Aljazeera broadcast on May 26th Netanyahu, PM of Israel was going to annex more territory of Jordon. The state of Israel, which started originally as the two states of Israel and Judah many centuries ago, has had a varied history over the course of the last three millennia. The Holy Land’s history has changed under the various conquerors over the years. This was the trend over the centuries with the concept of ‘Might is Right’. It was also on this assumption that the countries of the Western World built their empires and segregated it amongst themselves over the course of the last five hundred years. The natives of Africa, Asia and Oceania were to be ruled over and exploited for the benefit of the different colonial powers across the seas. Sometimes this concept of overlord-ship even applied in parts of territory within their own confines if one thinks of the countries of Poland and Ukraine which increased or decreased their size over the years.
An eternal truth repeated, again and again, is ’Jiski Lath Uske Bhaise’. This comment is naturally more appropriate in areas of the world where it is spoken and understood. We in Nepal are aware of its implications having undergone and experienced no less than three blockades over the course of the last sixty-seven years. The current episode in which India is trying to annex and take over the territory of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh is the latest example of high-handedness. The Sugauli Treaty between English and Nepalis is still relevant. It was followed by the 1923 Treaty of Friendship signed between the British and Chandra Shumsher before India came into existence. The Union of Indian States or India came into being after the British left India for good in 1947. Their empire which had included present-day Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan is of varied nature following the departure of the White Sahibs. The Brown Sahibs are trying to replay the role of the British. Then, in 1950, under great pressure, Mohan Shumsher the PM of Nepal had to sign the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace & Friendship of 1950 with CPN Sinha who was then the Indian Ambassador. This is the Treaty that the Eminent Persons Group comprising of 4/5 individuals from both Nepal and India met alternately in the two countries and finally agreed on a report on which the 1950 Treaty was to be revised. Though submitted in July 2018, the PMs of India and Nepal have not had the time to go over it! Why no action for we have many problems? Many ‘Junge Pillars’ have fallen, been damaged, or are even missing. The land comprising of the ‘Dasgaaza’ designation has been encroached upon and embankment/wall along the newly built Indian road that causes the Nepali land to be flooded during the rainy season.
The new problem of our Western Border is because of the new maps of both India and Nepal. It resulted in announcing that an amendment to our constitution would be presented and discussed in the house but is being delayed for some reason. Will other pending issues be also discussed at this time or left for the future?
The Nepali people are naturally upset and annoyed by the behavior of the Indian government towards Nepal. The various journalists conducting interviews have been brash and degrading to Nepalis. Even the Websites of the Civil Aviation of Nepal, Kaiser Library and others have been hacked by groups of Indian hackers. Was this in retaliation of the Nepali origin Hashtag – ‘Go back Indian Media’ that surfaced in 2015? It seems that some ‘Think Tank members’ and TV anchors/reporters of our Southern neighbor’s media have this attitude whilst a vast majority of Indian citizens have had goodwill towards Nepalis over the ages.
This world of the twenty-first century is in dire difficulties because of the Corona Pandemic. The way in which the different countries of the world are tackling this problem is a case in point. Are the strategies of the haves and have-not countries going to vary? Will the generally rich countries of the Western and the Eastern worlds differ in the way that they confront this immense problem?
Donald Trump of USA & Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has both stated that their priorities are to get the economic conditions up. Shortening the lockdown is to get the country back on its feet through a number of people who will die. Currently, almost four hundred thousand people have died worldwide and the US has the largest number of people out of work since the depression of 1929/30. In Brazil, the infection rate is second to that of the USA and it is the poor who are dying.
Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan has stated that he is not in a position of extending the lockdown as a large number of people being out of work and without money to buy food, will die otherwise. FAO has forecast the plague of locusts, cyclones and livestock diseases for SE Asia. Let us all be alert. Does the observance of policy signify that what is right and proper in one place may not be appropriate and totally out of place in another?
There are matters of etiquette and behavior in conducting affairs of state. People who are the high ups in the land must also follow the rules that they decree for others. The rule of law must be maintained by one and all. Relationship with countries in the vicinity should be as per the norms of diplomacy as one cannot change one’s neighbours. India must get rid of the mindset that they can do as they like in their backyard.
As children, many of us have recited the story of Humpty Dumpty and how after falling off the wall he could not be put together again. Another memory is the film ‘It’s a Mad, Mad World’ which I saw many years ago. Well, this Covid-19 predicament has put us in a similar situation – the world will never be the same again. It was we humans who dominated the world, changed the environmental balance negatively and brought forth this post Covid-19 situation in which new viruses and diseases are causing havoc. Now is a time for change and steps have to be taken immediately.