Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hindi-Nepali bhai bhai...

Nepal, a North-eastern neighbour with high hopes and expectations, looks forward to India for greater cooperation and help as it wants to emerge as an independent economy. B&E explores its demands and expectations in an exclusive interaction with the Nepalese diplomat in India.

“5 things Nepal appreciates about India...”

Nepal considers India as one of the closest neighbours possible. One of the best things about India is its decision of pan-border initiative. There is nothing more important for bilateral relations between two countries other than free movement of people, which diplomats term as ‘people-to-people’ contact.

Indians are very friendly. Lakhs of Nepalese work in Indian companies without much objection and discrimination. There can’t be a better gift than this as giving employment to the people is one of the best ways to help a neighbour. Not only that, there has been enough government support on the bilateral front. The recent inclusion of Nepalese in Indian Gorkha rifle regiment is a matter of prestige for Nepal and its people.

SOCIETY: There is also a lot to learn from Indian society and how it functions. Indian culture is one of the oldest and purest in the world. Prolonged existence of such a diverse society is not a matter of joke, as Nepal perceives.

DEMOCRACY: There is also a lot to learn from India’s form of democracy. Though there are flaws like corruption, poor governance or lack of transparency, attributes that democratic India has incorporated are praiseworthy. Nepal, with a history of life-long monarchy system, warmly acknowledges and tributes India for its achievement in regard to freedom of people, giving the right to vote to its citizens.

ECONOMIC TIES: Economic and trade relations with Nepal are satisfactory and a major boost for bilateral relations. The total trade of Nepal in 2006-07 was Rs.252 billion ($6 billion), of which 63.2 percent was with India.

“And the 5 things we dislike...”

Good relations with India are one of the primary priorities of Nepal’s external policy. India certainly needs to be proactive.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.

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