The relationship between India and Nepal is unique. They are both independent sovereign countries, and their relationship is based on diplomatic and political levels, and especially on the level of their people.
Obviously, there is a close geographical proximity. Nepal sits on the southern slope of the Himalayas and Nepal’s rivers start there and flow towards India. The two countries are also closely linked in industry and trade.
Nepal is sandwiched between the Tibetan autonomous region of the People’s Republic China in the north and the Republic of India in the south, east and west.
On religion, Nepal is the Hindu kingdom that has equal respect for all religions, traditions and cultures.
Although Nepal sees its neighbours as friends, it often feels dominated by India. The reasons for this are many. Nepal’s governments often do not relate well to their other friends in the world. Even NGOs, Journalists, Civil Societies and community Development Organizations do not express their thoughts openly and freely. There are many reasons for this also. This often places Nepal in a weak and fragile position and it is often exploited ruthlessly. An example of this is that Nepal is subject to movocratic rules, and is carried along with extreme conflicts and terrorism, and now the Indian BSF is constructing a road within the Susta area of central Nepal. They have taken Nepal’s water resources and many other things while Nepal has otherwise been occupied by internal a road is being constructed by political and administrative situations.
Nepal’s Territorial issues
The peace and amity treaty of 1950 proposes an open borders system between Nepal and India. The open border allows citizens to travel between the countries without a visa or any record, in spite of the problems that causes. India does not want to resolve this problem. They want to maintain this open border even at cost to itself. This is a vested and vile interest for India and it is a big problem for Nepal.
Indian criminals, such as smugglers, embezzlers and dacoits frequently break Nepal’s laws and create turmoil. They take shelter in the border areas and undertake theft, robbery, killing, and looting in Nepal.
It appears the BSF gives security to the criminals, who freely carry out their activities and give trouble to Nepalis. In 2005, there was a month-long mass rape in several of Nepal’s VDCs, including Biratnagar Municipality.
The BSF-built border road has turned Nepal’s border area into a dwelling place for those Indian criminals so nor Nepalis don’t want to live near the border areas.
Nepal’s land thus becomes easy to encroach upon. Indian citizens, construction houses in the No Man’s Land and undertake their agricultural activities. They steal domestic animals, smuggle timber and wild animals, rob personal property, and misbehave with Nepali women.
The open border is one of the main causes of the destruction of forest, firewood, and the smuggling of natural resources such as timber, herbs, rare animal, and birds.
There is much more.
Border encroachment is a big problem everywhere that India connects with Nepal. The worst are recorded in 85 places across 21 districts.
Indians move or break pillars, and they smash, ruin, generally transgress and encroach into Nepal’s settlements.
Border pillars are the guardians of Nepal’s national integrity, the physical evidence of our frontier. Those border pillars were constructed in the presence of both countries but are destroyed unilaterally and secretly. Rivers change their courses occasionally and create problems, but pillars are free from this problem. No change of these signs should be made unilaterally.
The Indian Government has even built a consulate and a customs office in No Man’s Land. India erects artificial pillars, to create additional No-Man’s Land in several places inside Nepal.
Land along the large and long rivers such as Koshi, Gandaki, Karnali, Mahakali, which begin in the Himalayas, is logged by the central government of India. India protects its property, people, land, and settlements in its territory by building afflux bunds along these rivers. India does not consult Nepal when it builds these structures, beut they cause Nepali areas to flood and become water logged. A lot of Nepali property is ravaged. When India does not construct these afflux bunds, the water flows freely and naturally and Nepal does not become flooded.
Some rivers emerge from the Mahabharat Mountains of Nepal and enter India after passing through the Terai region of Nepal. These are dammed by the state governments of India. They irrigate Indian farms after constructing dams near the border of Nepal on the Indian side.
Other rivers originating from the Chure hills with sufficient water during monsoons are taped by the local/district committee, Gaun Panchayast, consumers of India. This activity also swamps Nepal while irrigating India.
