Sunday, November 8, 2015

Indian Blockade Hitting Hard on Nepalese People

Rabin Man Shakya
Former Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal
State Education Director, NRN-NCC-USA Oregon Chapter

With Kamal Thapa, one of  Nepal's  six new deputy prime ministers speaking at the United Nations in Geneva about the Indian blockade imposed on Nepal, it looks like Nepal has started to internationalize the issue. And  rightly so.

That the Indian blockade has hurt and suffocated millions of Nepalese is no secret. It has hit hard on the Nepalese people during the holiday season like Dashain and Tihar. The lives of the Nepalese people are becoming more and more miserable and vulnerable because of the blockade.

The impact of the blockade has especially underscored the vulnerability of children, hospital patients and senior citizens among others

Nevertheless, the role of the Indian media vis-a-vis Indian policy on Nepal has always been pro-establishment and intentionally biased.

The mainstream Indian media is still colluding with the South Block to spread the bizarre fiction that it is not India which has imposed the blockade, but the Madheshi parties' agitation that is responsible for situation.

However, some Nepalese political pundits believe that the Madheshi agitation was masterminded and orchestrated by the South Block. It goes without saying that Indian maneuverings are not something new in Nepal.

Anyway, press reports note that Nepal is facing a humanitarian crisis due to the blockade imposed by India. Necessary things like petrol, gas and medicines are becoming rare commodities.

As a result, India's acts against Nepal and its people have unleashed a strong backlash of anti-Indianism in Nepal, with a growing number of Nepalese social media users speaking  out against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  in the social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Amidst the unfolding economic uncertainty and scarcity of basic and essential commodities due to the blockade, the India-bashing by Nepalese journalists and social media users is just natural and spontaneous.

Internationalization of this issue should be more effectively enforced by Nepal at different international and regional conferences and platforms.

It is a matter of satisfaction that non- resident  Nepalese (NRNs) in the USA, Japan and other countries have condemned the blockade imposed by India on Nepal by organizing protests and demonstrations.

Finally, one important fact to be noted: The inability of the mainstream political parties like the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoists to skillfully negotiate with the Madheshi parties has also to be carefully and critically analyzed.

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