One of the fondest memories of school life used to be belting out our national anthem with immense passion and enthusiasm. Every citizen has a sense of pride in their motherland. Love for one’s motherland is one of the most powerful and uplifting feelings. But what sort of action would you take against someone opposing your motherland? The recent actions of our neighbor India may bring some light and justification to this afro mentioned question.
The whole world is going through the darkest of times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nepal too has been deeply affected by this pandemic with rapid increase in number of positive cases with every passing day. Now to add further misery and pain, these recent encroachments of our land by the Indian government can be deemed both cruel and inhumane in equal measure. But the sad part is that India itself has been even more affected by this Covid-19 pandemic with over three thousand deaths. And rather than focusing on controlling the growing pandemic, the priority of Indian government and officials lies elsewhere. Ever since this border encroachment news broke out, one simple yet damning question has been haunting me. Are human lives so cheap and insignificant?
What the Indian government must remember is that thousands of people are losing their lives. Many families from both nations are separated from one other at the border. Each and every day we hear news of hundreds of people crossing borders though dangerous illegal means. These workers who have travelled to their neighboring country just to make their families survive are facing this life and death situation. Are the lives of these people inconsequential? How can any nation prioritize power, control and greed over human health and human life is beyond any justifiable answer. And just for the sake of it Mahatma Gandhi once proclaimed” Earth provides enough to one man’s need, not to every man’s greed”. The current Indian government can learn something from their old man and his principles.
This recent kalapani lipulekh boundary issue has been an age old debate between Nepal and India. It started long way back during the reign of Prithvi Narayan Shah. The then king famously marked Nepal as “Yam between two boulders” referring to China on the north and India (then East India company) to the south. And since then, the kalapani, lipulekh border has been a source of debate among two countries. So it was not surprising that India started the construction of roads in that border region, what surprises the most is the timing of their encroachment since the entire focus of the world has been on this Covid-19 pandemic. And it’s safe to say the comeback by Nepalese government regarding the inclusion of these regions on our newly reformed map is commendable and praiseworthy, which unsurprisingly has been unaccepted by our Indian counterparts.
But the situation regarding this matter is far from clear cut. And with every passing day, the relationship between two nations is becoming even more frail and volatile. The action taken by both the governments fuels more petrol to that burning fire. Before jumping into conclusion and making unjustifiable arguments, we must remember the situation we are in. During times such as these, every co-operation and helping hand helps douse the growing effects of Covid-19 pandemic. As the famous words say “alone you can do so little, together you can do some more”. And what better cooperation there is than between two neighbors of similar heritage and beliefs. Rather than fueling this burning fire, both the governments must co-ordinate with each other to bring their respective citizens back home safely. Saving human lives must be on the forefront of both the government. Only then the faith in humanity can be restored. And what use there is of some land if there is no human population to inhabit it.
Now regarding the solution to this growing conflict among two neighbors, I can firmly say war and violence is not the answer and never will be. India can attest to it due to it’s ongoing war with Pakistan regarding the Kashmir border. Thousands of innocent lives from both the nations would be in grave danger if war and violence is taken as a solution. And it is very common to have misunderstandings between two neighbors. On a personal level, we ourselves have been in various arguments on various subject matters with our neighbors. But having these arguments doesn’t justify you being violent and physical. We live in a society with large neighborhood and the first person who comes to our aid when we are in trouble is none other those same neighbors. And the bond between Nepal and India is much the same. We may have mutual disagreements and misunderstandings but shedding blood and tears because of it can be described as an act of hypocrisy and foolishness. We are very much like two fishes in a same pond. One way or another, both the countries are dependent on each other. Thousands of Nepali soldiers are serving the Indian Army protecting their sovereignty while similarly India is the primary supplier to Nepal for various essential goods and services. In short, one country’s strength becomes another country’s weakness and vice versa.
In today’s generation, social media has as much fire power as any other weapons. Recently, a lot of negative back and forth are taking place between citizens of two countries. As a youth advocating for peace, why not use it as a positive medium. Talking about positive, both nation follow cricket as a religion and why not talk about things both countries love .We youths have a big voice in today’s world and a small positive talk among us may go a long way in bringing this border conflict to a peaceful halt. And to end this letter on a positive note:
Peace has no borders.
An Ordinary Citizen