by Brig Arun Bajpai

A few years back when Nepal was shattered by a terrible Earth quake , It was India which send relief to Nepal first and it was Indian engineers who were busy rebuilding Nepal , only the other day more than 10 lakh vaccines doses against COVID-19 pandemic were sent to Nepal free of cost by India , However this thank less country takes all these good gestures from India in stride , demands more and then goes around blaming India for border dispute of Kalapani already settled in 1817, issuing a map depicting this Indian area in Nepal and its erstwhile OLI communist Government says this Corona came to Nepal from India. Needless to say, India now must put a stop to all this nonsense.

Yes, it is true that India and Nepal had no problems till Nepal had Monarchy come democratic Government. Problems started with Nepal when the Communist Governments of Prachanda followed by Oli came in power. These Communists of Nepal wants to sit on the lap of communist China at the same time ordering India around to provide various things and facilities. Surly both cannot go together. Ethnically, culturally even geographically India and Nepal are much more closure to each other then China. Calcutta port from land locked Nepal is just 850 km away while the nearest Chinese port is 2750 km away. Towards India Nepal has 27 points of entry while towards China just two. Problem lies in India’s security issue. There was a comprehensive treaty between India and Nepal in 1950 in which it was decided apart from other things that Nepal will buy all its security related items from India and those items it is buying from other sources it will inform India. This was a very reasonable treaty and should have been abided by Nepal. But No, in 1961 it also inked a treaty with China. So far so good. In Nov 1989 then Chinese PM visited Nepal where arms agreement also took place and then Nepal started buying weapons from China. Surely this was violative of Nepal treaty with India of 1950 and India did not like it and opposed it. When Nepal was not ready to listen then India imposed blockade on Nepal. Nepal said it is a sovereign country and free to do what it feels like. OK then India said it is also a sovereign country and can stop any or all entry points of Nepal into India.

Truth is that this problem was resolved and things were all ok till communist Government came in Nepal. They want to order around India for various help but want to sit in the lap of communist China inciting popular opinion against India. For Aam Nepali, Pakistanis are good people while India is expansionist power. The communist Government of Nepal incites the population of Nepal on nationalism and other issues against India. Truth is that the Tarai people of Nepal known as Madheshis, who contribute 60% of all produce of Nepal are akin to people of UP and Bihar. Needless to say, India who is having Roti-Beti relations with these Madhesis stand by them on so many issues. This is not liked by the Hill people of Nepal. In 2015 when Nepali constitution was made, the Hill people of Nepal wanted to divide Madheshis which India resisted. Nepal said India was interfering into Constitution making of Nepal but till date there is no proof. Recently before Nepal PM Oli sahib pulled down the Nepali Communist Govt Indian Army Chief, RAW Chief, Indian Foreign Secretary all visited Nepal so the people of Nepal said India is micro managing Nepal. We can also not forget that in 1962 War with China, Nepal remained neutral and when Ladakh incursion by China was at peak with both Indian and Chinese Army on eye ball to eye ball confrontation, Oli Sahib the PM of Nepal brought on already settled dispute of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpidhura again, getting the new map passed by the Nepali Parliament and throwing it on the face of India.

All said and done time has come for India to recalibrate its policy towards Nepal. Why do we allow so many Nepalis to roam about length and breath of India taking jobs here and there? We must now enforce proper passport and Visa on these people before they take any job in India. Similarly, about 25000 Gorkha troops are still serving Indian army why? we have our own Darjeeling based Gorkhas and other communities who can take over this job? Why have mercenaries in Indian Army? In any case these Gorkhas are not the same as earlier Gorkhas. Enough of Ayo Gorkhali. Then we must stand firmly with Madheshis if necessary, break Nepal with Madheshi areas coming to Indian Fold. We should also not forget that China is laying railway lines to Nepal connecting Pokhral and Lumbani in Nepal from China. China is charging all the money from Nepal in other words Nepal is landing in Debt Trap. So what use is now Nepal to India? if Nepal wants to sit in Chinese lap so be it.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same