- India will inaugurate 75 development projects in Nepal by August 2023.
- Countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Bangladesh receive billions of dollars in development assistance every year from India.
- Anti-China demonstrations have become a daily affair in Nepal after Sher Bahadur Deuba came to power.
- The improvement in relation with Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, which were falling for China’s debt-trap diplomacy, is a major diplomatic victory for the Indian government.
India will inaugurate 75 development projects in Nepal by August 2023 in order to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. The Modi government has grand plans for the 75th year of Indian Independence and it has already started Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate this glorious occasion.
“In order to mark India@75 milestone in Nepal, it is planned to inaugurate 75 development projects implemented with India’s assistance across the provinces and districts of Nepal this year,” the Indian Embassy in Nepal announced on Wednesday while celebrating the 73rd Republic Day.
India has always played a constructive role in the development journey of its neighbours. Countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Bangladesh receive billions of dollars in development assistance every year. Moreover, the economy of all of these countries except for Bangladesh depends on trade and commerce with India, and in the case of Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives – on Indian tourists.
Even countries like Afghanistan and Myanmar used to receive development grants worth billions of dollars as well as Indian engineers and experts to execute these projects. However, Afghanistan and Myanmar succumbed to the Taliban and Army junta respectively and the development projects are slowed. Sri Lanka, which is facing a severe economic crisis, has received billions of dollars from India since Coronavirus weakened its economy.
A few months ago, the Indian Embassy in Nepal and the Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Building) of the National Reconstruction Authority signed the MoUs for the reconstruction of 14 cultural heritage projects in Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Dhading districts and 103 health sector projects in Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Gulmi, Gorkha and Kavre districts.
Since the new government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba came to power in Nepal, the country dumped Communist China in order to pursue its centuries-old relationship with India. When KP Sharma Oli was Nepal’s Prime Minister, China seemed to be in charge of Nepal’s political affairs. The paper dragon crossed all limits of diplomatic decency and interfered deeply in the internal affairs of the Nepal Communist Party which was in power at the time. China was reducing Nepal into a client country and looking to swallow it with its debt trap.
But ever since Sher Bahadur Deuba came to power, Nepal has transformed. It has reworked its ties with India and has also found its voice against China. Anti-China demonstrations have become a daily affair in the Himalayan country. Khabarhub reported that the Swantantra Nagarik Samaj (Independent Citizens Group) hit the streets in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. They criticized the paper dragon for “interfering” in Nepal’s political and economic affairs, and also lambasted the Communist country for encroaching on Nepalese land in northern districts including Humla.
The demonstrators carried placards and shouted slogans like “Down with China government”, “stop Chinese intervention”, “stop border encroachment”, and “ensure safe passage to Nepali students studying in China”.
Ramu Lama, a protester, said that China was imposing arbitrary blockades on Rasuwa and Tatopani checkpoints and was sabotaging Nepal’s relations with its friendly countries.
Similarly, the change of guard in Sri Lanka, where the Rajapaksha government came to power with a humongous majority, has not been good for China. The Rajapaksas dumped China in order to pursue relations with India. On the subcontinent, the only country that is friendly with China is its puppet state, Pakistan, while Afghanistan and Myanmar governments are not yet decided which side they are.
The improvement in relation with Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, which were falling for China’s debt-trap diplomacy, is a major diplomatic victory for the Modi government because, amid the worsening relationship with China, it is of utmost importance to keep neighbours on our side.