Sunday, November 27, 2005

Yam or dynamite?

Judging from the innate editorial wisdom of the Indian Express, Nepalis may have to brace for another round of big brotherly arm-twisting.

The editorial committee seemed so annoyed by KG's brazen display of the China Card in Dhaka and the Chinese arms he received in return that it is counseling another trade and transit embargo a la 1989-90. Of course, not in as many words.

But consider this portion of its November 28 editorial:
"While China has made big advances in Nepal in recent years, the kingdom’s economic geography is inextricably intertwined with that of India. Virtually Nepal’s entire trade transits through India. So do its hydrocarbon supplies. Delhi is not short of options in getting King Gyanendra to meet the Indian demand for an early end to his unconstitutional personal rule over Nepal. What Delhi needs is a credible strategy of coercive diplomacy, aimed at reviving the political process in Nepal; and the gumption to carry it through."

What struck Mahila Baje in the said piece was the vitriol heaped on China. If the psychosis of the 1962 defeat has really receded from the Indian psyche to such an extent, then I think we're all in real trouble. Didn't Maoist military strategist Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal" tell us a few years ago that Nepal has long evolved from a yam between two boulders into tonnes of dynamite between two mountains?