Category Archives: Nepal-India

प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुराम भट्टराईका सय दिन

one hundred days of prime minister baburam bhattarai

प्रधानमन्त्री भट्टराईको कार्यकालका प्रथम तीन महिनामा शान्ति प्रकृयामा प्रगति भयो, शुसासनको धज्जी उड्यो, कुटनीतिमा उनलाई केही सफलता मिल्यो । नराम्रा कामको अपजस सबै उनैलाई जानु स्वभाविकै भयो तर राम्रोको जस उनलाईमात्र जादैन ।

नेपाली सेनाको तत्परता, माओवादीको लचकता, भारतीय शुभेच्छा र कांग्रेस-एमालेको चाहना एकैठाउँमा आउँदाको सुखद परिणाम हो बितेका साताहरूमा शान्ति प्रक्रियामा भएको प्रगति 

Two faces of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai

प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुराम भट्टराईका दुई पाटा : ठ्याक्कै तीन महिना अघि सेप्टेम्बर ३ मै मैले भट्टराईको व्यक्तित्वका विरोधाभाष खोतलेको थिएँ। पढ्नेभए फोटोमा क्लिके हुन्छ ।

दिनेश वाग्ले
वाग्ले स्ट्रिट जर्नल
यो लेख आजको कान्तिपुरमा प्रकाशित भएको हो । पत्रिकाकै पन्नामा पढ्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ : (पीडीएफ पहिलो पेज१४  पेज । चित्रकारुपमा हेर्ने भित्र/तल) 

खोप्लाङ, गोर्खाका बाबुराम भट्टराईले प्रधानमन्त्रीका रूपमा यो साता बालुवाटार, काठमान्डुमा सय दिने मधुमास पूरा गर्दैछन् । सामान्य अवस्थामा उनको कार्यावधिको मूल्यांकन आगामी मंगलबार थालिनुपर्ने हो । तर कतिपय रुष्ट नेपालीहरूले आफ्ना ३५ औं प्रधानमन्त्रीको राजीनामा अहिल्यै मागिसकेका छन् ।

‘बाबुराम, पद छाड’ भन्नेहरूको त्यो सूचीमा विपक्षी दलहरूका नेता र आफ्नै पार्टीभित्रका ‘खुट्टा तान्ने कमरेडहरू’ मात्रै भए त्यसलाई राजनीतिक दाउपेचको एउटा अस्वाभाविक उदाहरण भन्दै अस्वीकार गर्न हुन्थ्यो । तर यहाँ दुई महिनाअघिसम्म ५७ वर्षे भट्टराईलाई ‘हृदयका राजा’, ‘आशाका केन्द्र’ र ‘आइडल’ जस्ता प्रेम र प्रशंसाका शब्दहरू बर्साउने कतिपयले नै सबैभन्दा ठूलो मन्त्रिमण्डल बनाएको, हत्यारालाई माफी दिन खोजेको, प्रशासनयन्त्रलाई ‘ध्वस्त’ बनाएको भन्दै गाली गरेका छन् । प्रशंसकहरू निराश हुँदै उनलाई आफ्नो अपेक्षाविपरीत, अघिल्ला प्रधानमन्त्रीहरूजस्तै, निष्प्रभावी र ‘उही ड्याङका मूला’ भन्न थालेका छन् भने आलोचक र शंकालुहरू चाहिँ ‘मैले त भनेकै थिएँ नि’ जस्ता शब्दावलीबाट कुरा थाल्छन् ।

‘पहिले घरभित्र पसेर अवस्था के छ भन्ने नबुझी उहाँले बोल्नुभयो, मान्छेहरूले आशा गरे,’ पूर्वप्रशासक तथा पूर्वप्रमुख निर्वाचन आयुक्त भोजराज पोखरेलले भने, ‘अर्थमन्त्रीका रूपमा बनेको उहाँको राम्रो छविमा आधारित भएर जनताले उहाँबाट बढी नै आशा गरे । व्यक्तिगत रूपमा उहाँ अहिले पनि बदनाम हुनुभएको छैन । ‘भट्टराईले यसो गरे, उसो गरे, खाए’ भन्ने सुनिएको छैन । शान्ति प्रक्रिया टुंगिने बाटोमा बढेको छ, त्यसको जस उहाँलाई जाला । तर शासनलाई राम्रो पाटोमा लैजान र नतिजा देखाउने सन्दर्भमा उहाँ असफल हुनुभयो ।’ Continue reading

