India and Nepal are two brothers living together since centuries. The significance of the relation can be understood by the fact that they also use the word “Bharat Varsh” in their Pledge.
Nepal was not democratic earlier and it was Hindu Rastra as almost the entire population was of Hindus. After the assassination and death of almost all family members of Monarchy, Gyanendra was left who became highly unpopular and people blamed him that he is the reason behind death of all members and that’s the reason demand for Democratic Set Up increased and Monarchy ended with Gyanendra as the last Monarch.
As the Monarch ended, the concept of Hindu Rastra also ended with that and brainstorming on setting up Democratic Constitution started. There are many questions on which Nepal seek answer from Thinkers. This Transformation from Monarch to Democratic Nation led to certain bitterness and this article will explain that.
To understand India – Nepal relations we need to understand the Geography of India – Nepal. Nepal in West touches Uttarakhand, in South touches Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, In East it touches West Bengal and In North it has mighty Himalayas and Tibet partially connected. Geography itself binds India and Nepal very close because Nepal from three sides connected to India and from one side Himalayas and Tibet.
Nepal has 75 districts in total and out of which 23 districts are in Terai region. I am specific about Terai region because it is very close to Indian borders and 48.5% of Population with 330 people per Sq KM live here but the land is only 23% of total Nepal as nation. People who live here are known as “Madheshi”. Madheshi means people who are Indian by birth or of Indian origin which comprises Hindus and Muslims too. Rest of 77% of land are Hilly region close to Himalayas which have rest 51.5% of population (Population which comprises of Nepalese Hindu).
I explained this in order to make you understand that when Constitution of Nepal and Democratic setup was being formed then this question had arised, specially from Madheshi that Divide the constituency based on population not by Area so that equal representation of people is done. This demand triggered the tension in Nepal. It is because Nepal politics is dominated by Nepalese Congress and different Maoist Party. Both these Party have Political Leaders from Hilly region and of Nepalese Origin. They don’t want their dominance to be lost. This leads to the tension between Madheshi and Nepalese politicians resulting into devastating outcomes like 6 months of blockade by Madheshi which put India – Nepal relation on Edge.
This blockade is also not simple, Geo Politic happened in this blockade to push India to corner. India didn’t want the Blockade but Chinese bribed some major Madheshi leaders and motivated them to do the blockade and blackmail Nepal Government in order to accomplish their demand. India failed to counter it and it resulted into blockade showing India into bad light because Madheshi is known as Indian and hence Nepalese people got of a view that India did it.
There are more factors which led to Anti India sentiments among Nepalese. There are majorly 9 FMCG Companies in Nepal which control Nepalese Market and sell daily usage products and so Nepalese are dependent on Indian owned companies. Imagine the situation that if it happened so in India that all FMCG companies is of Chinese origin then how you will feel? Any “price fluctuation” leads to increase in anti-India sentiment. Nepal is gradually feeling the heat of over dependence on India.
The other big factor resulting in bitterness between India-Nepal is the dam which is constructed by India to save Bihar from floods.
In the time when water gets in devastating mood then India closed the gates of Dam to save Bihar resulting into drowning of Nepal. Many districts of Nepal got submerged resulting into loss of Animals, properties and death of people. When those areas gets submerged then India opens the Gates, so whatever flood you see in Bihar is just after Nepal gets drowned. If India wants relation with Nepal to be good then the most important work is to create many big canals so that water gets diverted and irrigate the fields of Nepal, Bihar and UP. If India and Nepal jointly didn’t build Canal then this problem is not going to resolve. If this problem persists then you can imagine why Nepal gets angry over India?
Among these factors, Nepal Earthquake did the work of petrol on fire. India did fabulous work to rescue Nepal but Indian Media disturbed the whole work as they cash on devastation in such a shameless way that Nepalese went furious on Indian Media and even banned them in many places resulting into huge tension and it came to such point that Nepal asked India not to help. No nation will accept mockery of them and projection by Indian media that India is the only Nation which is helping them.
Demographic Change is also resulting into India-Nepal bitterness. As Nepal is now in the eyes of USA and European Union to counter China, Christianity drive is also happening in Hilly areas. Nepalese are under money attack and many are converting into Christianity in hilly areas. On the other hand, Maoist Party is supporting Islamic insurgency in Terai region. So if you see closely, Christianity is coming in Hilly region, Islam is coming in Terai region. 3 Districts out of 23, as I mentioned in Terai region is now Muslim dominated. This is a clear picture of what Hindus have to face in future in Nepal.
The biggest problem here is not Christian or Muslim but its Hindus only. No Hindus did these kind of Investment or population transfer. There are many Hindu Places in Nepal, Monasteries of Rishi Ved Vyasa and Many Shiva Temples are there in Nepal but how many Hindus are investing there to maintain it? Why Buddhist Monastery in Bodh Gaya get funds from Japan, Korea and China but at the same time why India didn’t invest and fund Hindu Temples across globe specially Nepal is a question to ask?
Now, you will see Political Factors in Nepal. Nepalese Congress is historically Pro India and Maoists are Pro China. As Elections are around the corner, for the first time Nepalese Congress are highly unpopular under current Prime Minister and it is said that 3-4 Maoist Party joining their hands this time to win Nepalese Election. China is also closely monitoring this election and want Maoist Party to rule. You can imagine the circumstances with a fact that Chinese are even funding Hindu Temples and Priests and India is doing nothing to counter that. As per current situation it is high probability that Maoists Party will rule now and it will be bad for India.
India Nepal Relation is also disturbed by Chinese Money and Technology. Today Indian Bureaucracy is so unpopular that when India takes tender to build something in Nepal, it takes them 4-5 Years to build it and that too of comparative low quality because of corruption in the investment channel where as China did the same kind of work in 6-7 months. Now let me know why Nepal will favour India in Infrastructure development. It is not that India didn’t have that 3D Printing Real Estate Technology, but India is failing to use that in sincere manner and Indian builders don’t have that scale and monetary Back up which Chinese firm have.
Thus if you read this till end and understand the problem then you will find solutions too and one of the big solutions are people to people engagement. Indians need to visit Nepal and take care of Nepalese friends who come here for study or employment. Indian Government must invest to spread Hinduism in Nepal and also in infrastructure like canals and roads. Currently Nepal PM is in Indian visit and all of this was on table for discussion. I wish India – Nepal all the best for their relations as we both are brothers from same mother of Civilisation.