16 June, 2021

Beyond Belief

The Hindu kingdom's reaction to India's BJP regime is muted

Beyond Belief

THE Hindutva-espousing BJP does touch a chord among a large section of the Nepali population," admits analyst Dhurba Kumar. "But I very much doubt whether Nepal's 'Hinduness' would mean anything once you get down to the arena of realpolitik." That just about sums up the dilemma Hindu Nepal faces while dealing with a BJP government in New Delhi, not the least because there's enough domestic instability to bother about.

On April 10, weeks after India got a new prime minister, Nepal's Surya Bahadur Thapa, of the royalist Rashtriya Prajatantra Party—heading a shaky alliance with the Nepali Congress—stepped down as per the terms of the pact. Preoccupied by this climate of flux, few predictions are forthcoming on how the BJP's ascent may affect ties.

But there are those who fear the BJP for just the opposite reason: India, under Hindu "chauvinists", may come out a bit too strongly in favour of "special ties" between the two Hindu nations, riding roughshod over the sensitivities of the minority...

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