If a country has to survive with respect and dignity as a sovereign and independent country, it cannot escape the compulsions caused by its immediate surroundings. In view of prevailing conditions and historical settings, it is also correct that the original significance of one’s independent identity will have no meaning if foreigner alone begins to decide the course of its destiny.
There are the points which have surfaced most conspicuously on our national scene. The question is whether the recent developments are posing any threat to our sovereignty or not. One may ask, and that too quite justifiably, as to why this apprehension should be raised when whatever turmoil and upheavals we are passing through is nothing but matters relating mostly and essentially to our own domestic issues. We must not ignore the fact that throughout our modern political history we have remained influenced by and large by development taking place in our neighborhood, particularly in India.
These days discontent is finding most conspicuous representation in almost all intellectuals of the country over what they point out as mounting foreign interference and foreign pressure on our domestic affairs.
If we turn back the pages of history, it will be clear that this phenomenon has throughout been a part of experience in our history strewn with hard struggle for retaining our separate and independent identity. Even in ancient days when idea of present shape of ‘one Nepal’ had not emerged even in imagination, the stupendous and united Nepal campaign began and continued. Despite thorny and complicated situations, the nationalistic elements and urges could never be subdued by any foreign conspiratorial gestures and strategies only because the force that held sway at the helm of affairs were so indomitably entrenched in their truly nationalistic commitment. No amount of external tactic could deviate them from their stand.
The situation in regard to the question of foreign interference at present is nonetheless very much confusingly different. Now the situation is such that the elements who actually wield powers themselves have been banking on foreign influence. They rationalize it as cooperation and assistance from friends. It is this approach of cooperation and interference which has, in fact, encouraged and emboldened the foreign cooperators to gradually yet steadfastly take on the role of meddlers in our destiny making affairs.
It will be more than obvious that India’s support to the Nepal’s political movement has throughout been conditional in its own interest. It is haunted by all pervading phantom of suspicious, threats and distrust. The sooner they come out of this colonial mentality the better it would be.
Even during the present days most of the factors, both on domestic and international fronts have changed radically and fundamentally. Nevertheless, what has throughout remained unchanged is the spirit of nationalism which kept on flowing through the vein of the Nepalese people.
The political parties have therefore sought for national consensus so that the conduct of a foreign policy which symbolizes balanced, dignified and comprehensive nationalist view point may become possible.
What is also equally important to know in this regard is while such arrangements are time bound; the relations between the two countries are eternal and have to continued undiluted. But this can become an enduring feature only if the two countries recognize sincerely the urges and needs of each other positively. Nepal must continue pushing ahead her demands without let up with confidence in herself and the national consensus behind the stance.
To be more specific, the era of controversial treaties and agreements with India assumed almost a regular feature only after the dawn of democracy in Nepal, and ever since very disturbing characteristics developed in the Nepal ruling cliques - a tilt towards India for retaining their grip over the government.
Right now foreign diplomats are taking quite undue advantage and active part in influencing the course of Nepal’s politics. Every government’s objectives are and shall be for the maintenance of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and for safeguarding the interests of Nepal and Nepalese.
From the very day Rana rule ended in Nepal India started to take a keen interest in Nepal’s internal affairs. This process of Indian interference in the internal affairs of Nepal is continuing even today.
Even Rana rulers maintained their independent sway over domestic politics because Nepalese people have all along been highly sensitive to the question of nationality. Although social pattern, caste, structure, social values and norms of the northern and southern regions of Nepal correspond to that of their respective neighborhood, a synthesis of two cultural currents exists in Nepal. One comes from southern border, the other from across the Himalayas.
The present challenges have made it essential to use the term nationalism as a synonym for patriotism. Any attempt at resolving any national problems can only be successful if it is backed by sentiment and concepts of nationalism. The surging wave of Indian, which continued to engulf in its fold almost all national parties and nation, created a sense of threat to the national integrity and sovereignty of the country.