About these ads

माओवादी-भारत सम्बन्ध: पहिले विस्तारवाद, अहिले अवसरवाद

Bistarbad..Absarbad

दिनेश वाग्ले
वाग्ले स्ट्रिट जर्नल
यो लेख आजको कान्तिपुर मा प्रकाशित भएको हो । पत्रिकाकै पन्नामा हेर्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ । 

प्रधानमन्त्रीका रूपमा माओवादी नेता बाबुराम भट्टराई भारतको औपचारिक भ्रमणमा रहेको यो अवस्थामा नेपालमा विपक्षी कांग्रेसका नेताहरू हात बाँधेर मुस्काइरहेका छन् । उनीहरूको त्यो मुस्कुराइ झन्डै १५ वर्षअघिको एउटा सानो जस्तो लाग्ने घटना र त्यसपछिका भयङ्करजस्ता लाग्ने थुप्रै अन्य घटनामा अडिएको छ । २०५२ माघ २९ गते झ्याम्म दाह्री पालेका एकजना ‘रिसाहा अधबैंसे’ ले त्यतिबेलाका कांग्रेसी प्रधानमन्त्री शेरबहादुर देउवासमक्ष ४० वटा माग प्रस्तुत गर्दै ती फागुन ५ गतेसम्म पूरा नभए ‘सशक्त संघर्षको बाटोमा’ हिँड्ने चेतावनी दिएका थिए । ती माग पूरा हुने नहुने टुङ्गो नलाग्दै र आफैंले तोकेको समयसीमाको बेवास्ता गर्दै ती व्यक्ति फागुन एकमै भूमिगत भए कमरेड लालध्वजका रूपमा तत्कालीन राज्यसत्ताविरुद्ध त्यही दिन सुरु भएको सशस्त्र युद्धमा सामेल हुन । ती लालध्वज, धेरैलाई थाहा छ, यिनै भट्टराई हुन् जसले (र, उनको पार्टी माओवादीले) १५ वर्षपछि भारतसँग सम्बन्धित सुरुका नौ मागलाई पूरै बिर्सन खोजेको जबरजस्त अभिनय गरिरहेका छन् । ४० मध्ये कतिपय माग ०६२/०६३ को जनआन्दोलनले पूरा गरायो तर त्यो सूचीमा रहेका नम्बर एकदेखि नौसम्मका माग अहिले पनि पूरा भएका छैनन् । पूरा गराउने कुर्सीमा माओवादीका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल नौ महिना बसिसेका छन् भने लाजध्वज त्यो कुर्सीमा बसेको आठौं हप्ता भएको छ । Continue reading

Prime Minister Baburam in India: Agreements Signed and Some Photos Clicked

Baburam Bhattarai and Man Mohan Singh

Baburam Bhattarai and Man Mohan Singh

Nepal, India ink two major deals including BIPPA

  • BIPPA a calculated gamble: PM

By Akhilesh Upadhyay and Mahesh Acharya
in The Kathmandu Post

Nepal and India singed two major agreements, including the much-talked about Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), here late on Friday (yesterday). This brings to a close days of hectic negotiations and speculations over the fate of BIPPA, which India has sought to protect security for its investments in Nepal.

Minster for Industry Anil Kumar Jha and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee signed the agreement at Hyderabad House, the government venue for high-level negotiations in India. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattrai and his counterpart Manmohan Singh were present at the signing.

The two sides also agreed to a $250-million line of credit to finance infrastructure projects such as highways, airports and bridges. The credit line was announced during President Ram Baran Yadav’s state visit to Delhi last year. In the run-up to the visit, PM Bhattarai is known to have pitched for a $1 billion and was expecting even more, government sources said. India responded positively, according to officials. Continue reading

Tracking the Indian Ambassador to Nepal: Jayant Prasad-2

Nice shoe your excellency.

Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad with Nepali Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai

Nice Shoes Mr. Ambassador! Indian or Italian?: Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad, left, with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. BTW, check out a photo below for a meet between two Prime Ministers of Nepal and India when MKN was PM in Nepal. Unfortunately, no shoe show off ceremony will be noticed.

Previous post: Tracking the Indian Ambassador in Nepal: Jayant Prasad-1

SEP 13: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai summoned Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad at his office and discussed the possibility of rescinding the Patna High Court verdict in which it slapped jail terms and fines on 11 senior Maoists leaders. “The PM inquired the envoy how the Indian government would manage to dismiss the conviction by a court,” PM’s Press Adviser Ram Rijan Yadav said. The PHC has slapped sentences varying from two years in jail to six years and fines ranging from IRs 375,000 to IRs 700,000 on Nepali Maoist leaders in absentia on the charges of indulging in activities against what it called ‘sovereignty of India and Nepal’. Continue reading

Tracking the Indian Ambassador in Nepal: Jayant Prasad

Jayant Prasad Indian Ambassador in Nepal

The new Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Jayant Prasad, presented his letter of credentials to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on 26 August.

Ambassadors are the most visible faces of Indian diplomacy in Nepal and they are not always thought to be pursuing diplomacy. Some, like the current ambassador Jayant Prasad’s immediate predecessor Rakesh Sood, was widely believed to be one of the worst examples of Indian intervention and failed diplomacy in Nepal. While in India (or in their Ministry of External Affairs) these people are normal employees, diplomats who don’t attract much attention unless they are involved in major scandal or become foreign secretary. But as soon as they land in Kathmandu with the coveted portfolio of the Indian ambassador for Nepal they become celebrities. Media extensively covers the Indian Ambassadors movements and decisions in Nepal and give high priority to anything that is related to an Indian envoy. That is largely because the Indian ambassadors “implement” the enormously influential Indian policy in Nepal- some by diplomatically and some by offensively interventionist ways.  Rarely in the world ambassadors get to hobnob with prime ministers and top leaders of a host country like the Indian ambassadors do with the Nepali leadership. Because of all these factors, we at UWB have decided to keep track of the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu as far as possible. Here are some headlines  that give enough idea about the arrival of the current ambassador and his activities in the first week since he assumed office in August 26.

Continue reading

Dining with an Indian spy, former king Gyanendra proposes revival of monarchy

Amid escalating uncertainties regarding the extension of Constituent Assembly (CA)’s term, Former King Gyanendra Shah has proposed the revival of monarchy in the nation.

It is learnt that Shah, in a dinner meeting convened with Alok Joshi, official of an Indian intelligence agency, said that assistance will be sought from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N), among other parties, to revive monarchy in one form or the other, provided that the CA’s term is not extended in the nation, according to eKantipur.

Parties rooting for monarchy will initiate protests within a few days if the CA is dissolved, sources close to the former king informed.

Here’s a report, in Nepali, by Sarojraj Adhikari in Thursday’s Kantipur daily about Research and Analysis Wing’s officer Alok Joshi’s activities in Kathmandu in the past week: Continue reading

Reasons to Come Home

reasons to come home:  kathmandu post sunday 13 feb 2011

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

I came back to Kathmandu last week after completing my two year tenure in Delhi. “Welcome back to darkness,” some of my friends said.

Load shedding is not a new phenomenon in Kathmandu. But the continued and unacceptably long hours of power cuts have fueled further frustration. Not to mention the ‘deadlocked’ politics and lack of developmental activities. I was mildly surprised to learn that some of my friends preferred to see me in Delhi (meaning anywhere out of Nepal) than in Kathmandu.

This familiar love-hate relationship with the homeland—can’t live with it, can’t live without it. You may run away from home to escape problems but you cannot live away from it for long. You may want to earn a degree or work abroad for a few years but you do not want to die there. The desire to return becomes so strong that at one point it overwhelms you. You will start feeling uncomfortable even with the relatively comfortable life there.