River erosion is a big problem caused by Indian activity. For example, the Bagmati dam alone affects 37 VDC/Municipalities. There are also hundreds of cases in the southern border areas.
Water logging changes Nepal’s settlement areas and agricultural lands into sandy banks. Nepali people are forced to leave and become refugees, losing their homes and villages. Many people and domestic animals die, and food grains become useless. Nepalis living in border areas have a miserable life during monsoon.
The Nepali territory prior to the Sugauli Treaty (the border problem of greater Nepal) had to be returned to Nepal. Because of the Sugauli Treaty of 1815/16, Nepal had to condense its larger territory to a smaller one. It was extended up to Tista River on the East, to Kangara across Sutlej River in the west, to the confluence of Ganga and Jumuna River in the south, touching the present day Bangladesh in the east.
The area of the Bishal Nepal is reduced from 2, 04,917 to 1, 47,141 square kilometers. In the 1950 treaty of friendship, India promised to return 57,776 sq. km. to Nepal. They have not done so.
Nepal contributed a lot in the World Wars to make the English an empire. However, the British constantly betrayed Nepali people. They sliced a greater part of Nepal and annexed it to India. They also insincerely and treacherously departed without returning Nepali land to Nepal. The Sugauli Treaty of the time of the British is the only base for determining border which the 1950 treaties with India and Britain cancelled all prior agreements including Sugauly Treaty. It means Nepal has right to occupy all areas before Sugauli treaty. It is not a begging but a legal right, if an understanding is made between the three countries, the real Nepal before Sugauli Treaty, is the real Nepal. As soon India knew the practices of Four Finger Theory. It absorbed Sikkim against the norms and values of treaty, agreement, Act, morality and good neighborhood.
It is necessary to reanalyze and interpret the Sugauli Treaty of 1815 ratified in 1816 and 1950’s Amity Treaty to return Nepal’s territory from India.
The proposal of the restoration of greater Nepal is neither new nor unusual nor against international laws, treaties and agreements. The undecided question of greater Nepal is necessary to analyze and identify the absurdities created by the open borders already documented above.
India wants to keep its neighbours under its influence to show it is a powerful nation. India also wants to keep Nepal under its military nexus and defence strategy. It is better for Nepal to protect itself and formulate its own defence strategy.
Like Nepal, India is the unification of dozens of small free and independent kingdoms and principalities. The British founded greater India by integrating them all. India is highly indebted to the British. British-India frequently waged war in an attempt to absorb Nepal. they failed every time. After the British left India, it did not stop its colonial activities. Consequently, Goa, Daman, Dyuk, Hydrabad, Zammu, Kasmir and Sikkim were annexed by India. Fortunately, Bangladesh became an independent nation. Bhutan has been semi-colonized. India still has a colonial trend, and views Nepal as another area to take for itself.
India treats Nepal as its handmaiden and wants to tame Nepal by imposing unilateral blockades. Nepal must maintain its right to be sovereign and free.
Nepal wants to keep both India and China at equal arms-length, and to treat both countries equally. India’s attitude is that it wants a special proximity, in its own favour.
Bhutan, an independent, sovereign and monarchical country demanded their democratic rights, but had to tolerate subjugation, oppression, exploitation and torture. When the Bhutanese Nepali found their lives in risk, they entered India for political refuge. However, India drove them towards Nepal in trucks. India drove two lakh Bhutanese refuges into Nepal, doing injustice to Nepal and also to the Bhutanese refuges.
India learned the art of colonization from Britain and uses the same techniques.
India brings cheap literature and films to Nepal that corrupt the habits of people, degrade morality and displace its culture.
India wants to create relief from its overpopulation by moving its citizens to other SAARC countries. India sees an opportunity to send the homeless poor, illiterate and beggars to its neighbors. When there is no place to transfer Indian population, India erects electric barbed wire fences on its borders.
