All the neighbours except one Bangladesh now have bad relations with India. In the midst of all this, China is now preparing for war with India in Ladakh. In Ladakh in particular, tensions are running high along the Line of Actual Control. There have also been allegations that China has infiltrated Indian territory there. Beijing has also been accused of violating India’s territorial waters and airspace. In Ladakh and North Sikkim, both countries have significantly increased their military and armaments.
Meanwhile, netizens are hawking more about India-Nepal tensions than about the Sino-Indian tensions on social media. At the state level, the dispute between India and Nepal over showing a disputed area on their maps has now been joined by several TV channels run by the Modi government, whose job is to remove nationalism from Pakistan, sometimes China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. Never spread poison against Nepal-Bhutan. And there is constant communal poisoning against the Muslims of one’s own country. Their latest agenda in Nepal, China is also coming on the scene.
Nepal has recently been embroiled in a diplomatic dispute with India over India’s initiative to build a bypass road to the Kailash Manas Sarobar in the Himalayas. Nepal’s cabinet has decided to include the disputed border area on its map. This is a manifestation of the recent dispute, although diplomatically they have been trying for a long time to resolve the 335 sq km disputed area.
The Kalapani area is theirs, the Nepalese are showing historical documents in support of this claim and the Indians are reminding them that the area has been under their control for decades instead of accepting it. Indians are getting more and more injured, how can Nepal get this courage! Because Nepal and India are two countries where their citizens do not need a passport-visa to go from one country to another, they can work freely. Even in the Indian army, Nepalis are working heroically. At a time when intimacy is at such a level, Nepal’s recent actions come as a surprise to Indians.
Nepal is a country inhabiting an area of one lakh 46 thousand 517 square kilometres in the Himalayas in the northeast of India. The number of people is about three crores. Surrounded by land, it is dependent on India, China and Bangladesh for foreign trade. As the port of Kolkata in India is a busy port, the port of Mongla in Nepal and Bangladesh is usually used for its import and export. And Syedpur Airport of Bangladesh is used for bringing and taking goods by air. As per the agreement with Bangladesh, Bangladesh has promised Nepal to expand the Syedpur port.
Although Nepal has a large Hindu population, Gautam Buddha was born in Nepal. Emperor Ashoka built a Buddhist monument in Lumbini, his birthplace, in 250 BC. There is a sanctity in the meaning of the name Nepal. ‘Ne’ means sacred and ‘Pal’ means cave. Several Neolithic elements found in the valley of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for almost nine thousand years. Nepal is a very ancient city. Nepal came under the Chalukya Empire of India in the late eleventh century. The Chalukya kings tried to establish Hinduism which caused the Buddhists to become a minority.
The Shah dynasty was established in Nepal in 17 AD. Prithvi Narayan Shah was its founder. He was a mighty Gorkha king. Then this country was occupied by the kings. We used to hear as children that there would be no other king in the world except the King of Cards and the King of Britain. However, after the Revolution of 18, the King of Britain also had to hand over all power to Parliament. He just owns the signature on the bill. If the British Parliament passes a bill on the death penalty for the king, he will have to sign that bill as well. It is also his job to issue the royal seal at the behest of Parliament.
However, in the end, the monarchy in Nepal also came to an end. Now a parliamentary democratic government exists. The two main parties are the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Communist Party of Nepal. They are coming and going in power. According to the diversity of topography, Nepal is divided into three parts – mountains, hilly plateaus and lowlands, which are called Terai. The hilly plateaus in the middle are more populated, the lower Terai are also populated. Lobasti is rare in the northern highlands. A canal has been cut adjacent to the Terai region which has been taken to Uttar Pradesh. And the water of the Himalayas is supplied to Central India through this canal.
At the time of India’s independence in 1947, there were three princely states in the northern part – Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. These states had a distinct independent existence. The English never included these kingdoms in their empire. At the time of independence, Bhutan and Sikkim handed over their foreign and defence agreements to India – maintaining their separate existence. King Tribhuvan of Nepal also wanted it. But the Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru forbade King Tribhuvan, which is why the situation in Nepal is not like Sikkim, Bhutan.
The importance of Sikkim increased after the Sino-Indian war in 1962. That is why the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, used various tricks to make Sikkim part of India. In the past, if you wanted to go to Nepal, you had to take a narrow road along the Chandragiri pass. In 1956, a joint Indo-Nepalese joint venture built a wide road from Roxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal. This is the main highway of communication with Kathmandu. A few years later, another highway was built from Lhasa in China to Kathmandu in Nepal in a joint venture between Nepal and China. Now these are the two main ways of communication with Nepal. Nepal has protected itself from threats by building two roads on both sides.
Rajiv Gandhi visited Nepal during his tenure as Prime Minister and visited the Pashupati Temple. Sonia Gandhi was also with him. The priests did not allow her to enter the temple on the pretext that Sonia Gandhi was a Christian. Rajiv Gandhi was insulted and imposed a blockade on Nepal in 1969. The blockade lasted six months. Narendra Modi also came to power for the first time and continued the undeclared blockade on Nepal. Long-term blockade. At the time of the reorganization of Nepal, India wanted to form a separate province with the lower plains of the Terai region. The Tarai region is inhabited by people of Indian descent. The Nepalese government did not comply with India’s request but divided the Tarai into three provinces. In this the people of Indian descent have lost the majority. Since then, there has been a psychological conflict in Nepal with the Narendra Modi government.
As mentioned earlier, relations between the two countries have suddenly deteriorated with the recent construction of roads on the Indian border with Nepal. Nepal strongly protested the construction of this road. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the road. Lipulekh is the name of a mountain pass in the Himalayas. The land south of this pass is called Kalapani. The area has military significance. During the Sino-Indian war of 1962, at the request of Nehru and Krishna Menon, Nepal allowed India to assemble troops. The rally was ongoing in Kalapani. Now India has built an 80 km long road to connect Kalapani with Lipulekh, so that people can easily cross Lipulekh to Kailash Manas Lake in Tibet. It used to take about five days to go there through Sikkim. India has not only built roads, but also included the Kalapani area in their new map last November.
After that, a storm broke out in the parliament of Nepal. The highway became heated. Meanwhile, on May 15, the Indian army chief added fuel to the fire by saying that China was behind the protests. The situation gets worse. Nepal claims the entire area as part of the Sugauli Treaty signed between Nepal and the East India Company in 1818. Nepal’s foreign minister has called the Indian ambassador to his office in Kathmandu to protest. India says India has not built any road on Nepal’s land. Although the British agreed, they took the area back to themselves.
Since taking over Sikkim, there has been an extreme distrust of India by its neighbours. So far China has not had any relations with Bhutan. After last year’s border dispute, Bhutan has now moved closer to China. India has moved away. India is not able to take advantage of grandeur in this region because of China.
I went to Kathmandu in 2001 to cover the royal massacre in Nepal and saw the people of Nepal as extremely anti-Indian. Nepalis also say that India was involved in the massacre, although there is no evidence of that. Anti-India is more or less prevalent among the people of Bangladesh. It was nearing the end of the Congress rule. The Narendra Modi government’s policy of violence against Muslims is fueling anti-India sentiment here again.
Due to the distrust of India’s neighbours towards India, no one but Bangladesh is his friend, but India has not given up the heroism of shooting Bangladeshis at the border for no reason. If India wants to grow, it should not perpetuate disputes with its neighbours. Even if the neighbour is a friend, India will not be able to rise far.