By Qammer Abbass Anka
Indian designs of establishing hegemony in the region are hidden from no one since her establishment. In pursuance of this malicious agenda, India while following its own version of ‘Monroe doctrine’ has been at daggers drawn with all her neighbour physically as well diplomatically. Annexation of Junagarh & Munwadar in 1947, parts of J&K and Hyderabad Deccan in 1948, Goa in 1961 and Sikkim in 1975 are just few examples of her hegemonic madness. Proximity with British crown and protectorate status prevented grabbing of Nepal and Bhutan, yet these States were compelled to accept various agreements giving India a dominant and “Big Brother’s” role. Similarly, through India proxy like Tamils, Sri Lanka was subjected to jeopardy, while continuous intervention in Maldives brought about severe political wrangling making the smooth functioning of State almost impossible. On her West, India vented her agony and antagonism off by financing, training and supporting terrorist proxy “Mukti Bahinis” ultimately resulting into dismemberment of East Pakistan in 1971. India did not contend on break off of Pakistan and is still openly exploiting proxies like Bloch, Sindhi sub nationalists, TTP, ETIM and ISIS to destabilize China, Pakistan and other regions. Strategic and political interests of global powers somehow have always been masking ugly face of India from international community. Modi’s pro-Hindutva and RSS dictated aggressive assumptions, prophesies and policies are deliberately being proliferated to glorify the status of India as an emerging economic, regional and global power.
India through her enormous interference is all out to downgrade SovereignState of Nepal into her client state. Nepal, though many times tried to escape from the shackles of India, yet her geographically landlocked position, contiguity and trade dependence, prevented her escape from stronghold of India. It was India’s immense interference in Nepalese socio-politico and economic affairs which hindered formulation of consensus constitution even after a decade of political bickering. Napal’s struggle for maintaining her true sovereignty bore fruit on 20 Sep 2015, when the country rose to the occasion and overwhelmingly adopted its first democratic constitution. 507 out of 598 members of Constituent Assembly voted in favour of the new Constitution, whereas, 66 members belonging to India supported Madhesh-based political parties abstained from voting. Indian reaction to the Nepal’s valiant endeavour was full of panic and denunciation.
It would be pertinent to mention that Nepal and India share an open border stretching over 1,700 KMs. The open border is always operating at the pleasure of Indian interest. India has time and again used the open border issue to threaten Nepal whenever it feels that Nepal is not responding to its interest. There are incidents of major transit points’ closure for long duration by India without consulting Nepal as a punishment for engaging with other countries without India’s prior knowledge and consent.
Upon successful adoption of Constitution by Nepal, India embarked upon her traditional tactics by activating Madheshi, Janjati and Dalit people living in Terai region of Nepal. These proxies created unrest through protests, thus providing a cause to India for enforcing economic blockade of Nepal. Indians skillfully projected through state managed media that the protestors are not allowing the trucks to cross into Nepal. The disruption in cross-border trade between India and Nepal creating severe economic crisis in Nepal was to punish Nepal. Indian blockade of Nepal has led to paralysis of hospitals, schools, industries and general life in Nepal. Nepalese leadership believes that it is India which triggered political crisis by inciting opposition leaders against the new constitution and thus creating security issues to justify blockade. According to CNN, Spokesman of Nepal’s Home Ministry, Mr Laxmi Prasad Dhakal commented that India’s plea for severing trade routes is totally wrong and concocted. He said that there had been some protests against passing of the constitution was passed but denied there were major security concerns for the trucks to pass the checkpoints. He further told CNN that demonstrations had been taking place in Nepal for months before the constitution was enshrined and trucks had been entering without major problems. Dhakal while talking to CNN said, “just after the constitution was put into effect, India stopped the trucks at the border citing security issues. This is a vengeance from India as they are not happy with Nepal’s new constitution. This is a trade blockade, just not officially announced”.
Nepalese people have strongly condemned and reacted to India’s obstinate posture. Students are seen marching on streets to protest against economic blockade and India’s intrusion in internal politics. The “Back off India” was trending worldwide on Twitter and editorials in Nepal’s media have asked India to avoid “crossing the red line.” Nepal’s cable federation has also boycotted airing of Indian television channels. Country wide protests carrying effigy of India’s PM and vociferously chanting slogans like “Down with Indian expansionism! Down with Modi!” have become very frequent in streets of Nepal”. It seems that Nepalese nation has broken the shackles of Indian dominance and are bravely expressing that their sovereignty cannot remain mortgaged to the Indian imperialism. India while imposing economic blockade of Nepal has sent a strong warning signal to other neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Myanmar has already experienced Indian military muscle under Modi, when India openly warned of over hitting rebels “deep inside Myanmar”. Reportedly, Myanmar had refused to hand over National Socialist Council of Nagalim–Khaplang (NSCN-K)’s leader namely SS Khaplang and three of his confidantes to India for attacking its security forces. Similarly, India despite having friendly ties with Pro-India Government of Awami League is exerting her pressure to resolve Teesta river dispute on Indian terms.
India’s unjustified reaction and concerns over Nepal’s constitution is a clear violation of UN Charter and Indo-Nepal agreements. The activation of Madheshi, Janjati and Dalit people living in Terai region of Nepal by Indian and imposing economic blockade is a blatant Indian attempt to blackmail the resilient people of Nepal to force political change. As a part of Indian design, people of Madhesi, Tharu, Dalits etc were systematically migrated from Indian states of Bihar and UP to create an ethnic imbalance in Nepal for spoiling peace and tranquility. The agenda was identified by Nepalese think tanks almost two decades back. A political fiction book titled, “Nepal 2023” written by Dhurba Kumar Deoja amply unveils Indian conspiracy.
International media had amply exposed humiliating and teasing role of India during the rescue and rehabilitation activities in Nepal’s deadliest earthquake. The current India-Nepal tension is extension of same attitude. The exposure had brought enormous embarrassment to Modi and his Government. India has also remained involved in human trafficking of Nepalese girls, women and children and forcing them to act as sex workers. UN and Nepalese NGO have confirmed that Earthquake tragedy was exploited ruthlessly by the Indian agents in this regard. They sold many Nepalese trafficked persons at a rate of $570 per girl.
Hats Off to the brave people of Nepal who have risen strongly against India’s intervention in their domestic affairs. India’s tyrannical attitude towards Nepal should serve as a warning to rest of the SAARC member countries. India will run over their sovereignty if they fail to read Indian hegemonic lust and show resolve to thwart such designs like Nepal.
The silence of the world community on Nepal’s issue is both heartbreaking as well alarming. Today, India despite having a worst record of vindictive treatment towards her own minorities and grouchy attitude towards neighbours is dreaming of seeking permanent membership in UNSC and Nuclear club. Given the hegemonic dreams of India and her bullying towards her neighbours, India’s aspiration for seeking permanent membership of UNSC seems ridiculous. A country which can not live amicably at peace with her peripheral neighbours can not be expected to play any role in settling international issues and crisis as member of UNSC. If it happens, the UN will lose its credibility and all the international efforts to make the World a safer and peaceful place will terribly fail.