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IR-INDIA NEPAL RELATIONS Presented by: Aaditya Mishra

Few Misc things •

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Due credits to my teachers Mrs. Shubhra Ranjan and Dr. Khan.

Feedback is as important as watching the video. Plz let us know what can be the improvements. What should be death with more comprehensively etc.


Most imp is “current status and issues”

1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship

Disputes- border( Kalapani and Susta)

India’s involvement in Nepal’s domestic policy

India’s policy towards Nepal- continuity, changes and weaknesses.

“Roti-Beti ka Sambandh” •

Unique relations •

common culture, bound by language, religion, civilisation and mythology (Ramayana and Shakuni mama )

Civilisational links run through Lumbini to Bodh Gaya, Pashupati nath to Kashi Vishwanath.

Hardly any e.g. in world where People2People contacts are so intimate.

“Roti-Beti ka Sambandh” •

P.Nehru had done earliest experiment in “economic dependence”, permitted “open border”, “national treatment” to Nepali citizens (today out of 28 million, 20% live in India)

But in Nepal, India is projected as bullying big brother

According to Amb. Rakesh Sood: “India Nepal relations are too close and this closeness brings complexities too and hence needed to be handled with extra care.”

Current Status of Relations •

Rakesh Sood: India Nepal relations have hit a “new low”

Why he says “new low”

India recently took Nepal to Human Rights Council for alleged HR violation, extra judicial killings etc.

Timing: This has come at a phase when Nepal is becoming a republic- has been used by Nepali politicians to create negative propaganda.

Blockade of the “essential supplies.”

Follow up: Plz follow up on this issue for mains 2016 as new developments take place.

Current Status of Relations •

KP Oli said “blockade by India of essential commodities is more inhumane than during wars”

This has led to warming up of relations btw Nepal and China (promising 100 metric tonnes of oil).

India has not welcomed the constitution passed by the Nepal’s constituent assembly.

Nepali politicians claim that India tacitly supports Madhesis and are responsible for political turmoil.

HR council issue •

India has asked for 4 things: •

Nepal should consolidate constitution building and democratise the process by accommodating all sections of the Nepal(we will see in future parts of the lesson which groups are have what issues).

make Truth and Reconciliation comm and full implementation of its recomm including prosecution

independence and financial autonomy of NHRC

set up independent comm for Children and Women

2014-relations with PM Modi’s Neighbourhood 1st policy •

Nepal is in a phase of transition since 2006. Hence their has been a stage of “stagnation” in our relations.

EAM’s visit to Nepal- India Nepal Joint Commission after 23 years.

PM Modi started on a very high note and tried to “reset the relations” and to a large extent was successful in uplifting from the current state of stagnations - e.g. visit Aug 2014, Power Trading Agreement btw India n Nepal.

PM Modi’s Visit •

2014 Bilateral visit •

address to the Nepali Parliament and appreciation of “political reconciliation”

Shstra(weapons) to Shastra (scriptures) and Yuddh(war) to Buddha.

desire that Constitution @earliest, consensus based.

assurance that Nepal can look at India for help any time

India is a partner and not a big brother.

Mantra is “Highways, Info ways and Transways (HIT)

Outcomes of 2014 visit •

Advance light helicopter “DHRUVA III”

Emergency and Trauma centre with 200 beds @Kathmandu

1 billion LOC + 69 million grants

Power trading agreement to be signed within 45 days.

MoU on sister cities: Ayodhya & Janakpur; Bodhgaya & Lumbini; Varanasi & Kathmandu.

Border Working group to look into Kalapani and Susta dispute.

Initiate quickly 500MW Pancheswar Multi Purpose Project; 900MW GMR upper Karnali project

early conclusion of Arun III, Tamakoshi III and Upper Marsyangdi

Multi lane bridge @ Mahakali river - open trade and transit link btw Delhi, UP and Uttarakhand with Western region of Nepal.

In the next part, we will chronologically assess India’s Nepal policy and look at the constitutional crisis of Nepal.

Now let us chronologically understand India’s Nepal Policy

Overview of our Nepal’s policy •

1950’s •

three pillars of nepali politics

 King Tribhuvan was held captive by Rana but ppl had sympathy for king.

