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Narendra Modi's 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' now extended to neighbouring countries!
Within two months of his swearing in, Narendra Modi undertook his trip to second neighbouring country Nepal for improving the bilateral relation. His first ever foreign trip was to Bhutan, where he delivered a speech in Bhutanese Parliament.

In global politics it's said that however strong one country may be, if it doesn't enjoy neighbouring country's trust and support, it can never become successful as a dominant country in world polity. China is no doubt a very strong country. But it hardly enjoys any trust or support among its neighbouring countries except North Korea and Pakistan. Incidentally both of its trusted neighbours are considered as rouge countries.

India once was trusted by most of the neighbouring countries except its betenoir Pakistan. But as the time progressed India lost the charming bilateral relations with all the neighbouring countries. It has acquired good relations with western countries but ignorance and some other reasons including dominant elder brotherly attitude, makes the neighbours feel estranged.

China has taken advantage of such situation. It increased its foot prints in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal apart from its ally Pakistan. Narendra Modi's first visions perhaps recognize this anomaly. That's why it invited all SAARC nations during his oath taking ceremony and took up the mission to improve relations among the neighbours.

His first tour to Bhutan was to ensure, despite the size and strength of Bhutan, that India seek friendship from all. The same motto is with the Nepal visit. Nepal is a land-lock country. It has to depend on India for many of its requirement. 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship was inked at the request of Nepal.

According to Wikipedia, the treaty says, "neither governments shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor" and obligated both sides "to inform each other of any serious friction or misunderstanding with any neighbouring state likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations subsisting between the two governments." These accords cemented a "special relationship" between India and Nepal that granted Nepal preferential economic treatment and provided Nepali in India the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens. The Indo-Nepal border is open; Nepalese and Indian nationals may move freely across the border without passports or visas and may live and work in either country."

By 1960 because of the number of Nepalese working and living in India, India's intervention in Nepali economy increased and so the discomfort of Nepalese. When Sikkim is merged in India (Sikkim was considered by Nepal King as part of greater Nepal), the distrust increased. There started demands for revision of the treaty. India ignored its security concern as a result of which Nepal started taking hard line. It started arms procurement from China and also taking Chinese aid for its infrastructure projects.

In the mean time Nepal underwent its political transformation and now became a democracy. In September 2008, Nepal's Prime Minister visited India and after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, declared that a new dawn had started between India-Nepal relations. Although since then no further damage happened to India-Nepal relations, but there was no significant improvement too. Perhaps India's assertion as a big dominating power makes Nepal government uncomfortable.

Here one thing must be noted. All neighbouring countries except Pakistan always want good relations with India but with dignity. They are ready to respect India as an elder brother but not as a dominant regional player. Irrespective of size, all countries have their self dignity and none will ever want to lower it. India although not disrespected any neighbouring country but ignoring their concern is also considered as part of disrespecting.

Interestingly although Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Male accepted Chinese aid in their infrastructure building, but they would have been happier had India extended this? It's India's apathy that forced them to accept Chinese aid. If India extends its hand, they would readily say good bye to China.

There are two reasons for this. First China is never trusted by any country, forget India. Second is China's aid is very conditional, which says that all the technology, materials and even human resources should be from China only. No local resource can be utilized in China sponsored projects, neither there would be any technological transfer.

Thus although China builds project in these countries, it remains solely of China and the aided country is entitled to its tax-revenue only. After stipulated years of agreement, when the project is handed over to the country aided, still it has to depend on China as technological know-how is with China only!

On the other hand India's aid is on sharing basis which helps both the nations equally. But for such aid no country wants to lower their dignity. That's exactly the diagnosis by Indian PM Narendra Modi. That's why when there are lots of invitations from developed countries are pending with him, Modi preferred to travel Bhutan and Nepal. He would definitely plan to go to Bangladesh, Male, Sri Lanka and even Pakistan!

Going to their country is more appealing than talking over telephone or calling them to Delhi for discussion? This makes them assured that India is behaving them at par with utmost dignity!

Narendra Modi won hearts in Bhutan as well as in Nepal. Nepal media and public shown unprecedented enthusiasm proving that Modi is on right path! His slogan 'Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas' is not only India centric, it's extended to neighbouring countries too and may extend even beyond!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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