I am very happy that Vaidya-led Maoist group finally withdrew their tirade against Nepal’s close neighbor India because they did not find anyone to support their act. Except a few hardcore political sympathizers, an overwhelming number of Nepalese rejected their anti-Indian stand. This showed that Nepalese are now matured enough to realize the importance of economically giant India in the overall development of Nepal.
I don’t think any political party can gain any mileage by harping on anti-Indian slogans. The recent act of Vaidya led Maoist party is also not an exception. Terror and threat cannot change the perception of Nepalese people who know the importance of Nepal’s cultural, religious and geographical ties with India. Because of unreasonable act of Vaidya led Maoist party, Nepalese traders, and tourism entrepreneurs have lost a billion or so rupees and the shutdown of cinema halls has badly damaged the business. Instead of harming India, Vaidya’s act harmed the interest of Nepalese people.
It is very unfortunate that Nepal’s communist parties always play with the sentiments of people living in Madhesh. Banning Hindi movies and Indian-registered number plates from entering Nepal, they have badly hurt the sentiments of Madheshis. We consider this is a threat against us. If they continue this kind of act in the coming days, people in Madhesh will retaliate against such act. India is our close neighbor with whom we have roti and beti relations. Hindi is a common language in Madhesh. The Maoist party must stop this kind of hatred against a particular country with which Nepal has historically strong relations. What happens if people from other side of the border take such a decision. Nepalese will starve without food.
Due to threat and terror, they forced people to shut down the cinema. Because of their physical threat, Indian registered vehicles too avoided entry into Nepal. It is the only insane people who can support and commit this kind of political propaganda against neighboring country like India. What I find in the message of the people against Vaidya led Maoist and other anti-Indian groups is that people will not support them and they have to change their redundant old perception that one need to be anti-Indian to be a nationalist. In the context of globalization, Nepal cannot remain in isolation and I don’t think Vaidya faction will be able to harm Nepal-India relations.
Whether one likes it or not, India is Nepal’s important friend and neighbor. We rely for everything on it. Following the stalling of Indian vehicle movements in Nepal, the prices of essential commodities have gone up many folds. There is a scarcity of essential commodities. Similarly, Nepal’s entertainment industry is badly suffering in the last two weeks. The blockade of Indian registered vehicles to Nepal also stopped Indian tourists and pilgrims, who come to worship at religious shrines, including Pashupatinath. Vaidya must understand that Pashupatinath is the only Hindu temple where every Hindu has the right to come to visit irrespective of their citizenship. Blocking Indian pilgrimage, Vaidya group has committed a religious crime. By rejecting the call of Vaidya group, people have shown that they are not interested to harm the good and friendly relations with India. This is the message for all the anti-Indian forces in Nepal.
Mahato is president of Sadbhawana Party. As told to New Spotlight.