Viewpoint by Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. and Jainendra Karn
Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. is an ex-diplomat & ALCAPs Special Advisor for Asia & Africa and Jainendra Karn is a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of IDN-InDepth News.
KATHMANDU (IDN) What a sombre way to start ones day by going through the newspapers and realize the dystopian times we live in. Its just like listening to Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones or pondering about what Ayn Rand had said: There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialismby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.
April was indeed the cruellest month but so is May, it seems. Germany opposing waiving off COVID-19 Vaccine IPR, Hamas firing one rocket after another into Israel and anti-Semitic crimes flaring up in the US, the US coming to a halt after cyber attack forced the shutdown of fuel pipelines, and the chaos in South Asia.
Second COVID wave in India that jolted the country, China blatantly interfering in the foreign policy of Bangladesh where the nations Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had to remind China that being an independent nation Bangladesh shall follow its own diplomatic policy.
And Nepal plunging into fresh turmoil after the President of Nepal dissolved the countrys Parliament, and announced the mid-term polls for November.
It was after the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lost the vote of confidence in the Nepalese parliament but was back in power as per Article 78(3) of the Constitution of Nepal.
Of the 232 members present, Oli got only 93, and 124 MPs voted against him. Out of 121 of his own UML partys members, 28 from the dissident faction were not present, and 15 MPs voted not to vote. The anti-Oli faction did not join the floor test by floor crossing but decided to keep away.
The opposition parties, riddled by factionalism, failed to secure majority seats to form a new government and Sher Bahadur Deuba, chief of the main opposition Nepali Congress and other allies, informed that he would not be able to put together a coalition that has majority in the House.
Nepals tryst with democracy is interesting. In the aftermath of the dramatic Royal Family Massacre in 2001, the monarchy was abolished on 28 May 2008 by the First Constituent Assembly in Nepal. But democracy is still an evolving process in the country and fraught with its own set of challenges both internal and external.
Nepal lies between two leading economies of the worldIndia and China. While India is a Socialist state, China is ruled by the Communist State, and it does have a bearing on the local politics of Nepal.
It can be a bit confounding to an outsider and particularly to someone who is from the West. For example, US economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell had noted that whole political vision of the left, including socialism and communism, has failed by virtually every empirical test, in countries all around the world. But this has only led leftist intellectuals to evade and denigrate empirical evidence.
Interestingly China is now the Trade Titan of the world whose economy is almost five times larger than that of Indias. Also as per the 2021 Military Direct's study, China has the world's strongest military where as India stands at the fourth place.
But there is a notion in the Chinese strategic circle that though India always had a strong influence over many South Asian countries' decision-making on foreign policy, India's hegemony in South Asia is not that firm. Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences mentions the same.
Indeed, the argument by Hu Zhiyong holds a great merit because the disparity between India and China has resulted in the latters significant interference in the South Asian region that has affected the state of local equilibrium.
With the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) losing its steam in Pakistan, Chinas intrusion in the Ladakh region of India last year and in May 2021 the reports of Chinese Villages and Security Forces revealed inside Bhutan's borders are incidents that make one very circumspect of the Chinese strategic design for the region.
In June 2020, it was reported that China had occupied Rui village of Nepal and annexed it to Tibet. Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, former Tourism Minister of Nepal had said that Chinese troops had crossed the border and built nine concrete structures about 1 km inside Nepal, at Limi in the district of Humla bordering Tibet.
During his recent visit to Dhaka, the Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe had warned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government that China does not want any form of participation of Bangladesh in QUAD alliance as Beijing sees it as an anti-China grouping.
On 21 May 2021, China's State Council Information Office brought out a white paper titled Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity' which is interpreted as a means to blunt India and the Wests diplomatic advantage.
Democratic processes especially elections across the world are like a bird on a wire which is a temptation for any bird of prey. Chinas embrace of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US during the 2020 Presidential elections can be seen as an example of this.