People want to share their happiness with their own. In a foreign land, however many good friends they may have, they can’t communicate their excitement with foreigners as easily as they can with their friends, relatives and neighbours back home. Even if they do, foreigners won’t understand them. They also want to show off their progress—not to their newly acquired foreign friends but to their folks back home. “A Nepali won’t feel validated without showing off his colour television set to his neighbour in Nepal despite earning millions of rupees in Japan,” a senior journalist colleague once told me.

That’s true because there are many other millionaires in developed societies where personal achievements aren’t taken as the significant step they would be considered in Nepal. This is true with any other nationality too. For some it could be the other way around. I have come across many Westerners who have decided to spend their life in third world countries like Nepal and India because they get ‘royal treatment’ and ‘attention’ here. They can’t get the same level of importance in their native society because there are so many other people just like them.

Another very important reason for people to return to their homelands is their desire to do something for their society. After gaining knowledge or amassing wealth, they want to come back to serve their motherland.

My case is slightly different. I do have a strong desire to serve my society and uplift the quality of my profession, but I didn’t go out of Nepal to study or seek employment. And I didn’t come back to show off or share my happiness and progress with my family. In fact, my significant other is still in Delhi studying, among others, econometrics. While in Delhi I was working for a Kathmandu-based company, this newspaper and its Nepali-language sister publication, as fulltime staff. Very few Nepalis work for Nepali companies from outside of Nepal because of the nation’s frail economy.

But Delhi is no New York or Tokyo. This is the capital city of a country where tens of thousands of unfortunate Nepalis toil day and night for meagre earnings. During my stay in the city and trips to other parts of India, I didn’t meet a single Nepali who was very happy or proud to be where he was. And Nepalis are everywhere. From Jammu to Kanyakumari, Mumbai to Shillong, Lucknow to Hyderabad. In all these places I saw Nepalis working at dhabas and shops. Not a good sight. I overheard them talking loudly in Nepali about their difficult life. Not a good sound. All of my attempts to track a Nepali who has done a great deal of ‘progress’ (apart from Udit Narayan and Manisha Koirala) resulted in encounters with momo sellers or small-time liquor sellers in Delhi. I have realised that Nepalis do not go to India to seek success. They go there to sustain their lives. India is not a land of opportunity for us, but a temporary escape from our reality.

But India is not to be blamed for our misfortune. The problem lies with us, not with them. If you are poor and divided, others will look down upon you.

Instead, I feel, India is doing us a favour by allowing us to enter its boundaries without asking. Of course, it does so because of its own compulsions and to safeguard its own strategic interests.

Despite all the hype and hoopla about India being a constitutionally secular country, in my understanding, this is not the case. India can’t become a secular country because it is not just a country. It’s a continent in itself and, more than that, it’s a civilisation. This civilisation is different from that of, say, the Chinese or the West or Muslims. It’s the Hindu civilisation. You don’t have to be a Huntington to understand why a nation that has the second largest Muslim population in the world fought twice with Pakistan and is fencing its frontiers with Bangladesh with barbed wires but is so keen on keeping the border with Nepal open. Jawaharlal Nehru once said something about the Himalayas being India’s final frontier and Hindu nationalists in India continue to believe even today that Nepal is part of what they call the Bharat Barsha.

My understanding is that India has no problem with Nepal as long as it remains a predominantly Hindu society. All the rhetoric that comes out of Delhi that Nepal is ‘tilting’ towards China or becoming ‘a hotbed for anti-India activities’ is lame. This happens despite knowing that Nepal can never be as close to China as it is with India because of civilisational differences with its northern neighbour.

This article was first published in today’s Kathmandu Post. Nepali versionof the same was published in Saturday (12 Feb) edition of Kantipur.

