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The unique nature of India-Nepal relationship has recently been strained by the Madhesi uprising episode in Nepal. Explain. (150 words)

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The unique nature of India-Nepal relationship has recently been strained by the Madhesi uprising episode in Nepal. Explain. (150 words)

Approach

  • Introduce with the unique nature of India-Nepal relations.
  • Explain Madhesi uprising and its impact on relations.
  • As way forward, suggest measures to mend the ties with Nepal.
Model Answer :

As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterized by  open borders and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal. But the recent episode of Madhesi uprising has affected the India-Nepal relations in a negative way.

Madhesi uprising and its impact on bilateral relations:

Madheshis (culturally closer to Indian people) of Nepal constitute a large proportion of the population in the Terai region bordering India. Their dissatisfaction with the 2015 Constitution of Nepal led to the Madhesi uprising and the consequent violence in the areas bordering India made Indian government also concerned. India put diplomatic pressure on Nepal to take care of their demands. The Madhesi blockade of goods entering Nepal put great stress on supplies of essential commodities, and many in Nepal government pointed fingers at India for engineering the blockade. It negatively impacted the relations between India and Nepal. Nepal raised the issue of India’s “trade blockade” at the UN in October 2015. Subsequently, Nepal was even seen moving closer to China for investment and connectivity projects.

Way forward:

The Madhesi impact has further been exacerbated by the fact that in the 2017 elections, the Communists, who campaigned against Madhesi blockade, came to power in Nepal. Although India has lost the goodwill of ordinary Nepalis because of a multitude of reasons, it can still regain the lost goodwill. India must move quickly to repair the trust deficit with Nepal and its leadership, and also must stop playing political favourites in Kathmandu and engage with the widest possible political spectrum. India must also again look to project its soft power, undertaken via the cultural connections, the long shared histories and a deeper understanding of the Indo-Nepali relationship beyond politics and security.

Subjects : International Relations

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