India and Nepal are the two closest neighbours but still suffer from many divergences. As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people–to–people contacts of kinship and culture.
History of relations:
1950: Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship
Articles 5, 6 and 7 of the treaty hold special significance. Article 5 allowed Nepal access to weaponry from India. Article 6 established "National Treatment" for businesses of both countries. Article 7 established reciprocal treatment of citizens of both countries, in residence, property, business and movement.
1950: Treaty of Trade and Commerce
The treaty stremlines customs and duties regulations between the two nations.
1960: Nepal signed Peace and Friendship Treaty with China
1962: King Mahendra of Nepal dissolved the parliamentary government and installed the Panchayat System. It was marked by absence of political parties and constituted village panchayats all th way up to a national panchayat. The king remained the head of the state.
1971, 1978: Multiple Trade and Transit Treaties were signed between India and Nepal.
1990: restoration of Parliamentary democracy in Nepal
2000s: Monearchy got restored under King Gyanendra, only to be overthrown in 2006 and abolished in 2008, when Prime Minister Dahal (Prachanda) started his first tenure as Prime Minister of Nepal.
Despite the constitutional turmoil and conflicts based on citizenship, human rights, animal rights (Gadhimai festival banned only as late as in 2015); Nepal, landlocked between two giants of Asia, has showed its resistance in being overly dependent on either India or China.
The mutual bond between the India and China gets strengthened pertaining to the following factors:
1. Historical Reasons:
a) India failed to respect the Panchsheel principles when it came to Nepal and Nehru at times openly expressed his views that Nepal has to align its foreign Policy according to India.
b) India-Nepal Friendship treaty seems to be favoured towards India as per Nepali citizens. They want free hand in auctioning their natural resources.
c) India Nepal borders demarcation is a continuation of Treaty of Sugauli signed by British and Gorkhas. This is humiliating for Nepal.
d) Nepal claims for Kumaon and some other regions of Uttarakhand as its territory.
2. Political Reasons:
a) Political parties that have affiliation towards India are termed anti-national in Nepal. The main agenda of Nepali politics is being Anti-India.
b) Nepal has attempted to see-saw between India and China to achieve political backing and economic support.
c) India failed to recognise the Nepali constitution and termed it as "A constitution" rather than "The constitution". This has further created India-Nepal divergences which were complemented by India's support to Madhesi blocks in the veil of security.
3. Economic Reasons:
a) Over-dependence on India and being land locked it has to rely for basic facilities which if blocked by India leads to suffering in Nepal. This creates anti-India feelings.
India has attempted to address these issues by:
1. India is ready for renegotiation of India-Nepal Friendship treaty.
2. India and Nepal have established many diplomatic channels so as to address the issues hampering the flourishing ties.
The future of India-Nepal relations has immense potential and we, as responsible nations of this globalised world, need to act mature in this joint endeavour.