An Experience of Crossing the Nepal-India Border

A kid and his mother: India bound- expecting to a earn living that Nepal, their country, couldn't provide. At the bus stand in Banbasa, Indian town bordering far west Nepal

India bound- expecting to earn a living that Nepal, their country, couldn't provide. At the bus stand in Banbasa, Indian town bordering far west Nepal

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

The border between Nepal and India is so open, smooth and easy to cross that it doesn’t even feel like an international border separating two countries that once fought under different rulers. There is not much difference between the landscapes, bazaars and people on the two sides of the border. There’s no language problem; Nepalis understand Hindi and many shop owners on the Indian side of the border speak fluent Nepali. For many Nepalis who travel to India for work or religious purposes, crossing into India is like going to offices or temples in Nepal. Tens of thousands of Nepalis and Indians cross the border each day to do business, get education and treatment, visit relatives and seek divine blessings.

crossing the line kathmandu post p6.Oct26.2010

Kathmandu Post. 26.10.2010 (click to enlarge)

That’s one version of the story. A feel-good version that epitomises the best of the relationship between Nepal and India. Unfortunately that’s not the only version of the Indo-Nepal border crossing story. That’s not the only truth. If you are poor, illiterate and badly dressed, crossing the border becomes a harrowing experience. The policemen on both sides of the border who are supposed to facilitate the crossing suddenly become a bunch of thugs who harass travellers and extort their hard earned money. The scene at some border crossing points at times is so horrific that you may want to compare them with rape.

The Banbasa (India)-Mahendranagar (Nepal) border crossing point is one of the busiest and probably the most notorious of the transit points between two countries. India has two separate checkpoints within the distance of about 100 metres. If you are entering Nepal your luggage will be searched by Indian policemen first. Then you are allowed to cross the bridge over the Mahakali River. The structure is actually the barrage (Indians call it Sarda barrage as a canal with the same name originates from here. The inequality in Indo-Nepal relationships is aptly reflected on the sizes of the canals that go towards respective countries from the Mahakali River. The canal on the Nepali side is about a tenth the size of the Sarda canal that flows into India.) Soon after crossing the bridge will come another checkpoint operated by Seema Surakshya Bal (SSB), India’s border security force along the border with Nepal. This controversial check post came into existence a few years ago almost overnight provoking much anger from the Nepali population. Continue reading

Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Nepal’s Free Media

These are not very good times for the relationship between the Nepali media industry and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. They are at loggerheads, most recently, over a statement issued by the embassy on 27th blaming “certain print and television media” reporting “against products manufactured by Indian Joint Ventures in Nepal.” Past allegations of this nature, said the embassy, have been found to be false after thorough investigation by Nepal Government agencies.

The most damning part of the press statement is in the second paragraph. “The Indian JVs have informed the embassy that they have been approached by such media houses for release of advertisements and are being threatened with negative publicity if those requests are not met.”

Then the embassy provided us some background info on Indo-Nepal relationship telling us how much importance the JVs have in that.

“These Indian Joint Ventures make a substantial contribution to the Nepalese economy, employment, revenue to the Government and exports from Nepal. They maintain the highest standards of quality, which is proved by the fact that exports of their products are accepted across the globe. These companies are the pride of Nepal and a symbol of close relations between India and Nepal.” Then the embassy adds: “The baseless adverse publicity against the products of such joint ventures will not only hit the Nepalese economy and exports but will also deter new foreign direct investments into Nepal.”

Last, but not least, the embassy says: “We hope that concerned authorities will take suitable action against such unethical practices.”

Anything wrong with the statement? Nothing, had that been issued by a commercial company with business interests in Nepal. But the fact that it was issued by the official representative of the Republic of India in the Democratic Federal Republic of Nepal is troubling. The Indian embassy, under the able leadership of Rakesh Sood, in Nepal is not the East Nepal Company. Therefore it shouldn’t behave in a way that reminds us the East India Company. [Nepalis didn’t experience that, by the way, as they were never colonized by the British.] The embassy should have told the complaining JVs something like this: “This seems purely a commercial issue. You guys, being multinational companies, should know how to sort this out.”

But the embassy didn’t say that. It acted like the publicity wing of Dabur Nepal, the Indian company in Nepal, whose product- Real juice- got bad publicity because worm was reportedly found in its tetra pack.

The funniest thing is the company in question, Dabur Nepal, didn’t send letters or rebuttals to the media outlets that reported about its product.

