Foreign Minister Jaishankar’s visit took India-Nepal relations to new heights

Our Foreign Minister S Jaishankar went to Nepal in his first visit in the year 2024. Time is very relevant, which is called perfect timing. Here in Ayodhya, the worship of idols carved from Shaligram stones brought from Nepal is to begin and on the other hand, S. Jaishankar came to Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu to offer Om Namah Shivay. A country which is still a Hindu nation in its mentality, a country where cow slaughter is prohibited, a country where religious conversion is prohibited and a country whose borders coincide with our five states; Not only our diplomatic but all kinds of relations with him should be strengthened. India and Nepal, having a common border of eighteen hundred and fifty kilometers, are actually countries with the same culture, language, religion, history and ancestors.

This official visit of the Indian Foreign Minister to Nepal, which was under transition from China till some time ago, is going to write history from many points of view. The biggest thing is that Nepal is now becoming India-oriented again. S Jaishankar has launched one library, twenty-five schools, thirty-two health projects and one cultural heritage sector project in Nepal.

Dealing a blow to the Chinese dragon, India has gone ahead with a major energy agreement with Nepal. Beijing was constantly keeping a vulture eye on this agreement between India and Nepal to purchase 10,000 MW of electricity and was vocally opposing this agreement and was also intimidating Nepal. With Nepal having developed many hydropower projects in collaboration with India, India has now opened the way for starting energy projects with Nepal further. India and Nepal’s hydropower sector, which is a bread-and-butter affair, was being closely monitored by China for many years. With an eye on this hydropower, China has actively built roads in Nepal through the Chinese initiative named Belt and Road. Through its recent efforts, Indian foreign policy has defeated China by developing its own mechanism to exploit Nepal’s hydropower in a very effective manner. Now the forty-two thousand kilowatt power generation capacity created by the system of six thousand rivers of Nepal can be systematically utilized by India. According to the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Nepal finds itself uneasy between two major powers in Asia, namely China and India; But this is not true. Nepal is uncomfortable with China because Nepal remains under the pressure of its economic power and military power and their relations are artificial whereas India looks at Nepal from the point of view of its natural siblings and behaves accordingly. In the present era, there is definitely an atmosphere of rivalry between China and India regarding influence on Nepal. With 6000 rivers, Nepal has the potential to generate 42,000 MW of electricity.

Nepal and India have had relations since the Vedic period. Nepal has been mentioned in the Vedas and other ancient scriptures as a part of India. The shared historical heritage of Nepal and India is such that Nepal cannot distance itself from India. During the tenure of some heads of state of Nepal in the mid-1980s, China’s diplomatic influence had definitely shown its influence. The people of Nepal and India are so connected at the mental level that they have to take back the steps taken by the Nepalese government towards China.

From time to time, noble steps have been taken by India to give economic, diplomatic, strategic, social, religious and educational basis to relations with Nepal. Only last year, India had taken a big step in this direction when we had brought out huge Shaligram rocks from the Gandaki river of Pokhara in Nepal for the construction of the idols of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya. Ayodhya, which is soon going to be famous all over the world as the cultural capital of India, the use of Nepalese stone for making statues in the temples there will definitely provide a cultural basis to India-Nepal relations. This will be a kind of emotional relationship which will not be within the power of even the heads of government of the two countries to weaken or weaken. When these stones were being brought to India, crores of Indians and Nepalese worshiped these stones with great emotion on the long road between India and Nepal. While bringing these stones to India, many politicians, distinguished citizens and general public of Nepal and India had traveled many kilometers on foot with these trucks. This was a new form of ancient cultural relations between India and Nepal which is the result of the imagination of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Now many future generations of Nepal and India will be proud of the fact that the stones of the idols enshrined in the Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, the cultural capital of India, were sent by Lord Pashupatinath ji.

Developed on this basis, during his visit to Nepal, S Jaishankar had cordial talks with many politicians including Prime Minister Prachanda, President Paudel. While India has shown very affectionate behavior towards Nepal during this visit, India has again strongly rejected the proposal of giving way to Pokhara and Bhairava airports built by China in Nepal. Nepal’s former Oli government had given the contract for the construction of these airports to China despite India’s opposition. The main objectives of the visit of India’s Foreign Minister are; Increased cooperation between the two countries in various areas including connectivity, digital payments and trade; Has received. Now India will take ten thousand megawatt electricity from Nepal in the next ten years. For this, transmission lines have been inaugurated. Our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while inaugurating reconstruction projects in Nepal, said that, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is committed to redefining its relations with its neighbors especially Nepal. He also said that India will provide a financial package of 75 million dollars (about 1000 crore Nepalese rupees) for the reconstruction of infrastructure in Nepal affected by last year’s earthquake.

-Praveen Gugnani

Advisor, Official Language in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India

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