Nepal’s continuance as a politically stable strategic buffer state between India and China Occupied Tibet was a strategic imperative that had been recognised by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the early 1950s. It was this imperative which presumably impelled him to help reinstalling King Tribhuwan on the throne in Kathmandu. India’s strategic imperatives to retain a Constitutional Monarchy in mid-2000s in Nepal stood magnified hundred times over with the rapid militarization of China Occupied Tibet by China.
|Republican Nepal is politically floundering with parties yet to agree to a Constitution. Domestic political divisiveness has erupted in widening gaps between the hills Gorkhas, the dominant community and the Madhesias who inhabit the Terai region of Nepal.
Expressed earlier in my Columns was the monumental strategic blunder by the present Indian Government in facilitating the handing over of political power on a plate to the Nepalese Maoists, who could not gain that even with a civil war of ten years. Consequently today, Nepal is steeped in divisive political turbulence generated by Nepalese Maoists and Nepal under them has decidedly moved into the Chinese orbit endangering Indian security. India needs to cut its losses and assist in reverting Nepal to Constitutional Monarchy.
The Indian policy establishment in the present Congress-led Government would today be ruing the day when under the influence of ill-advised pressures from within, it facilitated the Nepalese Maoists to dominate Nepal’s political dynamics and their abolition of the Nepalese monarchy. Republican Nepal is politically floundering with parties yet to agree to a Constitution. Domestic political divisiveness has erupted in widening gaps between the hills Gorkhas, the dominant community and the Madhesias who inhabit the Terai region of Nepal.
Exploiting the uncertain political turbulence in Nepal are the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and China who operate freely on the Nepal-India border to the detriment of Indian security. Pakistan’s ISI directs and controls Indian Muslims fringe elements sleeper cells and modules from the Nepal-India border. Their tentacles extend to as far as Mumbai.
The Nepalese Monarchy despite many failings held Nepal as a unified state. The Monarchy symbolised the sovereignty of Nepal as the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. The intensely religious Gorkhas of Nepal always looked upon the Nepal King as the reincarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu, the Preserver amongst the Trinity of Hindu Gods. Even if some members of Nepal’s ruling family had a soft corner for China, it did not translate pushing Nepal into China’s strategic embrace like the Nepalese Maoists did in their short spell
Notably China too was not tempted to encroach brazenly on India’s traditional strategic turf as they have done recently, presumably emboldened by India’s abdication of its strategic interests in Nepal.
Admittedly, Anti-Indian stances had started coming into play in Nepalese politicians but these arose as I am told by people arose from the arrogance and lack of diplomatic finesse of our diplomats stationed in Nepal. Also such feelings are a normal occurrence in smaller countries having large neighbours.
But by the same token the Nepal should have abounded in anti-China sentiments also. It is not so and obviously Indian diplomacy and the Indian Foreign Office has failed in this direction. It also could have arisen from confused signals to our diplomats from the political leadership who seemed to have outsourced our Nepal policy to JNU academic dons and colleagues of Nepalese Maoists leaders who studied in JNU.
The Nepalese Maoists on whom India had invested so much politically including giving them refuge in India for prolonged periods as stated in the Nepalese media, emerged as turncoats the moment that they achieved power, courtesy India.
Within Nepal also there is a growing sentiment that Nepal’s current prolonged political instability can only end with Nepal reverting to Constitutional Monarchy.
Political and strategic prudence on India’s part would now lie in India exploiting the growing sentiments in Nepal for a return to monarchy and India genuinely working to facilitate reversion of Nepal to Constitutional Monarchy.