Communists in Nepal: Indian Diplomacy Needs a Shift

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With the Nepalese people throwing a verdict in favour of the Communist alliance in Kathmandu’s first ever polls after the new Constitution came into force, there is an all new wind in the Nepalese people who have shunned the long serving India favouring politicians.

The Congress has long supported the Nepali Congress and bred leaders like Deuba, and Sushila Koirala. The Indian government had always maintained a deep relationship not only with the people of Nepal but with the erstwhile royal family and then the pro-democracy leaders.

The Ruling family had always played the China card with India when it suspected the Indian diplomacy to be one of isolationism. The going was rough but never turned to extremes. India enforced a blockade which was perceived by the people from the hilly areas of Nepal as a move to force the rights of the Madhesis. The Madhesis are the people who have origins in India  and have settled in Nepal. There were protests all across Nepal when the Madhesis sought more rights from the Constitution, which was an outcome of the Nepali elitist.

This made the BJP government at the helm of affairs in India to block all civil supplies to Nepal. The trade between India and Nepal has been one exceeding all boundaries set by international trade. Thus the Nepalese people had to express their aggression towards a friend who came forward first to extend relief aid in the aftermath of the disaster in Nepal in 2015. PM Modi who is a ardent bhakta of Lord Shiva also visited the Pasupati Nath temple and offered gifts at the temple.

This diplomacy was seen to have forging a deep tie with the new democracy and dismantling the dragon, yet the dragon rose into dominance during the blockade when KP Oli of the CPN-UML forged a deal with the Chinese.

The deal is centered around petroleum and other civil supplies. India turned its back on him and made him face exile and got the NC in power in Nepal. Now, the India backed Nepali Congress and Rashtriya Janta Party have failed to perform in the direct elections, the Communists will seek to forge deeper and pragmatic ties to counter the Indian influence.

India on its part will have to engage the Nepalese people from a cultural perspective first and then accommodate the needs of the Nepalese government. This will help building consensus among the two ideologically distinct political organizations, and will yield in positive outcomes to balance the Chinese.

KP Oli, may never be able to put the will of the Nepali people at bay by putting his personal interests first. This may work to the advantage of India, which believes in neighbours first. The Indian diplomacy has to take care of the long relationship which both the nations share, otherwise the outcomes will be too obvious.

The balance thus created may also help India in dealing with other developing neighbours who have been swayed by the Chinese economic narrative, as it remains a necessity, while India has been negligent of its own goals.

 

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