However, in the case of evolving democracies where violence and power still hold sway, time tried tactics of gunboat diplomacy can still work. On 8 May 2021, the U.S. 5th Fleet seized weapons shipment from a stateless dhow in the North Arabian Sea which was mainly of the Chinese origin.
The pertinent question is who wanted these weapons that were confiscated between Pakistan and West Asia? Arms and ammunition just like money and drugs, can be transferred illegally anywhere in the world to cause unrest and also to compromise democracy.
However, the forthcoming elections scheduled for November 2021 in Nepal not only outside factors along with local issues will matter but also COVID-19. One has witnessed how great an impact COVID-19 can have in the recent state elections in India such as in West Bengal.
This will be a very tricky affair. India recently had some glitches in its vaccine production capacity which the country is trying to fix so that a country of over a billion people can be inoculated while meeting its international commitments. Not to mention India made vaccines are amongst the cheaper and most effective ones in the world that have a special relevance for developing countries.
There are very serious doubts about the efficacy of the Chinese vaccines in the international community. Seychelles, worlds most vaccinated country, where majority of vaccinated received Chinas Sinopharm vaccine, recently reported an unprecedented Covid-19 surge among fully inoculated individuals. UAE and Bahrain have also questioned the efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine.
How policymakers in Nepal will meet this challenge posed by COVID-19 before the elections are held needs to be seen. With only six months to go, one way could be that the government of Nepal directly talks to its Indian counterpart so that the vaccines can be secured without the involvement of middlemen or explore the international market where it might have to pay more.
Between Nepal and India, the situation is very unique as both the countries share economic and military ties besides the people-to-people, cultural, historical, and religious ties. Even the Communists are bound by Nepals religious traditions, says Nepalese scholar Dr. Ramesh Dhungel, so the latter assumes significant importance. Trying to ride the fine line of balancing these concerns is the key.
There is no doubt that no country can close its eyes to Chinas participation in its economic development because of its sheer economic prowess and might. But in the context of Nepal, the issue of Indias security concerns and problems of over dependence on China also raise their head.
The forthcoming elections will give an opportunity to the peoples of Nepal to move beyond the clichd connotation of buffer between India and China that has been associated with it for a very long time.
Nepal has the potential to be the Switzerland of Asia. It must harness and make the best of the opportunities that it is receiving from its neighbours while treading prudently on the path of development to deliver fruits of progress to its peoples. [IDN-InDepthNews 26 May 2021]
Photo: (From Left to Right) Manish Uprety F.R.A.S. Mr. Bimalendra Nidhi, Ex-Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and Jainendra Karn.
IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.
Visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. You are free to share, remix, tweak and build upon it non-commercially. Please give due credit.
See the article here:
- Top 10 Reasons Ayn Rand was Dead Wrong - CBS News - July 10th, 2021
- Here's What's Wrong With Ayn Rand's Philosophy - The ... - July 10th, 2021
- Events - Heartland Movie Night | A screening of Ayn Rand's "Anthem: The Graphic Novel" - The Heartland Institute - July 10th, 2021
- Ayn Rand Think Tanker Says Florida Condo Collapse Happened Because People Made A Bad Decision and Now Suffer the Consequences of It - Mediaite - July 10th, 2021