The embassy’s views are highly exaggerated when it says the Indian JVs “are the pride of Nepal.” NO, they are NOT. Are Toyota, Coca Cola and Blackberry the pride of India? But yes Dabur, Nepal Unilever and Asian Paints in Nepal symbolize business relations (not close ties though) between our two nations. Dabur or Unilever are not in Nepal because they wanted to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Profit is THE priority and that is paramount. We Nepalis do understand that and we are perfectly fine with that…as long as the companies abide by the rules, sell quality products and refrain from neglecting and compromising on quality. If Dabur goes, another company will soon come to sell us juice and hazmolas before we get thirsty and face problems with digestion. They are not distributing their products for free by bringing them from India. We also know that Nepal-India relationship is not based on such shaky foundations that rely on tetra-packs juices. We also know that if a company sells something substandard they are often reported in the free presses of the world. Nepal is no North Korea and no Myanmar (Burma) whose dictator General gets red carpet welcome in India. We have a free press, vibrant and very much functional, far more responsible than the Indian press DESPITE the fact that we are only two decades old. We are vibrant, responsible and functional especially when we are compared to some Indian papers that have more than 15 decades of history and experience. [The report of worm found in Real juice was first published by Naya Patrika, a daily tabloid. It was also carried by Sagarmatha TV, a news channel. Kantipur TV, not newspapers from Kantipur Publications, broadcasted a report on that on it’s late night news show, not regular and prime time news bulletins.] Continue reading

Promoting Nepal in India

Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about THE HIGHEST DEMOCRACY in THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY…Nepal should do something to promote itself among Indians.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

promoting nepal in india kathmandu post 8aug10

click to enlarge

Many Nepalis living out of Nepal face one common challenge: how to effectively tell foreigners about their country. Many in the world are completely unaware about Nepal which makes the job all the more difficult. The country of Mt. Everest, they have to tell. Another: It’s in Asia, sandwiched between India and China. Millions of Nepalis living in India don’t have to geographically pinpoint Nepal to Indians as they are aware about the location but that doesn’t make the task any easier. Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about Nepal among Indians.

Some of those misunderstandings are based on rumours and hearsay (all Nepalis smoke pot) while others are created by the Indian mainstream media that is most of the times frighteningly immature and trivial when it comes to covering Nepal.

That doesn’t mean Nepalis have better understanding of India and Indians either. But the lack of understanding among Indians holds more weight because India is big and, more importantly, it plays important role in key Nepali affairs.

“Please don’t feel bad but what I have heard is,” one middle-aged Indian had told me some months ago, “Nepalis put fake Indian currency on their banks, come here in India and withdraw genuine currency from ATMs.” Astonishingly, his tone was serious. I had to explain about some aspects of Indo-Nepal relations for about 20 minutes before he finally said, “Yes, I also think it’s a ridiculous suggestion.”

It is Nepali students in India who mostly have to deal with Indians ignorant about Nepal and educate them. They are relatively best positioned to defend their country in arguments than other Nepalis who come to India and engage in various forms of employment—mostly non-skilled and lowly paid jobs. This class suffers through humiliation knowingly or unknowingly without an idea of how to educate co-workers or be proactive in disseminating information about Nepali society. For them humiliation comes as part of their jobs. Most importantly, they are neither articulate enough nor in a position to assert themselves and fight for their dignity through arguments.

For students it’s a different situation. They have hardly anything to lose.

Tens of thousands of Nepali students study in India—right across the country. They are more likely to meet educated and influential Indians (some with misinformation about Nepal) all over the country. That is why these students, not the diplomats, are the real ambassadors of the Himalayan republic in the world’s largest democracy.

Related links:
1. Face Value: Being a Nepali in India

Only a person with a flat nose and, I hate to use the word here but I must, “chinky” eyes, passes as a Nepali for many Indians…..Going by their reactions and comments, I have come to the conclusion that only those with Mongolian features are considered Nepali in India….I seriously try to explain to them the diverse nature of Nepali society that lives at different altitudes, eats varieties of foods, speaks many languages and sport different looks. Continue reading