India dishonours the sovereignty of Nepal and imposes decisions on Nepal. It acts unilaterally in many cases, as described earlier.
When Nepal wanted to implement work permits, India prevented that.
Mechi and Mahakali people were prevented from having places for their last rites and for pilgrimage. India has created turmoil all around the borders. India doesn’t care about the self-respect of Nepali people.
The issue of Interference
Nepal was subjected to incessant interference by India after the 1950’s amity treaty between the two countries. Nepalis must secure their own economic and social prosperity, make their own plans and decisions themselves and preserve their sovereignty.
India blocked the border twice in the past. A political change was imposed into Nepal. The agreement made on the 10th June of 1990, interim government grabs economic, employment powers. An assault on Chinese technician in 1998, and the Baneshwor episode illustrate the direct interferences of India in Nepal.
2. Nepal intends to establish its own distinct identity by thriving national integrity and prosperity. On the contrary, India wants to assimilate Nepal in its rituals and culture. In this way, it puts many obstacles to deprive Nepal from being united.
3. Nepal wants to prosper its democratic culture. But India remains remission to it. That democratic system of India is to keep Nepal under its grip. For India, Bhutan is a democratic country having human rights and freedom of press (where no private press is r registered) while Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan has not, because India says so.
4. Nepal believes that the responsibility of a country with seaport facility is to provide landlocked country with easy access to the nearest seacoast. Unfortunately, India stands against it.
5. Nepal wants to trade the needed arms and ammunitions as other miscellaneous objects. But India expresses repugnance against this strategy.
6. Nepal is the country having various castes, complexions, religions and cultures. The amalgamation of all has constructed the Nepali nationality under the aegis of crown. Nepal is happy under its own condition but India is trying to give rise of communal tension by instigating the people of different regions and ethnic groups.
7.India shows its domineering behaviour to all its immediate neighbouring countries. For instance, during the informal visit of the Chief of Indian Army Shree Bipinchandra Joshi to Bangladesh, two aircrafts of Indian army had illegally and forcibly entered in the Lal Munighat area of Bangladesh.23 Likewise, Indian army had also forcibly entered in Sri Lanka and Maldives, and not to mention about Sikkim.
Political Game Plan Against Interference
1. RAW has taken its roots in Nepal by taking advantage of open border. The activity of this organization can be seen in Nepali politics and administration. Nepal’s political leaders think that they cannot reach power without the support the RAW. Because of open border, Indians freely enter Nepal and acquire citizenship. This situation will result in minority of Nepali people in near future. While Sitaram Yachury/other Indian nationals were welcome as the head of the nation in Nepal’s decade old non-elected parliament in April 2006, at the same time the so-called SPA had prohibited the MPs of the same category to inter the parliament because India said so. So was done by Mr.Chandra Shekhar and Swami Subrmandyam in the 1990 political change.
2. India citizens in some cases should take prior permission to move from one state to another. However, Indian police and army men in uniform and armaments forcibly enter Nepal, violating the norms of a sovereign nation.
3.Bullying and harassing are being done everywhere. The buffalo entering into the pond by breaking the peace of freely swimming frogs does not realize how risky it is for them to preserve their lives from its intrusion. Does the buffalo know how many frogs are trapped, and crushed? Whenever the frogs raise their voices for their fundamental rights and security at their disposal,” might is right” principle will be applied against them.
4. On 1976, Nepal proposed to declare it as the peace zone nation having seven responsibilities and approving by 116 countries of the world, India’s disapproval till now signifies that India does not want to free Nepal from its defence policy. Nepal is under total influence of India after the restoration of multi party democracy. The more a country has influence of another country, the further its basic right, independence and democracy wane.
5.India intends a conspiracy to keep Nepal under its control in terms of trade and military influence.24
Interference on Economics
1. Nepal takes trade and transit as two different entities. Transit is a fundamental right of Nepal, whereas trade depends on bilateral understanding. When India denied agreeing on two treaties, Nepal decided to sign only the transit treaty. Again, after seven years in 2001 and 2006, Nepal was forced to merge the two different treaties into one. It also forced Nepal to include the issues of defence and water-resource unnecessarily.
