Nepal Foreign Affairs (Kathmandu, Nov 20)—This is a response to Nihar Nayak’s comment on one of our recent articles “How India weaves the narrative of falsehood on Nepal Constitution”, in which he says current government of Nepal has adopted delaying tactic with Madhes. He has given six reasons which have been countered point by point here. We do it because Nihar is an emerging Nepal expert in India associated with IDSA, an Indian government funded think tank. We value his work and thank him for commenting on facebook.
- Nihar says Nepal government wants to consolidate and expand political constituency on anti-Indianism.
This is reactive at best. With the ongoing blockade, India expected, like it happened with Bhutan two years ago, that the anti-government protests in Kathmandu and other places would start. It is still expecting them. However, the situation didn’t turn like that. People in Nepal largely feel that this blockade is imposed by India to punish Nepal for making a new, democratic and secular constitution. India must clearly say what it wants from Nepal. If it wanted a Hindu state in Nepal, why don’t Madhesi parties say this? Dark deals behind closed doors mean nothing. Being pro-Nepal is not to be Anti-India. How will you understand this? But we don’t tolerate the lies that the Indian media and government distributes daily.
Nepali people understand India is a nuclear power. Nepal cannot fight with India. So anti-Indianism is out of question. In fact, Nepalese have very high regards for the people and leaders of India. But don’t expect flowers when you inflict pain on others. Nepalese have appreciated Modi for his good work; they criticize him for a bad work. Be objective; don’t allege us of being anti-India. India is rather supporting anti-Nepal elements, the armed groups of Terai. Shouldn’t you be sensitive of Nepal’s security concerns?
- Buying time for alternative arrangement and negotiate with China for an oil trade agreement and finalise price, quantity and quality.
Yes. Nepal has to diversify its trade. Depending on a single country like India gave us hard lessons. This is not necessary to be linked with the Madhes talks. Even if the talks are successful, next governments will be under immense pressure to reach out to China and other countries. Come out of your China-nervousness-syndrome. Nepal is serious about the security interests of both China and India. And it has always cooperated with both neighbors.
- Buying time to mobilise Diaspora for big rallies against India and internationalise internal blockade as humanitarian crisis
The government has no role in this. If you think an incapable government like Nepal’s, which cannot run its own diplomatic offices, can control state of affairs in the big cities of developed countries, you are under an illusion. Nepalese living abroad are doing it themselves. I believe they continue as long as you continue. India rather has larger global network of NRIs. It can stage counter protests to delegitimize Nepalese protests, going by your own argument no 4 below.
- Preparing to motivate and instigate youths for counter protests to delegitimize Madhesi protests. Example anti-bifurcation movement in Morang and Sunsari
You don’t seem to understand the dynamics of Morang and Sunsari. Right since the debate on federalism started seven years ago, the districts east of Koshi River have always wanted to have their own state. It is a right political calculation on the part of local people. With the big natural boundary of Koshi River, they will have an economically and administratively disadvantageous position if linked with Province 2. And be clear, out of 22 Madhes districts, seven have a reverse agitation against Madhesi Parties, not only Morang and Sunasari. Add to this half of Kailali district as well.
- Exhaust Madhesis
No we don’t support the idea of exhausting Madhesis. The proposed amendments must pass from the parliament and Madhesi parties must withdraw their protests.
- None of these tactics are going to be successful.
You pray for this to happen. No wonder. If it fails, we will curse ourselves.