Not popular India entered into Treaty of Peace and Friendship with him.


Nepali Congressclose relations with INC

1950’s •

India entered into Treaty of Peace and Friendship (TPF) with Rana

A 1 - everlasting peace and friendship, acknowledge sovereignty, territorial integrity etc.

A 5 - govt. of Nepal is free to import arms, ammunitions or warlike material from India only.

A 6 - National treatment to citizens of each other.

A 7 - Privileges wrt to ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce.

1. Issues in TPF •

Rana was not popular so ppl saw that as India legitimising the rule of Rana •

Signing issue- PM Rana signed with our Ambassador = ego hurt

Nepali congress projected this as Rana’s compromise

Later King Tribhuvan came to New Delhi ==> India supported his claims ==> hence we played a role in shift from monarchy to Constitutional monarchy + Parliamentary democracy and Rana rule ended.


Nepal became Constitutional monarchy and Parliamentary democracy.

Our policy was ambiguous( sometimes favouring Rana, the King etc.) and often contradictory

In short our “3 pillared policy failed”



King Tribhuvan was succeeded by King Mahendra

Mahendra was not satisfied with const. monarchy

He was apprehensive of India=> India at this time was supporting Nepali Congress, hence he started propaganda against Nepali Congress.

Ended Parliamentary democracy and estb Panchayati Raj => no actual devolution

Started using China Card, started becoming cosy with China

China Card 1960-1990 •

Started importing arms from China - violation of treaty

China was allowed to build road from Kodari pass to Kathmandu.

Later King Brirendra proposed the idea of Nepal as “ZONE OF PEACE”- this was opposed by India. •

why ==> as per TPF, with countries will help each other in the event of war.

Also Indian forces would use Nepali forces command areas for support

But ZONE OF PEACE meant Nepal as “neutral state”; which was against the TPF.


Nepal wanted a separate Trade and Transit treaty but India instead on a single treaty.

Nepal accused India of using Transit as bargaining chip to get undue advantage.

1978-Janta Govt. accepted the Nepalese demand.

But Transit issue became a spoiler when Rajiv Gandhi decided not to renew the Transit treaty which had expired in 1989 to teach Nepal a lesson.

Nepal argued that under UN charter “Transit privileges” were fundamental and permanent right of land locked country.


India Nepal share more than 1800 kms of border.

26 adjacent districts, but most politicised dispute is KALAPANI in Dhar Chula District.

37000 acres of land which Indian forces are occupying since 1962.

This is en route to “Kailash Mansarovar”

Saugali treaty by Britishers made Kali river as the western border of Nepal - today it is the source of this river that is debated.

Kalapani Issue Solution: Broker a deal and may accept that it is Nepali territory but get it on perpetual lease.

2001 crisis in Nepal •

Palace conspiracy, 2001 •

King Gyanendra came to power after assassination of King Birendra

Gyanendra started “concentrating power” and gave us a hard time.

Then from 1996 there was JAN ANDOLAN -1 till 2006.

Challenging situation for India as King was giving hard time; democrats were internally divided; Maoist were Anti India.

India’s solution post 2001 crisis •

India followed a “pragmatic approach” and brokered a peace deal btw Maoist and NC.

this was called the Comprehensive Peace agreement

12 POINT agreement - transformation to “New Nepal” i.e a federal, democratic republic Nepal.


2008- 1st CA + 4 extensions not able to make constitution.

2013 - 2nd Consti Assm deadline was draft to be ready by 22 Jan, 2015+ then 6 months for public opinion and then pass.

Contentious issues • why • Questions

with regards to Maoist integration was late settled in 2012

• Conditionality

of consensus and it was understood as unanimity.

• Issue

of proportional representation

Contentious issues • Issue

with regards to federal structure(MOST IMP).

• Issues

with regards to power of Judiciary (Maoist - Jud. accountable to Parli. )

• Issue

as to form of Govt.- presidential, parliamentary or semi presidential.

• CA

worked more as interim govt and their was issue of power brokering, corruption etc.

