Question: TheNepalese Parliament has voted to include disputed areas into the newly proposed map, reviving the century long issue. Analyse the impact of such a step on relationship between India and Nepal.
Answer: The dispute of Kalapani between India and Nepal has been existent since British times but was ignored due to the strong relationship between the two countries. The change in political dynamics has provided the opportunity to the leadership to bring back the issue and gain political mileage out of it.
Impact of this step on Indo-Nepal relationship
- Reduction in grants and loans
India is the largest and most important economic supporter of Nepal as it provides large number of loans and grants for carrying out economic activity. With emergence of China and souring relationship with India, Nepal has to get ready to face credit crunch and high interest rates from China. This will be catastrophic for its fragile economy.
- Reduced inter-connectivity between countries
Nepal is a land locked country and is dependent on Indian ports for its import and export. To further increase the connectivity, India has been helping Nepal by constructing new railway lines, river transportation as well as road construction. This step by Nepal will have impact on these projects and Chinese connectivity is non-feasible due to the distance factor.
- Souring of cultural relationship
India and Nepal are culturally very similar to each other and this was the major reason for people to people connect. Further, India allows Nepalese citizens to live and work in India without any visa as well as travel across the border easily. This step by Nepal will impact future of the relationship.
- Unsettling of peace
In decades long relationship between India and Nepal, there has been peace and tranquillity in border areas without any armed face off. The latest move will change the equations as it will give rise to border squeamish between the forces of the two countries.
India must not jump to conclusions. It must take it’s time to engage diplomatically to find a solution. On the other hand it must take steps to keep Nepalese aggression on check through pressure techniques.
Thus, India and Nepal relationship has reached a position where there is a potential for rapid degradation. The influence of Chinese government is clearly seen through this move.