India brings low quality products to the Nepali market. Indians prevent Nepali products from entering India, creating a trade deficit. Nepal wants quality products from world markets. Nepal does not want to be part of India’s self-vested protection strategy. Nepal must end the Indian monopoly.
Penetration of Indian citizens in Nepal is very high. India wants to freely allow its millions low level population into Nepal, encumbering its neighbour. In 1961, 3, 24,159 Indians were living in Nepal. Twenty years later, in 1980, that population reached to 38,00,000. 23, 87,973 already received Nepali citizenship. Indians will soon be a majority in the parliament if Nepal does not take action. Nepalis are being displaced from their own country. India’s strategy and long-term vision is to keep Nepal destitute.
In a number of cases, Nepal tried to start projects through global tenders, but India caused delays for more than a decade. And Indian smuggling and black market has been a great hindrance to Nepal’s economic prosperity.
Interference on Natural resources
1. Nepal has the largest water-resource in Asia and second largest in the world. Nepal sources more than 6000 rivers. Nepal must nirture this resource permanently as its treasure. India wants to take the water resources for itself.
In another 50 years, India’s problems relating to energy and foods will worsen. India must increase its food grain capacity from 1633 hundred thousand tons to 3750 hundred thousand tons. For that, it needs irrigation. Only Nepal’s water resource can fulfill their need. India and Nepal must come to an arrangement that serves both countries.
Smash and Grab
India should stop trying to make Nepal dependent on India by imposing conditions on Nepal. Other countries can do it, so Nepal could exist on its own. As one example, Israel is a small country, surrounded on all sides by enemies. It has been successful in living with dignity. Maldives does not promote tourism but still it has found a way to survive. Japan developed well with few natural resources or fertile land. Nepal could be a prosperous country if it took control of its own destiny.
Indian goods are often imported into Nepal but evading customs tax in the border areas.
Nepal could be free from India’s economic trap by adopting most favored trade policy. Nepal can use Chitgaon, Honkong and Karachi seaports by connecting underground road to Bangladesh and Tibet railroad. It could supply cheap hydroelectricity to its neighbours making the Chitgaoun seaport simple and effective.
India hinders Nepal’s Economy. India’s Kankai high dam caused the Karnali hydro project, Sikta project, Arun three, West Seti, Budhi Gandaki projects all to fail. If these Nepali projects were completed, there would have been no shortage of electricity over the past two decades, and Nepal’s economic standards would have doubled.
India’s monopoly market has ruined Nepali industries. Nepalis are prevented from consuming quality products at moderate prices and of dealing with competitive business in the world market. This results in the poverty of Nepal.
Weaknesses of Nepal: the Dorjian Attitudes
Nepali leaders suffer from poor mentality, believing their power comes from India. They have ignored the interference of India in Nepal’s economy, nationality and territory as if a python is swallowing its prey.
His Majesty’s Government of Nepal never showed its firm stand for the preservation of the nation. It also failed to study the border area and handle the resulting problems.
Vested interests rate more highly than the national interest with political parties. Fractions in parties, political instability, political liquidity and conflicts are often due to Indian interests. The roles exposed in 1st April 1990 by S.K. Singh and on April 20, 2006 by Shyam Saran are glaring examples of interference by South Block.
Nepali bureaucrats and political leaders must learn nationalism from Indians rather than blindly following them.
Nepal, the country of Buddha, could be a peace centre. India should compensate Nepal’s flood-affected areas that it caused. India should also stop further negative actions against Nepal. RAW must stop acting against the interest of Nepal. India must have a change in attitude to stop dividing Nepalis into places, castes, languages, gender, religion and property by using every trick through ‘RAW’.
Nepalese people should unite in the matter of nationality.
Edit of original story By Dr. Shastra Pant.