Issues with regards to federalism 1. Whether it should be federal ? 1. has been centrally governed every since its formation hence conservative elements oppose 2. basis of federalism ethnic basis - Madhesis want on ethnic lines hence demand for “EK MADHES, EK PRADESH� But hill elites want to preserve their powers hence they demand “economically and administratively feasible provinces China wants North-South provinces - easier to deal with Tibetan refugee problem if traditional hill elites are in power India - Nepal should decide on its own, but make sure their law and order does not spill over in our states.

Ethnic makeup of Nepal

Madhesis • Hindi/

Bhojpuri/ Maithili speaking ppl

• Terai

is a narrow strip of land btw Shiwaliks & Ganga Plain- fertile good productivity.

• Terai

50% GDP; 40% popup.

• citizens

by naturalisations (controversy)

Mahant Thakur;
 Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party

Tharus •

indigenous ppl of Nepal - near Uttarakhand Tharus speak variants of Hindi/ Urdu and Awadhi Tharu were already living in the Terai before IndoEuropeans arrived



1 CA- FEDERAL COMM - came up with 14 states

-> too many then 2nd federal comm of experts

-> came out with 10 states.

2nd CA came out with idea of “federal comm” => will decide the delimitation of provinces within 6 months => Madhesis argue that this should be done within the limits of const only. •

NC = const. can been amended any no. of times.


5/ 75 districts are still contentious •

Kailkali and Kanchanpur in West.

Jhapa, Sunsarimorang in East.

Vertical (north south) vs Horizontal provinces (east west)

Demographic issues (hill chetris 31% of population; 60% feeling neglected )

In the next Part we will see the strategic importance of Nepal and Compare constitutions of India and Nepal

Why Nepal is imp for India??

Strategic importance •

Strategic Importance - buffer btw India and China. •

modernisation in Tibet, roads in Nepal, Community Radio in Terai region, HEP, Rails etc.

China could use Nepal for fulfilling Mao’s 5 finger policy: Tibet as palm and Ladakh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim and Aruna. Pradesh as fingers.

Strategic importance: Pak factor •

sends illegal currency, drugs terrorists etc.

ISI opening Madrassa in Terai bordering region.

Energy security: 80,000 MW potential of technically feasible HEP but only 600MW in use.

Nepal exports electricity from India

Power Trading Agreement may be a good step but still much needs to be done.

Nepali politicians use this as for anti India factor as at times it leads to displacement of ppl.

But Indian comp went on the call of their Govt and most are run of the river project.

Internal security •

Gurkha regiment: hence any misunderstanding may lead to internal problems in army.

Gurkha’s in Darjeeling demanding separate state.

Maoist want to estb. “Red corridor” from Nepal to Kanyakumari.

Nepal's Help in flood management : imp for Bihar and U.P.

CONSTITUTION OF NEPAL PROVISIONS GS 2 comparison of constitutions




Basic features

independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive democratic, socialism-oriented federal democratic republican state

Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.

National Language

all mother tongues spoken in Nepal are national language

No National Language


Single federal ctznship with federal identity.

No specific federal id.


Nepali ppl (contraversy)

People of India




Rights recognition

Explicit mention that women shall have equal rights in ancestral property; LGBT rights recognition.

No such explicit mention

Type of representations

Both proportional and FPTP


Constitutional Court


Independent Judiciary with a Independent Judiciary but not constitutional court for 10 yrs. const. court.

1. Secularism means protection 2. of Sanatana Dharma; Cow as 3. National animal; ban on 4. conversions

3 meanings Sarv Dharma Sambhav Dharma Neshpekshta Minority rights protect. Rajeev Bhargava’s Principled distance approach

Constitutional comparison


Plz add more to the topic when the federal comm comes out with its report on provincial units in Nepal.

IN the last part of this lesson we will deal with weaknesses o Indian diplomacy, Nepal’s war against geography and way forward.

Issues in New Const •

Federalism - already dealt

Citizenship •

by naturalisation and by descent

All imp const. posts only thru descent.

Madhesis are thru naturalisation and hence discriminated

Even present President if he resigns cannot be a President again because he is a Madhesi.

Issues in New Const •

Delimitation revision - interim 10 yrs now in final 20 yrs.

Gender bias - Children born to Nedpali women married to foreigner will have to apply for ctznhip through Naturalisation.

