OPINION: Anti-India feelings – Demand for Greater Nepal
Posted by completenepal on February 9, 2010
From India News Online
Article shared Abdul Kalam Ezani
The anti-India sentiment triggered by Bollywood film Chandni Chowk to China which was banned in Nepal [because it claimed Buddha was born in India and not Nepal] has stoked fresh demands for the recovery of the land acceded to India by Nepal nearly two centuries ago. As India celebrated its 60th Republic Day on Jan. 26, students staged a noisy protest outside the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu asking for the restoration of Greater Nepal. Led by a Nepali literature professor, Phanindra Nepal, the United Nepal National Front is asking India and Britain to separate certain areas from four Indian States and return them to Nepal since they were part of Nepal’s territory in the 19th century.
The roots of the movement for a Greater Nepal go back to the 19th century when Nepal fought a series of grim battles with the British who had turned their eyes towards the Himalayan kingdom after colonizing India. After several exhausting Anglo-Nepalese wars, Nepal narrowly averted conquest by agreeing to sign a treaty that however stripped it of almost one-third of its territory. The infamous Treaty of Sagauli signed in 1816 saw Nepal concede territory in Sikkim, Darjeeling and Siliguri which lie in India’s West Bengal State, and territory that now lies in India’s Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Nepal also lost tracks of fertile land in its southern terai plains but recovered that from the British later for helping the East India Company in1857 to put down the Indian rebellion against the colonial rulers.
Gorkhas win right to settle in Britain: Thousands of Gorkha soldiers and their families will be given the right to settle in Britain under a new policy to be announced by the Gordon Brown Government, according to a newspaper report. New settlement rights due to be announced could open the door to 36,000 Gorkhas who served in the British Army before 1997, THE TIMES reported. The British policy U-turn would follow a court ruling last year ordering the Government to review its policy on whether Gorkhas who had served before 1997 could live in Britain.
However, Nepal is understood to be concerned that the loss of so many citizens and their British Army pensions could leave a huge hole in its economy. Defence officials have warned the new policy might prompt Nepal to scrap a 1947 tripartite agreement between India, Nepal and Britain under which Gorkhas are recruited each year.