- COVID-19: Sajid Javid's approach has party support - but scientists are getting worried - Sky News - July 10th, 2021
- The NHS bill is political dynamite and a gift to Labour - The Guardian - July 10th, 2021
- VIDEO: Inflation Hedges Are Gaining in Popularity - Investing Daily - Investing Daily - July 10th, 2021
- Opinion: Your Say: Readers offer what books or writing influenced them - The San Diego Union-Tribune - July 10th, 2021
- Will the Democrats Trust Me? - Splice Today - June 4th, 2021
- Nothing to See Here - The American Prospect - June 4th, 2021
- The bill was never introduced, but Sisolak's Blockchains concept is still alive - Nevada Current - June 4th, 2021
- Step inside Ram Gopal Varma's office, where rooms are named after Donald Trump and Dawood Ibrahim - Hindustan Times - June 4th, 2021
- ALL CREATURES GRATE ON FOX'S 'HOUSEBROKEN' - The Republic - June 4th, 2021
- Congress Is Trying to Give Jeff Bezos's Space Firm $10 Billion of Your Tax Dollars | Hannah Cox - Foundation for Economic Education - June 4th, 2021
- My Turn: To those who fear non-leftists - The Recorder - May 29th, 2021
- The GOP Cant Be Savedand Neither Can Paul Ryan - The Nation - May 29th, 2021
- Army of the Dead mashes a heist flick with zombies - New Times SLO - May 27th, 2021
- Video Games That Are Based on Novels Film Daily - Film Daily - May 27th, 2021
- Wisconsin Examiner Kids are getting their shots so should Ron Johnson - Wisconsin Examiner - May 16th, 2021
- Kids Are Getting VaccinatedSo Should Ron Johnson - Progressive.org - May 16th, 2021
- Reverential and referential: A review of the Hebrew Bible for Shavuot eve - The Jewish Standard - May 16th, 2021
- People Share the Book Titles That Would Make Them Walk Out of a First Date - Newsweek - May 11th, 2021
- Zack Snyder Has Delayed The Fountainhead Because He Thinks It Will Freak Everyone Out - MovieWeb - May 11th, 2021
- Rushs music taught me that I could grow, that I could change - The Globe and Mail - May 7th, 2021
- These COVID-19 patients coped with isolation and anxiety in their own uplifting ways - The Hindu - May 7th, 2021
- Climate targets must be realistic -- and demand the impossible - The Harvell gazette - May 7th, 2021
- Emily at the Edge of Chaos Peering over the precipice [MOVIE REVIEW] - Easy Reader - May 4th, 2021
- THE TEACHER'S DESK: We're almost there | Columns | thetimestribune.com - Times Tribune of Corbin - April 11th, 2021
- Allison Hanes: Laissez-faire fatalism seems to have infected Legault - Montreal Gazette - March 31st, 2021
- Letter: Re: Ethan Orr's Article on the Middle Class - Arizona Daily Star - March 31st, 2021
- Reaching Active Minds: Ayn Rand and the Ford Hall Forum - New Ideal - March 25th, 2021
- In Mosaic's darkly funny 'Inherit the Windbag,' an epic bickerfest (ep. 3) - DC Metro Theater Arts - March 25th, 2021
- Ralph Nader on Corporatism's Threat to Democracy - Progressive.org - March 25th, 2021
- There is such a thing as society: it has overcome Covid and restored the truth - TheArticle - March 20th, 2021
- Letter to the editor | UPJ nowhere to be found on Outlier site - TribDem.com - March 20th, 2021
- Talks of replacing Woody Allen in Ann Arbor mural reignited after new documentary - MLive.com - March 20th, 2021
- We wince; therefore, we are | Our Readers Speak | register-herald.com - Beckley Register-Herald - March 20th, 2021
- Why We Need Shakespeare and Beethoven - The Dispatch - March 20th, 2021
- B1G tourney preview: After 20 wins in NCAA regular season, Gophers still have something to prove in playoffs - Brainerd Dispatch - March 20th, 2021
- The Worst Ted Cruz Moments in History - Dallas Observer - March 20th, 2021
- The Books That Shaped Tina Howard and Teas to Pair With Them - Fort Worth Magazine - March 7th, 2021
- Are You Bullish or Bearish on America and Wall Street? - Stock Investor - March 7th, 2021
- Satire: Why two beers is the perfect amount - The State Press - March 7th, 2021
