On 8 May, Defence Minister of India virtually inaugurated a new 80 km long road in the Himalayas which is near Lipulekh Pass much to the chagrin of Nepal’s government, The latter not only protested but also claimed that the road crosses it’s territory.
Nepal accused India of changing the status quo unilaterally and responded by deploying police force in the contentious area and summoned Indian ambassador in Nepal.
India-Nepal border dispute on Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura took an ugly turn when on Saturday, Nepal’s lower house of the paraliament unanimously approved a constitutional amendament to update map of the country showing above mentioned territories within it’s boundaries.These were some soaring and escalatory moves of Nepal. On that note, KP Sharma Oli, said he was not bothered if the map angered anyone and that “we will reclaim that land at any cost”.
Connecting the dots with Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli’s statement on Monday claiming that Hindu deity Lord Rama was born in his country, not in India and Ayodhya is in fact a small village in Kathmandu as NDTV reported. He claimed that “Lord Rama was actually a Nepali.”
Mr.Oli was speaking at a cultural programme held at his residence “We still believe we gave Sita to Prince Ram but we gave the prince too, from Ayodhya, not India”, as per his statement. He criticised India of “cultural opression and encroachment”.He mentioned Nepal’s contribution to Science and told it was sabotaged. Nepali website setopati.com quoted Prime Minister Oli as “We have been oppressed a bit culturally”.
Prime Minister of Nepal faced brutal condemnation from his own Ministers. Nepal’s former foreign affairs minister Ramesh Nath Pandey criticised his statement by writing on Twitter.
Religion is above politics & diplomacy. Its a highly emotive issue. Ridiculous statements only cause embarrassment. If Ayodhya is near Birgunj, where is the Sarayu river ?
— Ramesh Nath Pandey (@rameshnathpande) July 13, 2020
Astonished with Mr.Oli’s statement, Former press journalist and Professor at Tribhuvan University, Kundan Aryal wrote a comparing argument between him and Indian Television channels on Twitter.
योे के बोलेको? कि भारतको टेलिभिजन च्यानलहरुसँग प्रतिस्पर्धा गरेको? https://t.co/54e3hoOjyf
— Kundan Aryal (@TheRealKalamchi) July 13, 2020
What is the reason behind sudden changes in Nepal’s attitude which otherwise seems to be friendly?
The answer lies in Indian Prime Minister’s speech at India’s North most part : Ladakh, where he addressed troops by saying “The age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back” by taking an apparent job at China. Prime Minister’s controversial speech yet made some logic with GWA’s report.
According Global Watch Analysis report, China’s intrusion into border disputes through Nepal’s prime minister by bribing KP Sharma Oli has been claimed. Reports have claimed the amount transfer of 41.34 crores in the Mirabaud Bank of Geneva, Switzerland. The investment have been made for long term and stock share.
Reports have too claimed that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had also invested in Cambodia’s Telecommunication section during 2015-16 office tenure, where Chinese ambassador Wu Chuntai had helped him.
Ignoring legal mechanisms and laws, Nepal’s PM signed an agreement of making Digital Action Rooms with Chinese company Huawei. May 2019 Nepal’s Telecommunication deal with hongkong’s company on Radio Access Network and recently this year, an agreement deal on 4G network with JTE Chinese company etc. allegations on Oli’s government of providing business to Chinese companies by disobeying law and order certainly has a bitter ground reality.
In a 2015 statement, China also recognised India’s sovereignty by agreeing to expand trade through the Lipulekh pass. Finally, this is also an important route for thousands of Hindus who trek across the border with China every year to visit the sacred Mount Kailash.
The geographical location of disputed region is undoubtedly an important area where the politics, trade, religion and geostrategic aspirations of the three countries meet.The announcement of the road construction was certainly an unprecedented move showcasing lack of regional strategy, Interdependence, diplomatic understanding, connectivity on India’s behalf.
On the other hand, Public statement has been issued by India describing the Nepal’s move as “untenable”, also stated that it violated the “understanding dialogue solution of land dispute between two countries.”It seems as if New Delhi was not expecting Kathmandu’s escalatory moves.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that India and Nepal had “roti-beti” relationship. “If there is any misunderstanding between India and Nepal then we will sort it out through dialogues”, he said.
Defence Minister’s statement made some sense with the fact that India’s relation with Nepal have always been in peace and on good terms with each other. Looking India’s current military and border tensions with China, potential trade route of lipulekh pass and religious upfront of the region, will certainly motivate it to exercise military and civilian control.
If provoking Nepal on borderline land dispute, an intentional move by China through “Expansionism policy” to control countries with weak economical conditions by taking in confidence it’s corrupt politicians then this move seems myopic and can damage Nepal’s territorial integrity.
Member of Ram Mandir Trust mahant dinendra das on Tuesday said that Oli’s statement was an indication of China’s influence. He is a puppet speaking China’s words. Sandwiched between Asia’s two Superpowers India and China, Nepal should need to find a middle field of elaborative negotiations with geographical experts instead of inflaming sentiments with frivolous statements on Hindu culture.
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