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Modi Govt Miffed with Nepal adopting Democratic Constitution. International media critical of India.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invested considerable personal stock in ties with Nepal, a country he has travelled extensively through in the past. On both visits to Nepal as Prime Minister, Mr. Modi had made a point of discussing the constitution building process, and in November 2014 publicly counselled Nepal’s government to seek “consensus, not numbers (majority)”. On August 25, when it became clear that Nepal’s government was going ahead with a majority vote for the Constitution, and violence broke out, Mr. Modi even made a telephone call to his Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala. According to an MEA statement issued at the time, Mr. Modi had told him that the Nepali leadership “should resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue between all political parties and through the process of widest possible consultation”.

“Deeply concerned” over the continuing violence in Nepal, and the impact of Kathmandu’s decision to adopt the Constitution despite India’s advice, the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday called Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae back to Delhi for consultations.

On Last Sunday, Nepal adopted its first democratic Constitution, a historic step for a nation that has seen war, a palace massacre and devastating earthquakes since a campaign to create a modern state began more than 65 years ago.

President Ram Baran Yadav promulgated the charter intended to unite the country, but it has already exacerbated divisions in some places with 40 people killed in protests against it in recent weeks.

“Our country is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural … this new document will safeguard the rights of all Nepali brothers and sisters,” Yadav said, signing five copies of the Constitution into law as lawmakers thumped tables. Some of them cried.

There were no reports of major violence on Sunday though three people were wounded when police fired at people trying to break a curfew in Birgunj in the south. In the capital Kathmandu, a crowd of more than 2,000 people cheered and took pictures of the constituent assembly building decked out in red and blue Nepali flags.

In its third and most stern statement in three days on the situation in Nepal, the Ministry said it had “repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in [the Terai] region.

Why India is un happy with the Constitution Nepal adopted. Was it India wanted Nepal to toe its line of Majority Hindu Rastra line the BJP and RSS dream of making India. A defeat to such radical stance by the leadership of Nepal has come about with adoption of a Constitution that is Democratic and inclusive. Internatiaonl Media takes this line and it is also surprising the Indian media very carefully ignores this line and pushes it to various other concerns that are internal in nature for India. And the right to have a Constitution of its own is Nepal’s. India by behaving skirmishly with Nepal and not even congratulating in the moment of victory of democracy that Nepal was longing for decades is surprising to me.

The BBC reports differently. 

Nepal’s adoption of a new federal constitution is being watched warily across the border by its giant neighbour India.

The document defines the majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces.

Although Delhi was one of the major backers of the process over the past decade, it believes the new constitution is not broad-based and is concerned that it could spur violence which could spill over into its own territory.

India’s reaction in the past few days to events in Nepal has been quite remarkable.

On Friday, just a couple of days before the constitution was formally adopted (but after it had been passed by the constituent assembly) India’s top diplomat was sent to Kathmandu at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Ambassador’s visit and MEA statement come a day after Nepal promulgated its Constitution, which India has refused to welcome, with officials saying that Nepal”s decision to go ahead with its Constitution despite India’s advice had “put a strain” on ties. Meanwhile, Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay told The Hindu he was “completely surprised” by the Indian reaction. “On a day when Nepal was celebrating, India didn’t join in with us, that surprised us. I wish they had taken us into confidence about their reservations earlier,” Mr. Upadhyay said, adding that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s mission to Nepal last Friday, just before Sunday’s ceremony “came too late”. “We hope India realises this Constitution is just the beginning, a starting point from which we can move ahead to resolve our differences,” he said.

India says it has expressed its concerns to Nepal’s government because of a possible “spillover” of violence to districts of Bihar bordering Nepal. On Monday, police in Birgunj said three protesters were seriously injured when police opened fire on activists demanding greater representation for Madhesis in the new Constitution. In other towns of southern Nepal including Biratnagar and Janakpur, several protests were reported, where copies of the new Constitution were burnt. Since August 25, when clashes with the police first began over the Constitution, at least 40 people have been killed, mostly protesters, and including eight policemen who were lynched.

But India’s concerns aren’t just limited to the fear of violence spreading to parts of Bihar. Since 2007, when the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) had first signed on to the Constitution-building process, India has been a key influence, even playing guarantor for many of the parties. Officials say none of the commitments given by the Nepal government then on representation and rights of the Madhesi people were kept by the time the constitution was finalised, and India feels slighted by this. “The statements we have issued are a symbol of the frustration the government feels,” an official told The Hindu.

As the weeks have progressed, India’s message to Nepal has been less polite and more public, with statements expressing concern, sans any note of congratulations for the Constitution being adopted. “The issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force,” said the MEA’s statement on Monday. “We still hope that initiatives will be taken by Nepal’s leadership to effectively and credibly address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation.”

Fears are India’s attitude in all fairness can not be seen as proper, meeting the anti govt forces in Nepal and encouraging the opposition to Democratic Constitution forces in Nepal directly or indirectly can not be seen as health for the largest Democracy of the world India.  Our Foreign Policy is showing immaturity. We have neighbors who will  take this as a golden opportunity to target us and corner on issues that are contentious.

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

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