Tejendra G C
The identifying features of the Constitution of Nepal 2015 are: 1) Secularism 2) Federalism 3) Republicanism. Alliances made outside Nepal were instrumental in making it happen.
The backdrop of a 10 year long Maoist insurgency before the constitution was adopted, where destruction of Hindu temples and deities of different clans, abduction and torture of Hindus, looting of property and damage to public property had become so common and happening almost daily, must not be forgotten.
They did almost no harm to the Abrahamic institutions (Churches , Mosques) and people; New Delhi brokered the (in)famous twelve (12) point agreement between seven political parties and the Maoists , whereby the Western secular/federal agenda plus India’s internal agenda fulfilled their vested interests.
The common enemy for the Breaking Nepal Forces (BNF) was the Hindu Kingdom. Without toppling the monarchy their agenda would not be realized. The unnatural activities of Shyam Sharan, then India envoy to Nepal played no small part. The then British Ambassador to Nepal, Andrew Sparkes, in December 2014, wrote an open letter in an English Daily, to the Constituent Assembly member asking to ensure that the right to change one’s religion be protected and advocated for a loose citizenship provision in the name of Human Rights. These were some prominent examples of the machinations carried out at the time. The open letter drew criticism from the public and the Embassy was forced to clarify, by calling it an “unintended misunderstanding” .
The EU-Delhi alliance with support from USA succeeded in establishing the Abrahamic (Christian) agenda through the Constitution and abolished the Hindu Monarchy ,without the consent of the people of Nepal.
Delhi brokered both the 12 point agreement and the 2006 Aandolan that resulted from that agreement. It is to be noted that the masses did not have the agenda of the abolition of monarchy. It’ is worth noting that the main player, the Monarchy was kept out of the whole process. A conspiracy and a GAME of Lies played by India.
Nepal-China relations have remained gentle for many decades, and people have approved it and have always had a soft corner for China. This is because there are no visible instances where China has bullied or meddled in Nepal’s domestic affairs and nor has it encroached Nepali land. But now things have changed for geo-political reasons. China has significantly increased its influence in political and bureaucratic circles. Recently, the Chinese envoy to Nepal Hou Yanqi met with the political leaders and allegedly played a role in blocking the split of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). This drew wide criticism, since it showed a clear indication of growing Chinese interest/influence in the domestic affairs of Nepal.
China does not favor the NCP split because the sitting Prime Minister may then likely make an alliance with other parties and pass the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact, which China considers an adversary to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese investment has significantly increased; topping the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) pledges to Nepal for the last four consecutive fiscal years and now the USA is entering the scene with a $500 million dollar aid that is to be spent on road and electricity sector. The USA was only investing in software technology before and is now forced to invest on hardware to counter the BRI. If Nepali leadership fails to balance its position on time, the US-China geo-political fight in Nepal would cause unprecedented, non-conventional consequences.
The Education Policy (2019) has provisioned the formation of Madrasa Education Board but the provinces outdid the federal government and passed a bill on the formation of Madrasa Education Board bill in 2018 and made a provision that allows a Madrasa to seek financial support in gifts or grants from domestic or foreign organizations and individuals. It got widespread criticism and the government forwarded the bill to the Bill Committee of the Provincial Assembly for review and it is still with the committee. This particular provision is against the constitution. Majority of the Madrasas are in the Tarai region bordering with India and are focusing on teaching in Urdu and Arabic languages. Only 1/4 th of the Madrasas are registered with the authorities and are getting different government benefits. Despite frequent government calls and incentives 3/4 th of Madrasas are not registered. The funding comes from Arab countries. Experts opine that it poses a serious security threat to both Nepal and India.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power it was helpless because of the strong alliance of left liberals in Nepal. Mr. S Jaishankar, the then Foreign Secretary conveyed his disappointment to the Nepali leadership about the inadequate flexibility for broad based constitution. But it didn’t work simply because the Abrahamic lobby was strong and had deeply infiltrated the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. With a secular constitution Nepal, lost its great civilizational soft power.
It could potentially have been the centre of faith of nearly two (2) billion Hindu and Buddhist people because of PashupatiNath, MuktiNath, Lumbini (the birth place of Lord Buddha), among others.
It can still be a more powerful centre than Jerusalem and Mecca/Medina. This is why the Global Hinduphobic forces have invested billions of dollars to abolish the Hindu Kingdom and to establish the Secular state.
The Indian establishment is still failing to find a reliable partner in Nepal that can work in restoring a Sanatana Hindu State. When the Indian PM Narendra Modi addressed the Nepalese Parliament in August, 2014 calling Nepal a historic and close friend of India and said “since the day I entered the Prime Minister’s office, strengthening relationship with Nepal is one of the top priorities of my government”, he indicated direct relations at political leadership level rather than Nepal being micro-managed through bureaucracy and intelligence. It again did not work as his image was tarnished by a six month long undeclared embargo coupled with media coup in a very difficult time when Nepal was struggling hard to recover from 2015’s devastating earthquake.
The embargo crippled the lives of many and even school going children labeled Modi a villain, which India has so far failed to address. Modi’s administration has not succeeded yet to recover from the image assassination.
It is now facing added heat generated out of intense friction between the US Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
As Nepal and India share close socio-cultural and economic ties the improved relation will benefit both the countries. It is crucial for security and resurgence of shared culture of both Nepal and India. Following are some suggestions for improving the historically friendly ties:
1. India should publicly announce that the Delhi brokered 12 point agreement of 2005 between seven political parties and the Maoists was a MISTAKE. This is essential since it would take Nepal back to the era of the Hindu Kingdom and people of Nepal are now in the mood of Desh Ta Puranai Thik Thiyo (Old Nepal was good) because of the failure of Federal Democratic Republic to deliver on their commitments and increasing corruption at all levels of governance.
2. PMs KP Sharma Oli and Narendra Modi have to meet and apologize to each other.
3. The joint report prepared by the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) ought to be immediately owned by both PMs and they have to ask their respective ministries and other relevant agencies to draft a NEW TREATY of FRIENDSHIP based on the suggestions/recommendations of EPG report. This would help elevate the ties to a new high.
4. Border regulation has now become one of the most important dimensions of Nepal-India relations. The 1690 km long open Nepal-India border poses security threats with the un-monitored movement of people. This must be fenced or a wall must be constructed and there should be designated entry points.
5. India should ask the relevant parties to expedite ongoing hydro-power projects in Nepal. It should recommit opening up of its market for cross-border electricity trade and commit to cooperate with Nepal on its electricity trade to Bangladesh.
6. India’s policy is: ‘act first and then negotiate’ which ought to be: negotiate first and then ACT. This bullying has hurt the sentiments of the people of Nepal and is a disrespect to the dignity of a sovereign nation.
7. India should constructively partner with Nepal in infrastructure and water resources development.
8. India has constructed roads along the border without consulting Nepal which has caused a serious inundation problem in Nepal. This has to end and India should pay for this and agree to work towards solutions.
9. Water agreements (Gandak and Koshi) should be revisited and Mahakali treaty should be implemented.
If these steps are taken the wounds could be healed and the harmony in the relationship can be re-established.
Harmonious Nepal-India relations could change the dynamics of South Asia. A prosperous Nepal shall be in the interest of India and therefore, India needs to positively help Nepal prosper, and develop. The only Hindu Kingdom needs to be restored as a first priority.