A Brief History of India Nepal Relations
- India Nepal relations have been very cordial. Both the countries share a deep cultural and people to people contact from historic times
- There has been a free cross border movement of people and traders from time immemorial
- In 1816, the Treaty of Sugauli was signed between British East India Company and Nepal
- In 1860, the king of Nepal invited Indian landlords and businessmen to settle in the Tarai region
- In 1923, Nepal–Britain Treaty was signed. It was historically significant as it made Nepal an independent and sovereign country. The treaty was recorded in the League of Nations.
Areas of Cooperation:
The relationship of India and Nepal is governed by Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship. It was signed between Indian Government and Nepal in 1950. It is very important in the bilateral relations of both the countries.
Please take a look at the salient features of the treaty below
The following areas of cooperation between the two countries are worth notable
- India accounts for 2/3 of Nepal’s foreign trade and its currency is pegged to Indian currency
- India is providing Economic aid and helps build is infrastructure
- India has also offered $1 billion concessional line of credit for various development purposes
- Visakhapatnam port has been opened for Nepal
Areas of Contentions
Criticism of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1950:
The treaty has been complained by citizens of Nepal to be unequal. The following reasons are cited for it
- The major contention was that the treaty is in violation of the Nepali laws. Those laws prohibit non-citizens to buy properties and engage in any business
- Some sections of Nepalese feel that the treaty is an infringement upon its sovereignty
A new constitution in Nepal has been framed in 2015 after many years of drafting. The new constitution was not able to arrive at a consensus and the people of Terai, especially the Madhesis and Tharus, living close to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have shown great resentment to certain provisions of the constitution that ignored their rights. They protested against it.
India’s Blockade of Nepal 2015:
Nepal has accused India of an undeclared blockade. It is alleged that India was not happy with the Nepal constitution not able to appease the Madhesis and hence the blockade was declared. Indian Government has consistently denied any such sort of measure officially.
What was the issue?
The following points highlights the role of China in Nepal
- China has become one of the most important trading partners of Nepal
- China has provided liberal aid for building infrastructure in Nepal. China has also undertaken many infrastructure projects in Nepal. For Example, China’s freight train to Nepal
- China and Nepal are aiming for a better Defence cooperation. Both the countries are planning to conduct a joint military drill
- The blockade led Nepal to have an agreement with china securing transit route through China, which seeks to bypass its geographical dependence on India for ports to trade with the world.
Anti india Sentiment in Nepal:
- Government of Nepal believe that India wants to topple the present government in Nepal. The blockade strained the India-Nepal relationship severely
- It led to calling back its ambassador from India and cancel President of Nepal visit to India further straining ties between the two neighbours
- Nepal was not happy with the way the Indian media conducted itself in the wake of an earthquake in 2015
As a result of all these there is a growing anti-India sentiment in Nepal which can harm the historical goodwill and cooperation between the two countries.