21 October, 2020

Old Errors Die Hard

The lesson of burning its fingers earlier in Sri Lanka should guide India’s ties with Nepal.

Old Errors Die Hard
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

As with Tamils in Sri Lanka, India has close cultural, ethnic and linguistic ties with Madhesis in Nepal. But why only Lankan Tamils or Madhesis, if you go back deeper into Sinhala or Gorkha and the pre-Gorkha past, you’ll find ties with India organically woven. But, in the modern context, this doesn’t give India, as the more powerful neighbour, a right to define its neighbours’ nationhood, engineer their constitutional framework, control their policies and try to manipulate their sovereignty in the name of its own perceived or manufactured national interest. Despite different contexts, the lesson of burning its fingers earlier in Sri Lanka should guide India’s ties with Nepal.

More so with Nepal, because from the Gor­kha times onwards, it has zealously gua­rded its sovereignty against any encr­­oachment from the north, ie the Tibetan-Chinese side, or the south, from British India or independent India. In fact, the Nepalis are so touchy about their national pride that an argument among historians about the location of...

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