Nepal: A country on sale

By P.R. Pradhan
Chief Editor
People’s Review Weekly, Kathmandu, Nepal

During my childhood days, some patriotic leaders were found saying that those traitors were going to sell this country!

I was surprised to hear such remarks as I felt that how a country could be sold like goods! Today, I have understood how a country can be sold away by traitors!

Dhruba Kumar Deoja is no more today. A noted creative writer and senior journalist Deoja is a well-known name in the Nepali media. Decades ago, he had penned a fiction, “Bikram Sambat 2080 Simanantar”. It was a fiction about an amendment to Nepal’s citizenship law by removing hurdles for foreigners in obtaining a citizenship certificate. The fiction has cited providing Nepali citizenship to the kids born in Nepal and also providing instant citizenship certificates to those married to the Nepali national.

How the leaders belonging to different political parties visit Delhi and also the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and how they serve the Indian interests, moreover, the interests of the RAW officials, Deoja has described in the fiction.

For a wider readership, my daughter and journalist Punjita Pradhan translated the fiction into English, which was serialized and published in the People’s Review every week. Later, we published the translated version of the fiction in a book form.

Even today, as described in the fiction, I see the leaders visiting Delhi and holding meetings in the presence of the Indian leaders, and also political leaders frequently visiting the Lainchour Durwar and ratifying the citizenship amendment bill in a hurry.

The five ruling parties have challenged President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s quest to review the bill sent to her for a final seal. The role of the main opposition party UML is also passive. This party could protest and create obstacles to ratifying the bill following the President’s dissatisfaction.

Our readers could be confused about why the Indians come to Nepal to obtain Nepali citizenship when the country is on a journey of a failed state!
If we follow the migration trend of foreigners in Nepal, we find hundreds of thousands of Indians coming to Nepal for a permanent settlement. Indians have been trying to obtain Nepali citizenship time and again by taking benefit of the weak laws and corrupt Nepali bureaucrats.

One fact this scribe wishes to share is that until the end of the Panchayat era, the Nepali economy was in the hands of those Nepali businessmen. After the 1990 political change, those Indians captured the Nepali economy by replacing our traditional businessmen.

After all, why the Indians migrate to Nepal, is a question?

The answer is that the Indian policymakers have a design of sending their population to Nepal and ruling Nepal by those migrated population.

Marichman Singh Shrestha was a patriotic leader. He also served as the prime minister of the country.

Once, he disclosed to this scribe that he always used to face pressure from the Indian leaders for increasing the representation of the Tarai leaders based on population.

The Tarai fact is that there are two types of population. One type of population is the sons and daughters of the soil and another type of population is migrated people, who are cunning and clever. They exploit and rule over the true sons and daughters of the soil.

PM Shrestha had disclosed the secret that the Indians wanted more representation of those people, who migrated from India, in Nepali politics. The idea is clear that Delhi wanted to bring Nepal under its control by sending those India-migrated people to the political and administrative leadership.

Moreover, the Indian intention is to convert Nepal into a country like Fiji and ultimately make Nepal another Sikkim.
In the year 2000, when the Nepali Congress was running a majority government, both the houses attempted to amend the citizenship law by introducing provisions making it easy to obtain citizenship for the Indians. King Birendra, following a consultation with the Supreme Court, had rejected to put a seal on that controversial bill.

The present five-party alliance government, after the announcement of the election date, rushed to ratify the citizenship amendment bill through a fast track even by removing the provision of seven years for obtaining naturalized citizenship for those foreigners married to Nepali citizens.

Both the houses of Parliament passed the bill and sent it for final approval from the President. The President returned the Bill to Parliament with a quest for reviewing the bill, which could have a long-term impact. Nevertheless, those leaders from the five parties, having been blessed by the Indian leaders, wished to challenge the President’s quest instead of reviewing the Bill whether it was in the interests of Nepal or not!

Nepal is a tiny country with around 30 million population, which is less than the population in the Indian states having a common border with Nepal. If a certain per cent of the population migrates to Nepal, the Nepali population will fall into the minority.

We believe that all Nepalis eligible for Nepali citizenship should get citizenship without delay. But the practice of handing over Nepali citizenship to those married to a Nepali national is wrong, which is not in practice in the South Asian nations, including India.

To what extent did the political leaders surrender to the foreigners just for power, we are watching it today!

# Text courtesy: The People’s Review Weekly, August 24, 2022: Ed. Upadhyaya N. P.

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