KATHMANDU, Aug 6: The bilateral relationship between Nepal and India is not as positive as it should be and China is also not happy with Nepal’s political and constitutional system, argued Political Analyst Dr. Arun Kumar Subedi.
Nepal and India share close linguistic, marital, religious, and, cultural ties, at people to people level. However, a number of political issues including border disputes have soured the bilateral relationship between the two neighbors since late 2015.
“Since late 2015, some of the political forces of Nepal, in order to counter the Indian reservation over the promulgation, invoked the anti-Indian rhetoric among the people which only worsened the diplomatic relation,” said Subedi during a television interview Janata Janna Chahanchan.
Especially, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli share a patchy relation with the southern neighbor—Oli remained a strong vocal critic of India criticizing its hegemonic interference after the undeclared economic blockade led to a humanitarian crisis in Nepal.
“Both India and Nepal are obliged to address each other but they do not have a relationship of trust,” said Subedi.
According to Subedi, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) clearly wants Nepal reinstated as a Hindu state.
“It is clearly understood that India wants a change in the constitutional status,” he added.
“They want Nepal to remain as a hub of Hindus and Buddhists. But we lost the opportunity in the name of progressivism.”
“Not only India but also China is not satisfied with the constitutional and political system Nepal especially federalism and secularism.”
“When Nepal took the petition to China during the undeclared blockade, China said it would consult with India first. Also, when Nepal was declared a federal state, China expressed reservation over the cultural intrusion in the border area.”
“Moreover, why has not the province got state police yet? It is because of the pressure from the two neighbors.”
He also opined that the upcoming visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is a positive sign.
Jaishankar had last visited Nepal in September 2015 as a special envoy of Indian PM Modi at the eleventh hour before the then constituent assembly overwhelmingly endorsed the new constitution. He had advised the senior Nepali political leaders to derail the promulgation but his advice was outright rejected by the leaders.
His appointment as India’s external affairs minister–after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Shabha Election—clearly reminded Nepal of the bitter experience four years ago.
“But Jaishankar’s Nepal’s visit is a positive sign that Nepal-India diplomatic tie is not worse. It is a sign that India does not intend to isolate Nepal like Pakistan.”
Jaishankar is scheduled to visit Nepal in the third week of August to participate in the fifth meeting of the ministerial-level Nepal-India Joint Commission.
Subedi was of the view that there are possibilities of the revival of the kingdom in Nepal.
“The monarchy was not overthrown by the people neither it was the agenda of people. Did the political leaders call for a referendum? There is widespread discontent among people with the current political structure. It cannot be said that the kingdom will not be revived again.”