Nepal promulgated a constitution from the Second Constituent Assembly on September 20, 2015. The constitution brought both happiness and worrisome to the people. Kathmandu people were celebrating fireworks, but people away from Kathmandu valley and specially Madhesh was boycotting the constitution and did blackout as a sign of disagreement on the constitution. Regional political parties of Tarai begin to agitate against the constitution stating that the constitution failed to incorporate the demand of marginalized, backward, and deprived communities. The possible challenges of the promulgating constitution without consensus from every sphere of people were already notified and even best pressed by India to Nepal government. But the initiatives of India by sending a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continuous demand and protest of marginalized, backward, and deprived communities, specially Madhesi communities were neglected. As a result, Madhesi based political parties and Madhesi communities protested and created a complete blockade in major Nepal – India border and custom check posts. , and as a result, Nepal faced a complete economic blockade for more than two months. The economic blockade hit every sphere of life in Nepal and especially in the city area. No sectors remained unharmed, including education, health, and security, due to the economic blockade. K.P Oli became the Prime Minister of the coalition government, majorly backed by UCPN Maoist. The government did its best to facilitate the problem raised by an economic blockade, and among them, initiation with China for trade remained the top interest. The best possible initiation of Nepal government to bring essential goods including petroleum products from China was not materialized although China donated donate 1,300,000 L of fuel. The Nepal government could not raise the issue formally in an international forum. Most importantly, no international communities, which has a louder voice like the UN, the US, China, EU, raised formally concerned with India on the matter. It surprises the general understanding, but to under understand or get an answer to the concern, we much understand the geopolitics and international relations of India with the major power of the world.</p>
Nepal and India have deep and dynamic relations in all spheres; political, economic, and socio-cultural, since a long time back. India has always been playing a pivotal role in the major political changes in Nepal. India was the major forces to end the Rana regime and begin democracy in Nepal in the 1950s. Nepal and India signed a treaty of Peace and friendship and Treaty of trade and commerce on July 31, 1950, between Nepal and India. Till 1955; India directly influenced foreign and other political affairs of Nepal. King Mahendra initiated to diversified Nepal’s foreign policy from India’s dependence after he took office in 1955 and as a result treaty of peace and friendship was signed with China in 1960. King Birendra, the successor of King Mahendra, also tried to maintain his father’s legacy by declaring Nepal as Zone of Peace (ZoP) in 1975. Pakistan and China endorsed the proposal, but 70 other countries endorsed the proposal in the ground that its neighbors, indicating India, should accept. India never supported the proposal and always opposed it. India believed that the proposal of ZoP was similar to Pakistan’s proposal of declaring South Asia as the nuclear-weapon-free zone. The proposal of ZoP of Nepal fell into disuse after 1990. The radical change in the politics and power structure of Nepal got turned from the time when Pakistan and Nepal proposed China as the observer in the SAARC summit in 2005. The US was globally fighting against terrorist groups since September 11, 2001, attack and Maoist of Nepal were also listed under terrorist list on 2003. The US was supporting the then Royal Nepalese Army with both arms and training to fight against Maoist. The US was in a plan to end the Maoist revolution by force, and for the same, it was assisting and supporting the security agencies of Nepal, most importantly Nepal Army. In another round, China has a trustful ally with Monarchy. India did not entertain the direct intervention of the US and China in the sphere of its influence. Thus, India solely moved the political uprising in Nepal and the settlement of the conflict based on its interest. In the process, Maoist was brought into the political mainstream with 12 points agreement, and the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and Monarchy were abolished, which was against the interest of both the US and China respectively. It seems surprised to the general sense that why these two world power did remain silent, although their interest was not entertained? But here it seems that both the powers were leaving their interest for the sake of sustaining the larger interests. The larger interest of China is the Tibet issue, and market expansion and India has already recognized the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as part of China in 2003. Similarly, China and India are cooperating in many large-scale economic activities and India has become a fertile market for China. Currently, India and the US are in a tight tie after decades of ups and downs relations. India is the major ally of the US in South Asia, and for its sustenance, Barak Obama backed India for the permanent seat in the UN security council in November 2010. Similarly, there was the initiation of the US – India strategic dialogue since 2010. Barak Obama is the first President of the USA to be the chief guest of India’s republic day (66th Republic day).
Thus, the silence of both the powers, the US, and China depict that they have recognized Southern Himalayas as India’s sphere of influence unless their larger interest is accommodated. The above historical incidence shows that India is not only emerging power in South Asia but also in Asia and the world. Thus, Nepal being holding the long history of relations at a multi-dimensional approach with India, it’s better for her to maintain a cordial connection with India than searching other options, at this juncture. The relation with India here means the relationship where both the parties have a win-win situation, and the sovereignty, dignity, and integrity of Nepal is respected.
*Pic copied from online