Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.
Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.
Discuss how India’s interventions led to a trust-deficit in India-Nepal relations? What should be India’s priorities in rebuilding it?
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: India-Nepal relations
- Indian interventionism in Nepal having backfired, the Nepal PM’s visit is an opportunity to raise the level of bilateral ties
- India’s interest to secure its own neighbourhood, and that can only be through letting national politics and governance of the smaller neighbours evolve without interference.
India’s Nepal policy – What went wrong?
- India played a valued role in ending the Maoist insurgency in 2006, but the period thereafter was marked by escalating micro-meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs.
- In Constitution-writing, there were attempts to define the new provincial boundaries according to Indian dictates
- The presence of India’s heavy hand contributed to the distortion of consensual governance needed in transitional times.
- India ‘noted’ rather than welcomed the Constitution.
- A society trying to emerge from the April 2015 Great Earthquake was slapped with the punitive Great Blockade
- While keeping silent for years on Nepal’s post-conflict transitional justice process, in 2015 India’s representative in Geneva cynically utilised the forum of the Human Rights Council to influence government change in Kathmandu.
- Indian interlocutors pushed the Nepali Congress to renege on its promise to continue in coalition with the mainstream left Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)
- Indian strategists are seeking ways to get Kathmandu to allow the construction of high dams and deep reservoirs on Nepal’s rivers — for flood control, navigation, urban use and irrigation in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
- New Delhi made deep inroads into Nepal’s political class, but none did it use more than the Madhesbaadi parties
- The Great Blockade, forced the Kathmandu to reach out to Beijing and sign a slew of trade, transit and infrastructural agreements with it.
- Nepal is today better connected by air to Chinese cities than to India.
Nepal and India have to concentrate on the numerous matters that need concentration and resolution
- Open border -While it is Nepal’s Left that has traditionally demanded restrictions on the border, the call now rises from the Indian security establishment.
- Massive floods in Nepal plains have also affected downstream areas across the border. A permanent bilateral mechanism is required to save the plains population of Nepal from suffering
- The Kosi Barrage and attendant embankments have the possibility of wreaking havoc because siltation of six decades has raised the riverbed within the levees far above the outlying tracts
- The easy answer for the Indian politician is to demand a high dam in the hills of Nepal even as alternatives are not studied, such as redistribution of waters into various older channels of the Kosi in Bihar.
- The rights of migrant Indian labour in Nepal and Nepali labour in India is a topic that rarely comes up
- Border disputes pending between the two countries — at Susta, Kalapani and the ‘tri-junction’ of Lipulekh
- Nepal has planned to sell electricity to India once it has a hydropower surplus.
- But Indian government directive that it will not allow import of electricity other than from power companies with more than 51% Indian equity.
- Neglect by the Kathmandu intelligentsia, such as regarding the impact of demonetisation and the application of Goods and Services Tax on Nepal’s economy and citizenry.
- The arbitrary blockages and go-slow at Indian Customs at border points, the selective use of quarantine for the export of Nepali agricultural produce, the increasing high-handedness of the Sashastra Seema Bal in dealing with Nepalis crossing over