Disputes have been simmering and later it has resulted into clashes in areas near Birgunj etc and may spill over to India.

India’s reaction appropriate or not •

As Amb Jayant Prasad maintains that “India should talk softly, walk softly but at the same time ensure that our concerns are registered and appropriately tackled.

Then did we not “talk and walk softly?”

Indian govt did tried to communicate in as many “sophisticated ways” as possible about our concerns •

PM called Nepali PM and asked to develop consensus

Foreign Sec. Jayashakar was sent before promulgation of the constitution.

Nepal’s Argument •

The three major political parties NC, CPN and UML formed a closed alliance and went ahead political considerations

100% consensus not possible, majority of MP’s from Terai have supported the const.

Madhesis have lost the election (Nov 2013 ) and hence are not legitimate representatives of ppl.

Const is open & dynamic and can be amended as and when required.

Nepal’s Argument •

There has already been 7 yrs delay and ppl losing patience and faith and conservative elements talking about bringing back monarchy

There was promise to pass the const as early as possible.

They criticise India for meddling in their internal matters. •

counter: not internal anymore as 1700+ km of open and porous land border.

PN Haksar used to say “India and its neighbours are lost in each other’s intestines”

Madhesis have come into Bihar

Since it is discriminatory, it is better to change it now then to wait for consequences.

India’s Reaction •

Did not congratulate the country

PM Modi’s announcement was clear indication of our stand •

“Nepal is a sovereign country and India has no intention to dictate anything to Nepal. It is not our job to tell you what to do but support you in whatever path you take”

But their internal crisis should not disturb situation in India.

India’s mistakes ?

According to SD Muni: India used 3 stages but in vain •

1. Hand’s off policy

2. Any Const is better than no const.

3. PANIC stage when we saw that Nepali cons assembly rushed thru 270 articles in one day without broad consensus.

But in reality it was lack of foresightedness on our part, we should have worked consistently knowing how Nepali politics, their permutations and combinations etc.

Why have been late in reacting; our approach should have been proactive.

India’s mistakes ? •

Another weak area of our diplomacy was: citizenship clause was in public domain from Aug and we knew that it would discriminate against 40-50% of population but we reacted only in Sept.

We have weak “public perception management” although we know that Nepali politicians have the tendency to use anti Indianism for pol gains. •

Signs were visible: Aug PM Modi went on bilateral talks — > every section of the society, media responded positively

But when he went in Sept for SAARC summit and related the same thing —> their was few sections of pol formations that were critical, we should have known now Nepali politicians are using India as a “punching bag”

China’s Response •

China had played it’s card well, better than India.

Chinese FM was in Nepal to congratulate.

China has strategic interests - Tibetan refugee issue and hence its insistence on North South provincial axis.

China is using Nepal as a pawn in the strategic game to “box India” in S. Asia.

Nepal will become the “land pearl”

China claims that it follows Panchsheel and is only interested in Nepal’s development.

What should India do ? •

India is re-calibrating its policy •

PM Oil visited and India announced that 300 trucks will leave from alternative route.

India has to take interests of the Terai ppl w/out antagonising the hill elites.

It is not the same Nepal as it was 2000.

Media Management etc. have to be seen.

At the same time we have to be “selectively less visible” and more “gentle but not passive.”

Should use 4 C’s: connectivity, culture, civilisation and Coop

What should India do ? •

Should strengthen economic linkages and create “economic dependency”

Goodwill created because of our proactive humanitarian help in EQ and surrounding PM Modi’s visit has already eroded now damage should be reduced.

Should improve connectivity before Chinese does. Instead of using Nepal as a buffer state use it as a land bridge.

Resolve the irritants like boundary disputes etc.

Review the process made by Joint Working Boundary group @ periodically.

What should Nepal do? •

Nepali politicians should also understand that India and Nepal are linked thru geography and history.

Getting some help from Chinese can be a short term gain

In winters roads from China to Nepal will be blocked and hence Nepal has to be depend on India.

They cannot win “war against geography”

Political solution to the problem needs to be found.

They need India more than we need them. => So China card is good until they play it.

That is all for this lesson •

Next lesson will be on India-Bangladesh - date: 20th Jan, 2016

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