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Nepal-India Relationship

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Nepal-India Relationship
Kamala Sarup
  
There are many commonalities in culture, music and other social aspects between Nepal and India. The recent musicians showed that there are no boundaries between India and Nepal and they shared almost everything.

"It is a traditional musical instrument common to both Nepal and India and has grown in each of the countries both independently and through constant interactions. The commonalities of culture are always major assets to bring people of Nepal and India together. One cannot ignore these commonalities of culture." (Source:Spotlight)

Nepal and India have an intimate relationship as they are close and friendly neighbors. Relations between Nepal and India have been traditionally close. Our relationship is unique.

How do we look at ethnic diversity in India and in Nepal? What do we suggest to implement various programs effectively for the people?

A Nepali Scholar said recently to me,"Talking about India first, there is no other nation-state on the planet that is as diverse as India. Nepali statesmen, thinkers and political party activists must take lessons from India's success in this regard. In about 60 years of independence, Indian leaders have created institutions and means to come up with a progressively integrated nation. The federated state structure and recognition of regional languages, secular constitution, massive educational investment, affirmative action, separation of powers and independent bureaucracy, economic liberalization and other such bold initiatives have given the Indian state legitimacy and resiliency through turbulent times," he said.

"The media works in tandem with non-governmental organisations and intelligentsia, and they together form civil society in a conflict situation. Further, reality is often mediated through the media. It is only based on the information provided by the media, people make a choice. If people do not get enough information, their choice will not be an informed one. So the rights of journalists are important to fearlessly report events of diverse nature. For instance, at least seven journalists have been reported missing during the emergency period in Nepal a year ago. Media should continue its efforts towards a just resolution to the conflict. It should highlight efforts towards peace and downplay events that escalate conflict. One may call this as advocacy journalism. But that is how journalism has to function in a conflict situation."

Ethnic diversity should be appreciated. At times, in the name of unity, uniformity is promoted. The concept of unity in diversity should gain ground in both the countries. Nepalese population may be broadly classified into three major ethnic groups in terms of their origin: Indo-Nepalese, Tibeto-Nepalese and indigenous Nepalese. More than 75 percent of the population is Indo-Nepalese. In India, the emergence of coalition governments at the centre is a reflection of the aspirations of different linguistic and social groups. Thus now the central government in India has council of ministers from diverse caste, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Polity should have heterogeneity because, after all, it has to cater to a heterogeneous population. Probably, Maoist insurgency in Nepal would decline if aspirations of different sections of the people were met.

There is a tendency both in India and Nepal to deny caste discrimination, or rather to take a functionalist stand of justifying the caste system in terms of the Hindu social order. Does this approach promote social harmony? Definitely, not. The first step to get rid of social discrimination is to accept the fact that there is discrimination. For instance, the position of not recognising caste as a discriminatory factor taken by India and Nepal at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban in 2001 only helps safeguard such unjust social structures". Dr. I. Arul Aram, Ph.D., said to me.

Dr Arul further added "At times, Nepalese elites living outside the country are Kathmandu-centric and they fail to notice any of the problems of rural Nepal.

India being a big neighbour, there is nothing wrong in having cooperation in terms of military supplies and sharing of defence intelligence information. The Maoist insurgency in Nepal has claimed over 10,000 lives since it began in February, 1996. It now affects 73 out of 75 districts. The rebels have raised their own guerrilla force, militia and parallel government units in their strongholds. They also operate parallel people’s courts and are preparing to implement new Maoist-oriented syllabi in schools in their strongholds. This has made the Government dysfunctional in almost all Nepal".

"In a developing country, the Government has a large share in development. But the Government should be committed and be devoid of corruption. Also, tendency of Nepalese governance to centralise and the lack of focus on development are sustaining Maoist insurgency. Only development can bring forth an egalitarian society and help integrate the refugees into the mainstream. Nepal is a small country and the problems cannot be big if there is a political will to solve them. Recent opinion polls in Nepal show that there is an overwhelming public support for peace".he said.

Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (Booklet).

Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication, philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and community development.A meeting of jury members held on 21 March in Geneva attributed Kamala Sarup, with an Honurable Mention of International Award for Women's Issues.Copyright Mediaforfreedom.com

 

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Journalist and Story Writer Kamala B. Sarup is an editor for mediaforfreedom.com. Kamala Sarup was a regular contributor to UPI- Asia News. She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on democracy, freedom, anti terrorism, Women's (more...)
 

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