- Elon Musk and Amber Heard: How Did the Two Celebrities Meet? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - March 7th, 2021
- CPAC Exposed the GOP's Fight for the Working Class as Just Another Culture War | Opinion - Newsweek - March 7th, 2021
- An Excerpt From 'Peter and the Wolves' by Adele Bertei on the Brief, Brilliant Life of Peter Laughner - Cleveland Scene - February 10th, 2021
- Our nation has never fully agreed on much, but it hasn't always torn itself apart | TheHill - The Hill - February 8th, 2021
- Paul and Romney embarrass themselves by lashing out at trans athletes - Outsports - February 8th, 2021
- Why Telling Students to 'Trust the Experts' Is Poor Advice | Caroline Breashears - Foundation for Economic Education - February 8th, 2021
- Liz was Isolated as a Felon on the Run, Transitioning Alone: Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker on Their HBO Docuseries The Lady and the Dale -... - February 8th, 2021
- Letter: Pleased that Newhouse defended Constitution | Letters To Editor | yakimaherald.com - Yakima Herald-Republic - January 29th, 2021
- The more I practice, the better my luck - Las Cruces Bulletin - January 29th, 2021
- Geddy Lee on the Genius of Neil Peart - Rolling Stone - January 29th, 2021
- The Lady and The Dale | Review - The GATE - January 29th, 2021
- Ayn Rand on Morality and the Misuse of Political Power - New Ideal - January 27th, 2021
- 'The Lady and the Dale': TV Review - Hollywood Reporter - January 27th, 2021
- Closer to the park: St. Catharines commissions artwork to honour Rush drummer Neil Peart - The Globe and Mail - January 27th, 2021
- No more echo chambers: the internet's best left-wing thinkers - Spectator.co.uk - January 27th, 2021
- Currencies get back to the task at hand - FXStreet - January 27th, 2021
- Wikipedia is the last bastion of idealism on the internet Prospect Magazine - Prospect Magazine - January 27th, 2021
- article image Op-Ed: Investors making big money, but where are the trillions going? - Digital Journal - January 19th, 2021
- Unmasking the Deceased Programmer Who Donated 28 Bitcoin to Capitol Hill Rioters - Crypto Briefing - January 19th, 2021
- An Expert Explains the US Capitol Hill riot: anatomy of an insurrection - The Indian Express - January 15th, 2021
- PERRY: Mayor Coffman's mock-homeless close-up highlights the danger of unreality TV - Sentinel Colorado - January 15th, 2021
- The Meaning Of Work For A Happy Life (And New Year) - Forbes - January 15th, 2021
- Is It Selfish to Never Wear a Mask? - New Ideal - October 22nd, 2020
- Ayn Rands power isnt dimmed by the collectivist age of the pandemic - Telegraph.co.uk - October 20th, 2020
- What Tech Calls Thinking: Book Review | by Joshua Adams | Oct, 2020 - Medium - October 20th, 2020
- Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead - Morning Star Online - October 20th, 2020
- The Dictatorial Impulse Behind the Shaming of PPP Recipients - New Ideal - July 21st, 2020
- Instead Of Open Or Closed, Dial Your Mind To Active - Forbes - July 21st, 2020
- Big problems with the Paycheck Protection Program? - The Week - July 21st, 2020
- Finally: Diamond and Silk are releasing a book - The Spectator USA - July 21st, 2020
- Tagore's Gora to Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan: Add these regional language books to your reading list - India Today - July 21st, 2020
- When MGM and the FBI Chased 'The Father of the Atomic Bomb' - WhoWhatWhy - July 21st, 2020
- What's Wrong With Ayn Rand's Philosophy? - The Objective ... - July 13th, 2020
- In sign of the times, Ayn Rand Institute approved for PPP loan - Reuters - July 13th, 2020
- 'We Took PPP Funds and Would Do It Again' - New Ideal - July 13th, 2020
- Auchter's Art: The confusing narrative of Betsy DeVos - Michigan Radio - July 13th, 2020
- Wisconsin school board member asked to resign after posting that 'George Floyd is drug free for 2 months' - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 13th, 2020