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Prime Minister Deuba’s India Visit

Issue August 2017

Prime Minister Deuba’s India Visit

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is visiting India from August 23 to 27, 2017 at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Before visiting India, Deuba has put the Nepalese political house in order except his own house NC, and he is then engaged in his foreign policy first visiting India, and then probably China, as he has an invitation of the Chinese vice Premier to visit China, too. Indian Prime Minister Modi has his foreign policy failed. Nepal is an ancient country but India is so large its political leaders, State agencies officials, and surely the government feel they have the rights to interfere in the internal matters of its neighbors.


Prime Minister Deuba with his entourage including his spouse Dr Arju Rana Deuba has been in New Delhi since August 23, and will be returning home on August 27, 2017.


Before leaving Nepal for India, Deuba has set the national politics on the right track putting the bill on amendment to constitution to a vote in the parliament. Even though the bill could not get through the parliament but it set the path for the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-Nepal) to follow the democratic values and norms for achieving its goal rather than protesting on the streets and even blocking the border entry points causing tremendous troubles to common folks, and even going around seeking the assistance from the neighboring State Bihar. It also made RJP-Nepal to participate in the third-phase election to the local units in the province number 2 on September 20, 2017. It also has made the constitution acceptable to all, as the RJP-Nepal is taking part in the local elections, surely in the provincial and federal elections to be held on November 26, 2017 contributing to the smoothly ending the transitional period.


However, Deuba has triggered dissent in his party appointing Bimalendra Nidhi to the Acting President of NC in his absence. Some NC leaders particularly Ramchandra Poudel whom Deuba defeated in the presidential election of the NC has been unhappy and even nervous of Deuba’s dictatorial tendency in the party, said some NC political leaders. It is the business as usual in every political party to have some dissidents, who openly come out to oppose the actions of the rival leaders.


Deuba also has managed the floods victims deploying the army and the police to rescue the floods victims, and he personally distributed some relief supplies to the floods victims. The scale of floods devastating is immense, and for any government particularly the government of Nepal managing such devastation is not so easy. Given the limited resource Nepal has, the State deploying the army and the police in time, has reasonably properly managed the floods victims and save the lives of a large number of people at the risk of drowning.


Then, Deuba has time to engage in the foreign policy. He has the invitation Chinese Vice-premier Wang Yang had extended at the time of his Nepal visit from August 14-17, 2017. He has an invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too. Deuba is accepting the first Indian invitation and visiting India. Whether Deuba would visit China or not remains to be seen.


China is happy Deuba is visiting India, and the Chinese State spokeswoman even said that China always wanted to see Nepal maintained a very good relations with India. Vice-premier Wang Yang while in the Nepal visit had appreciated the Nepalese neutral stand on the China-India face-off at Doklam: the border between Bhutan and China.


Everybody wanted Deuba not to give any surprises this time. At the immediate past visit to India, Deuba as the president of NC: the largest party in the Nepalese parliament had obviously attended an event in which the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile participated making an embarrassment not only to China but also to himself. Deuba’s lieutenant had to deny even the picture in which Deuba was seen sitting on the same row as of the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile as a made-up with a Photoshop.


China’s main concern with India has been the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan government in exile India has been hosting since 1959 when Tibetans had a botched uprising against the Chinese rule. China and India have the border dispute, too but the main contentious issue has been the Dalai Lama.


China wanted to have the diplomatic relations with Bhutan but India had been a barrier to this end, according to the Chinese State media. Bhutan is not only within the sphere of influence of India but also it has delegated an authority to India to defend, and to be in-charge of its foreign policy. So, Bhutan is practically could not do anything of its defense and foreign policy without the approval of India. What Bhutan benefited from staying in the shadow of India had been it had successfully ejected about half of its population particularly the Nepalese origin with the assistance of India in 1990s. However, Bhutan has been paying the price for the Indian assistance, as it has come without the request to block the Chinese construction workers at Doklam, and Bhutan could not have diplomatic relations with China. Thus, Bhutan became the victim of its own unwise actions of delegating its defense and foreign relations to India.


Deuba had a surprise call of Modi to visit Modi’s residence for one-on-one unofficial talks in New Delhi on August 23, 2017 while Deuba preparing for going to the event the Nepalese embassy was holding. Modi loved to make such a surprise move. He had had an unanticipated bear hug with President Donald Trump when he visited the USA recently. Previously, he had dropped in Pakistan unexpectedly to meet with the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. No news was available what talks Deuba had had with Modi before the official talks to be held next day.


While in Nepal before going to India, Deuba and his entourage had been shy about saying what agreements they are going to sign with India giving an impression of Nepal was not going to have any agreements with India and would mainly focus on enforcing the agreements already done.


However, Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara holding the foreign ministry portfolio said in New Delhi on August 23 that Nepal and India would sign off at least such agreements on illegal transportation of narcotic and their misuse, on setting the quality standard of industrial products between the two countries, and on the package of rehabilitation of the quake-damaged structures, education, technical assistance, consulting services, and health India has offered, according to the news in “gorkhapatra” of August 24, 2017.


In fact, Nepal and India signed off eight memorandums of understanding on August 24, 2017. The concerned officials of both sides exchanged the MOUs while both prime ministers were standing at the podium for the joint press conference, and looked on.


Deuba and Modi jointly launched the Raxual-Parwanipur and Kushaha-Kataiya inter-country transmission line making possible to import additional 100 MW: each transmission line transmitting 50 MW during the dry season when the water level in the Nepalese rivers will be low and sufficient hydropower could not be generated.


However, the price Nepal will be paying for Indian power will not be so cheap as each unit will cost NPR 8.88 (Indian 5.5), according to the news in the ‘artha-bazaar’ section of “gorkhapatra” of August 25, 2017. India is taking the advantage of the power shortage in Nepal and selling its power at such a high price. Nepal would have developed a number of hydropower plants if India were to buy power from Nepal even at the half the price of India is selling power to Nepal now.


Addressing the joint press conference, both the prime ministers had only a few words for the devastating floods on both sides of the border between Nepal and India. Prime Minister Deuba did not even spell out that both Nepal and India needed to work together to mitigate such man-made natural calamities in the future. Everybody knew that Nepal and India would not need to face such huge floods recently if Indian officials were to open the dams in time to release the water.


Speaking at the joint press conference, Deuba invited Modi to visit Nepal to launch the Arun-III that an Indian company is building in October this year. The capacity of Arun-III is 900 MW. The project has been waiting for implementation for a long time. Hopefully, after Modi inaugurating the project, the real construction work will begin.


After his invitation to the Heads of State of SAARC countries to attend his oath-taking ceremony at New Delhi in 2014, everybody anticipated that Indian Prime Minister Modi would be at least the regional leader if not a world leader. He had smartly visited the neighboring countries including China giving the first priority to the neighbors such as Bhutan and Nepal.


After three years, Modi had done just the reverse. No neighbor including Bhutan had been happy with Modi. He had reached the state of face-off at Doklam: the border between Bhutan and China. He had intensified the Kashmir problem. He had been trying to build an axis with Japan, USA, and Israeli instead of forming a trade axis among China, India and Nepal making Nepal a bridge between China and India so that the two Asian heavy weights could come out as the world leaders politically and economically.


Obviously, Modi had squandered the opportunity of China and India having a direct link making Nepal a bridge denying to participate in the OBOR (One Belt One Road), and of going together with China to lead the world. The main grudge Modi had held against China had been China built a highway crossing the Pakistan-administered Kashmir for having an access to Arabian Sea.


Modi had developed a bad habit of interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal. He sent his foreign envoy to Nepal asking for postponing the promulgation of the constitution just two days before the promulgation apparently for meeting the demands of Madheshi leaders for ensuring the provision for equal rights of Madheshi, ethnic, Muslim and underprivileged people in the constitution.


However, Nepalese leaders did not listen to the Indian envoy, and promulgated the constitution in 2015 surely provoking Modi to impose unauthorized and unofficial sanctions against Nepal for about six months causing tremendous sufferings to the common folks. He fed the Madheshi leaders and cadres a lunch on the Indian side of the border for enabling them to protest and stop the goods trucks heading to Nepal to make the impression of Modi did not impose the blockade on Nepal but the Madheshi leaders did but everybody in Nepal and probably in India too knew that it was the Modi that did everything to stop the trucks going to Nepal.


The blockade on Nepal had been another failure of Modi in his foreign policy, as Nepalese people endured the shortage of all sorts of supplies they needed for the daily life but Nepalese did not given in to Modi. Ultimately, Modi gave in and lifted the embargo, and invited the then Nepalese Prime minister KP Oli that slept through the crisis in short supply of fuels and foods, and woke up only to visit India.


The result had been Modi successfully pushed Nepal toward China. Nepal got the access to the Chinese port through the transit China has so graciously provided at the time of national crisis Modi had imposed on Nepal. Even though passing through the Chinese transit route for the international trade might not be so feasible immediately but Nepal could at least count on the Chinese transit route whenever India blocked Nepal.


