(Opinions expressed here are those of the author.)
Nepal is stepping for a political misadventure due to her political immaturity and childish diplomacy with fears that it may return to the dark days of decade long civil unrest, anarchy, economic hardships and political violence rocking the nation. Recently, the centuries old Indo-Nepal mutual trust and relationship has been tarnished over strong political difference and due to promulgation of a non-inclusive constitution that has given rise to violent agitation in her southern borders adjoining India with numerous plains communities against serious racial prejudices. The country has always been ruled by the upper caste, hill elites of the Kathmandu valley negating the political ambitions of others with strong sectarian division for generations. The deep political and caste divisions between the hill elites and the plains communities cannot be resolved overnight. Nepal has been playing a dirty political game of putting her giant neighbours against one another to reap maximum possible benefits for the elite class. Hence the current Nepali political establishment has been working towards securing political support for protecting their long term political interests in the caste driven nation. Both her giant southern and northern neighbours have been fighting for dominance in the nation and the political establishment of Nepal has been making the grave mistake of following a pendulum diplomacy by swaying from one neighbor to another; and pitting giants to clash against one another within the nation for their fight for dominance. The political establishment, Nepali intellectuals and civil rights societies active in the country does not speak about the involvement of the northern neighbour in the decade long Maoist insurgency that destroyed the economic backbone of the nation and cost the lives of over 15,000 innocent citizens. In spite of the positive diplomacy executed by the current Indian regime and numerous supports and financial aids, the Nepali counterpart deceived New Delhi with hollow promises of drafting an all inclusive constitution and promulgated the draft constitution suddenly breaking the mutual trust to secure their selfish political game of reserving the political rights of hill elites. Till date Kathmandu has done nothing for the plain’s communities other than applying brutal force to inhibit a genuine democratic movement. The agitation in the south has been growing strong with no attempt of political resolution by the Nepali establishment to cater to their selfish needs of keeping the plains communities subdued as result of socio-economic and socio-political prejudices that has found strong footing in the nation for centuries. Without a political resolution by sharing power equally with the plain communities and maintaining antagonistic relationship with a mighty southern neighbour; Nepal’s new political bosses will never be able to rule the landlocked nation in spite of greatest help from the newly found tender loving care of her northern neighbour that has an impressive track record of antagonistic footprint towards her immediate neighbours in the Far East as well as SE Asia. Nepal used as a proxy war zone to strike India will be a disaster as it will bring in super powers such as US and the NATO alliances more comprehensively in her backyard to be engaged in the region for strategic dominance in the future jeopardizing peace and stability of the region. No nation can survive in any form of democracy alienating more than half of her population from their genuine political rights and ambitions for short term political gains. This should be an important lesson for the future government of Myanmar, all the citizens, political parties, business enterprises and military establishment that the sovereign and independent nation must be careful in maintaining a highly balanced diplomacy with both her immensely powerful giant neighbors. Myanmar should have good cooperative, collaborative, strategic and diplomatic relationship with both giant neighbors without any specific tilt towards any one of them and avoid serving as proxy war state facing clashes between the two Asian giants in their fight for dominance in the continent. An independent and comprehensive foreign policy will be necessary for Myanmar to step out to the outside world that is currently going through geo-political turmoil and fight for dominance in her closest neighbourhood.
Saikat Kumar Basu