Nepal: India hell bent on weakening Nepali territorial integrity and sovereignty
Rajkumar Siwakoti, originally hails from Morang district of eastern Nepal, and is a social activist. Now in Kathmandu, Siwakoti has completed Bachelors in Law (BL) and also has received Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu.
He is one of the general members of Nepal Bar Association and has been engaged in several research activities on social, political and legal issues.
Sujit Mainali for The Telegraph Weekly and its online edition telegraphnepal.com talked to this bubbling lawyer on several aspects of Nepal's politics. Below the excerpts of his exclusive interview: Chief Editor.
TQ1. How do you analyze the saying of S.D. Mehta- the consul for political affairs at the Birganj Consulate Office, who had reportedly provoked some leaders from Nepal’s Madhesh to bring in a sort of political blizzard in entire the Madhesh much ahead of May 27, 2012?
Siwakoti: I out rightly ridicule the provocative remarks of Mr. Mehta. His behavior has breached the norms, values and universally accepted code of conduct of the diplomats. The way the Indian diplomat poked nose into the internal affairs of Nepal has exhibited that India doesn't want to accept Nepal as a sovereign nation. This is a very unfortunate situation.
TQ2. During the absence of Chinese Ambassador, Indian diplomats are overly maneuvering and trying to exploit from the fragile political situation of Nepal. Is this a mere coincidence or something else?
Siwakoti: We should be clear that China does not have any interest in the internal affairs of Nepal. Beijing wants Free Tibet campaign to be earnestly curbed from the Nepali soil. If this is ensured, this is perhaps sufficient for Beijing. But New Delhi has been dictating Kathmandu's political affairs since 60 years or so. The continuation of this unwarranted behavior has revealed that India is hell bent on weakening the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Nepal.
Media report published some days ago had revealed that Indian Ambassador Mr. Jayant Prasad had facilitated, May 2, 2012, the major political parties of Nepal to reach a consensus to form 11 federal provinces. Now, another diplomat from the same country is trying to provoke Madhesh against the recently reached agreement. Don’t you think it to be an insane act? India is playing double in Nepal. I suspect that India is aiming at creating protracted instability in our country. Or else why its diplomats should try to penetrate on all possible fronts of Nepal? Why they play double so often? India wants to control Nepal's sovereignty and desires to impose its so-called supremacy upon us. New Delhi is still not ready to treat Nepal at par on reciprocal basis as it should have been.
This event has reminded me of Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel who in a letter to the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had told the former to forcefully make Nepal a part of the Indian union reiterating that significance of Nepal to India was very much similar to that of the security of Tibet to Beijing. Time has changed, but the psyche of the Indian officials has remained unchanged. Indian officials are still guided by the imperial British Colonial mindset. Very sorry to say this.
TQ3. Mr. Siwakoti, what India will achieve by promoting/nurturing instability in Nepal?
Siwakoti: Indian officials' activities towards Nepal are guided with hegemonic intent. They want to keep Nepal under their firm grip. Frankly speaking, up to some extent they have succeeded in this regard. But at the same time, the hegemonic policy of New Delhi has badly damaged the image of India among Nepali population. India's soft power in Nepal is gradually getting eroded.
The instability of Nepal will negatively impact the prosperity of the adjoining northern India in the long run. Its spillover effect will trigger unrest along the border areas of India. It will ignite the sensitive heterogonous demography of India and may invite grand upheavals' inside there.
Apart from this, the third countries will get favorable opportunities to speed up their maneuvering in Kathmandu if Nepal is engulfed into political fluidity. This will limit the grand say of New Delhi. India need to realize this fact and should immediately formulate new policy recognizing the ground realities and act accordingly to meet the expectation and aspirations of the Nepali population. This will benefit both nations.
TQ4: Can you name some third countries who will try to foster their maneuvering if our country becomes more unstable?
Siwakoti: US, some European nations, Pakistan and of course, China will increase their activities in an unstable Nepal.
TQ5: What will be their respective interests? Your comments please.
Siwakoti: The US and some European nations believe that unstable Nepal can provide them with favorable ground to support the Free Tibetan activities from the Nepali soil. China in turn, will tighten its belt to contain the influence of Western countries in Nepal in order to safeguard its soft southern underbelly, Tibet. Beijing, in that eventuality, will remain in an alarmed state not only in the northern belt of Nepal, but also in the southern belt in order to protect its political and security related interests in the whole region. In that situation, Pakistan also will try to tease India from Nepal on the issues related to the Kashmir.
Apart from this, the ultimate aim of the third nations will be to bring the resources of Nepal under their control. They want to expand and impose their business, technology, idea and philosophy in this strategically significant Himalayan nation.
TQ6: The loose alliance between Madheshi and different ethnic groups has foiled the attempt of major parties of Nepal to carve out 11 states for the upcoming federal setup. What message this event has ventilated? Do you have any idea?
Siwakoti: If you see this event from the post-modern lenses, you can see that the center is gradually getting eroded and is losing its strength to dictate, guide and fulfill the aspiration of the periphery and marginalized sectors. Power centers of the Center including national political parties and the security agencies are gradually losing their monopoly to exercise the political and military authority. Regional and ethnic groups are gaining in strength and stamina. Right now also, they are in a position to challenge the central authority in a collective manner.
The most loud and clear message ventilated by the foiling of idea of having 11 federal States is that, the constitution will not be drafted on the stipulated time i.e. May 27, 2012. At least I am convinced on this.
TQ7: Can you suggest a model of federalism which you think will suit our country?
Siwakoti: The Unified Maoists advocated the form of restructuring of the state and federalism in an immature manner due to which perilous crisis is approaching closer. The idea advocated by the Maoist was not clear, yet it successfully galvanized the ethnic and marginalized population and gained their sympathies. The Maoists nurtured the idea of ethnicity, nationality and right to self determination without considering the existing psychology of our society; the geography, geostrategic and geopolitical reality of our nation; and the changing regional and global power politics. In the coming days, whole Nepali population will have to bear the brunt created by the juvenility of the Maoists. Its symptoms have begun surfacing.
If the essence of the decentralization is followed in a creative and effective manner and local bodies are empowered with excessive rights, it can address the aspiration of whole Nepali population. The Interim Constitution of Nepal has already declared that Nepal will adopt a federal order, and hence, no point is left to negate the idea of federalism. But while creating the federal structure, we need to be sure that each federal unit must be stretched from the south to the northern frontier of our nation. To be more precise, if each development region of Nepal is made a separate federal unit, it will benefit Nepal a lot.
TQ8: The activists of Brahmin and Chhetri community have accused UN, US and the European Union (EU) for fueling ethnic animosity among Nepali population. Mr. Siwakoti, do you agree with them?
Siwakoti: Up to some extent, their assessment is correct. Agencies of the UN, US and EU, including other donor agencies’ funding campaign with anti-state and anti-social structure is in an overwhelming manner. Their funding is largely concentrated on making non-state actors stronger. The Brahmin and Chhetri community might have considered this fact and may have made such accusations.
Exclusive for telegraphnepal.com