Nepal could have a short trade route with Bangladesh if Modi were to open up the 15-km long route through the Indian Territory linking Nepal with northern Bangladesh. Both Bangladesh and Nepal could tremendously benefit if Modi were to be a compassionate and benevolent person. Why Modi did not like to provide both Bangladesh and Nepal with a transit route through his territory was rather mystery but anybody could guess that Modi did not want to see the neighbors doing businesses passing through his territory.


Modi had effectively postponed the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) convention supposed to hold every two-year only to isolate Pakistan from other South Asian countries. Modi had practically destroyed the possibility of the regional cooperation among the south Asian countries not making the SAARC convention possible in the near future.


Within the country, Modi caused the economic loss demonetizing the large denomination banknotes. However, his government cooked the statistics and made the worst economic scenario to look a better one. Millions of poor people suffered from the business losses, employment losses and other losses caused by the demonetization of the banknotes without notice.


Modi had been instrumental to ban the slaughter of cows and beef eating in some States denying the beef to hundreds of millions of Muslims, and beef-eating Hindus. Millions of people working in the livestock and beef industry lost their businesses. Beef-eating and slaughtering cows have been the crime more than the killing of humans. Even the suspicion of keeping a piece of beef in a fridge provoked the Hindu fundamentalists acting as the vigilantes to kill the person allegedly having a piece of beef in the fridge.


Modi had failed in lifting hundreds of millions of Indians from the poverty. Modi knew that India had the largest number of the people living under the poverty line but what Modi did was to purchase billions of dollar worth of weapons from the US and Israel instead of using the money for social and economic development of the common folks in India.


India is a new nation. The history of current India is only 70-year old. It was born in 1947 at the cost of millions of lives of Hindus and Muslims not to mention the economic and social losses of the new countries such as India and Pakistan, which again split into Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Such miseries had been inflicted on the country and the people because the Hindu and Muslim leaders of the British India were not for welfare of the common folks that had made a great sacrifice to get independence from the British rule but for meeting their ego of being the rulers of the new nations such as India and Pakistan.


Nepal is an ancient country. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and demigoddess Sita, and is the land where Balmiki wrote an epic called Ramayana. Anybody could go to Thori for seeing the Balmiki ‘ashram’ and the well from where Sita drew water, and the area where Lava and Kush: sons of Sita played. Nepal needs to make Thori known to all Hindus and the world publicizing Nepal is the land where Balmiki wrote Ramayana.


Scholars believe that 27 ascetic scholars did research on herbal medicines in the Nepal Himalaya, and developed Aryuveda and set up the Aryuvedic system of treating diseases. Hanuman flew to the Nepal Himalaya to collect herbal medicines for treating Laxman injured while fighting a battle against Ravana, according to Ramayana.


Similarly, many scholars believe that yoga was first practiced in Nepal. Lord Shiva is believed to be the first yoga practitioner, and his abode is in the Nepal Himalaya. Doleswor Mahadev: another name of Lord Shiva in Kathmandu is the head of Kedarnath in India, according to the Indian Sankaracharya.


So, Modi correctly called Nepal a holy land.


India is so large its political leaders, State agencies, and surely the government feel they have the rights to interfere in the internal matters of its neighbors. Consequently, most of its neighbors particularly those bordering with it are not happy with Modi and his associates, as leaders of this recent nation want to interfere in the business of the well-established ancient nation such as Nepal that has produced Sita, Balmiki, Buddha, Shiva, and other innumerable deities.


August 25, 2017




The following are the eight memorandums of understanding Nepal and India exchanged on August 24, 2017 as posted on


1. Memorandum Of Understanding Between Government Of Nepal and Government Of India on Modalities for Utilization of India’s Housing Grant of US$100 million to support Reconstruction of 50,000 Houses


2. Memorandum of Understanding Between The Government of The Republic of India and The Government of Nepal for Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Health Sector in Nepal


3. Memorandum of Understanding Between The Government of The Republic of India and The Government of Nepal for Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Cultural Heritage Sector In Nepal


4. Memorandum of Understanding Between The Government of The Republic of India and The Government Of Nepal for Implementation of The Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in The Education Sector in Nepal


5. Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Between The Government of The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and The Government of The Republic of India on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances And Precursor Chemical and Related Matters


6. Memorandum of Understanding Between Government of India Represented by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Government of Nepal Represented by Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport For Implementation Arrangement on Cost Sharing, Schedules and Safeguard Issues for Constructions of Mechi Bridge under ADB's SASEC Road Connectivity Program (Tranche2) Funded by Government of India


7. Agreement Between the Bureau of Indian Standards, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Republic of India and Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, Ministry of Industry of Nepal on Cooperation in the Field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment


8. MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Chartered accounts of Nepal.

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