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Nepal burning - The real problem at hand
The fast moving wheels of trucks transporting essential commodities and other supplies to Nepal from India suddenly screeched to a halt once again for the first time ever since the imposition of 1989 economic blockade against Nepal by India.
In my opinion this is just a start towards a more complex problem and that is the danger of north Nepal completely falling into Chinese hands, with south Nepal into Indian hands after an onslaught of a bloody civil war. It's a tinderbox waiting to be ignited. In my opinion before the euphoria of the new constitution ebbs both, political and border situations in Nepal are set for a major demographic and boundary change.

The sole reason behind this turmoil is Nepal's new constitution and their lack of faith in India and more towards China, which is outrageously wrong. The Madhesi and the Tharu communities are protesting in the neighbouring districts of India-Nepal border against the new constitution framed on September 20, 2015.

The Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven new provinces according to the new Constitution, which majorly effects them vis-a-vis their northern counterparts. At least 40 people have died ever since the proliferation of the new constitution.

In over a month of clashes between the police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities along with other ethnic minorities, which constitute nearly half of Nepal's population residing in 22% of its total landed area of Terai. This region constitutes of highly fertile and mineral rich lands. It has heavily forested tracts, which is more habitable than the northern hilly areas.

In Terai, Tharu protesters are rejecting the division of their traditional settlement area into two different provinces, while Madhesis are arguing that some of their lands have been left outside the Madhesi majority province giving a deliberate access to the Northerners. They are considered by the northern Nepalese community to be Indians and not Nepalese, hence they are sidelined by the constitution. Their representatives can never become the Prime Minister or President of Nepal.

The major political parties who have hurriedly passed the constitution constitute of the Kirat, Newar, Chetri, the Gurung and Magar in the West; Rai, Sunuwar and Limbu in the East and Sherpa and Bhutia tribes who consider themselves as original Nepalese constituting 80% of Nepalese population. The former Royals of Nepal too belonged to these northern tribes hence bestowing more privileges on them than their Terai brethren over the ages.

There are many other reasons behind this economic blockade, which seems to be more Nepali government sponsored than India or by the people residing in the bordering Terai areas who are mostly pro India. The Nepalese political parties fear that India is anti Nepal and China is pro Nepal, which everyone knows is due to the Maoists who sadly dominate Nepali politics and are actively today promoting a false propaganda against India.

They also believe that the 1989 economic blockade imposed by India was wrong where India had shut 19 of the total 21 border crossings. As per Nepal, they only had sought two links to distinguish between important transit rights from trade and commercial agreements with India as India was in favour of only one single agreement. They had also sought most favoured nation status from us, which somehow we had not granted to them at that time.

This blockade had made Nepal economically weak and alienated it more towards China, which in fact was the real reason for the strained relation between both of us. Nepal had also purchased Chinese anti-aircraft guns and other small armaments in August 1988 thus adding fuel to the fire. Then came a time of diplomatic and political hibernation on both sides of the border, which was only broken by the sudden violent ending of the Monarchy and the rise of the Chinese backed Maoists.

Hence our relations were seemingly iced forever, which is now being thawed upon by Mr. Narendra Modi and Sushmaji under the new BJP government's pro active external policy towards all our neighbouring countries.

Nepal today is economically bankrupt and the only redeeming feature for its currency is its piggy backing on the Yuan and the Indian Rupee.

Today it is facing extreme political instability and the governments suspicion against India has increased manifold in spite our best efforts on the contrary. Mr. Narendra Modi's recent visit and our extension of help as a friend in Nepal's economic development, specially post the 2015 earthquake has not gone down well with its political junta in thawing the decade old frozen relations. This actually is Nepal's undoing because it can remain free and prosperous only under India's security and economic umbrella.

Tribal nepotism and high expectations of the people is the other reason adding to the already highly volatile situation, which can explode anytime into a civil war comparable to Cambodia, where India plays the role of the US. The poor working conditions, exploitation and maltreatment of the Nepalese people in India over the years has also taken its toll and affected the mindset of the people as most of them were poor northerners.

In recent years Nepal has been the subject of ever-changing political environment and is today probably the worst politically administered Asian country in the world, even when their new constitution is soundly in place. Nepal's mainstream political parties in the country are not able to deal with the current political situation in the country as they voice different opinions and have lost mass support. All this coupled with corruption and power politics amongst them is taking Nepal towards its impending doom.

Nepal Prime Minister Shri Sushil Koirala, who has recently resigned, aims to become the President of Nepal. The leader of the United Marxist Leninists Party, Shri Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, wants to be the prime minister, and Maoist leader Shri Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, also wants a slice of the pie. The army with the Royals is once again contemplating a takeover. They all need to generate public support and regain the trust of the people of the country by working together.

The common man is desperately looking for ways to a reconciliation that will put an end to his suffering and take Nepal towards economic development and growth, which in fact is its most crucial need of the hour. Political parties and the Maoists should join hands together, march towards securing political stability, and seek to cease political unrest in the country by taking India's help.

Reconciliation is the need of the hour and this is the reason why they should all endeavour to achieve it fast and at all costs to save Nepal from any further turmoil and the danger of an imminent civil war. This can only be achieved by amending their seventh constitution, giving back what rightfully belongs to the Terai people and divide the provinces as per their choice and also by having more faith in India than in China.

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 merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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