalese soil. The United States and its Western allies fully agree to this argument and they are also ready to exploit Nepal and the poor Nepalis just to disturb China, which has become a huge threat for them not only economically, but also militarily. India has lost all its wars with China and with China helping Pakistan, it considers China as its biggest enemy. Of course Pakistan is also a huge enemy, with whom the bitter feelings have spilled over to even the sporting grounds.
With Nepal, India does not have such enormous problems, as Nepali political leaders, top media personalities, bureaucrats and civil society leaders are controlled by the Indians. That is where America has slyly come in and replaced the then USSR as India’s “best friend”. That is also why it is trying to force Nepal to join hands with Indo-American alliance, just to provoke China.
America and other rich Western nations have other interests too, besides taunting China and slowing its economic growth. This writer was told by Chinese officials that China would be the biggest economy of the world by 2020, and this was a prediction they made almost 20 years ago. China has risen to become the second largest economy of the world after America, but if trouble persists in region like Central Asia and also Nepal along with its borders with many countries, then it will be difficult for the Chinese to fulfill their ambitious target. From trying to thrust down the throats of people from different nations only idealistic dreams like democracy where there is rampant corruption, free media which tells lies woven by Westerners, human rights transparency and a just civil society among others, these rich nations are only trying to change the demography of many nations and create turmoil while stealing their natural resources and oil like in the Middle East. If the Western powers really wanted democracy to be established, press freedom and human rights to be strengthened and other ideologies to be put into practice sincerely, then that would have happened a long time back. Now, as always, the talk is of only protests and even threats of war, all in the name of ensuring the peoples’ rights. People have been made shields in the name of their rights but actually in the interests of the foreign powers, rich European nations and their stooges in different nations. For example the two nations in Africa, Sudan and Ethiopia, just two among many other nations, are seeing untold of conflict even among government forces. But who says anything truthful about such incidents, not even the United Nations, forget the controlled “free media”.
Now to come back to Nepal and India relations, it has been seen recent Indian politicians have not been so cruel and ham handed as their predecessors. Prime ministers like Vajpayee and Modi have been pretty good.
But, and this is a huge, huge “But”. There is a very strong government machinery in India, which is all out to destroy Nepal and they keep on planning on what they could do next. They have put paralyzing sanctions against a small and landlocked country like Nepal, they have treated individuals who were declared as terrorists, they have stopped the supply of petroleum products and they have poked their noses in the nitty-gritty affairs of Nepal’s internal affairs. And mind you, no matter in what sugary terms the political leaders speak. They can do absolutely nothing for Nepal in these matters.
Otherwise, Nepal and India share good relations. The borders are open and anyone can travel from here to there even just to pick up rations or deliver goods, there is a strong religious bonding between the peoples and Nepalese go on long pilgrimages to different holy sites in India and Indians come to offer “puja” at different temples in Nepal. They share many similarities in culture and there are matrimonial events between Nepalis and Indians, specially along the border areas and among the rich Nepalis who further want to expand business besides getting their sons or daughters getting married. At the lower level still an important aspect in influencing Nepalese, the majority of Nepalese cannot do with Indian shows on TV or cinema halls, specially women.
So sitting down here and discussing what changes could come about if a person is re-elected or even if a new person is elected as Prime Minister, nothing big will happen no matter how sweet tones these individuals may spout, as long as the covert government machinery is at work in spoiling the environment in other countries for their own interests. Also, our “free media” who cannot utter word when five people are killed within the complex of Indian Embassy here, the political leaders who go to New Delhi for small guidance just to stay in power or get to power, civil society leaders who preach idealistic things to innocent Nepali people while amassing wealth in foreign banks for their work dedicated to foreigners, it is worthless to hear what our so called “experts” or international relations know alls tell us what they think. Just Nepal grow and evolve itself, don’t interfere in its internal affairs in the name of different slogans. Rhetoric is something which is meant for hearing out of politeness or if you are a strong supporter of one party or the other, but when our own path finders are following the orders of foreigners, the scenario becomes bleaker and bleaker for a country like Nepal, Modi or no Modi.