HOW KASHI IS RESHAPING INDIAS FOREIGN POLICY

THE NATIONAL FLAG OF ANY COUNTRY is not just a piece of cloth, it is a symbol of that country’s culture, history and tradition. On the arrival of the Prime Minister of Nepal in Varanasi, common people stood on both sides of the road carrying the national flags of India and Nepal. Surprisingly some people were also carrying saffron flags. Saffron color is a symbol of Hinduism The shared culture, religious literature, civilization of Nepal and India can be represented just by this one flag. Maybe some people were trying to convey this message while hoisting the saffron flag.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with his wife Arju Rana reached Varanasi, the cultural capital of India.
By the way, Varanasi is a holy city for all the Hindus of the world and every Hindu desires to visit Kashi at least once in his lifetime. After worshiping at Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, the Prime Minister of Nepal wrote in the visiting book-

“We are Blessed in this birth to have Baba’s darshan. We thank the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath for this.”

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also offered prayers at the famous temples of Kaal Bhairav ​​and Pashupatinath in Banaras.

*PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE VARANASI*

PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE(Nepali mandir , Kath mandir) VARANASI

Lord Shiva is also known as Pashupatinath. The Pashupatinath Temple of Varanasi is a replica of the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. The Pashupatinath temple of Varanasi was built by the Maharaja of Nepal. This temple in Varanasi is also popular as Nepali Mandir or Kath Mandir. Kath means wood. A lot of wood was used in the construction of this temple, hence it is also called Kath temple. The management and conservation of the temple is carried out by the Government of Nepal.

*VISHWANATH TEMPLE *


A painting from the early eighteenth century, with a giant Nandi statue built by the Maharaja of Nepal in the courtyard of the Vishwanath temple


A flower covered idol sits in the court of the Golden Temple, Benares.(1926)

The famous Vishwanath temple of Banaras was demolished by the Muslim ruler Aurangzeb after which he built the Gyanvapi Mosque at that place. Vishwanath temple was rebuilt at this place by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1777-80 AD. A huge Nandi statue was established in the courtyard of Vishwanath temple by the Maharaja of Nepal.

39 Gorakha Training Centre:

Presently there are 39 battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments in the Indian Army. Gorkhas are mainly ethnic people of Nepal who have been serving in the Indian Army. At present, there is a Gorkha Training Center in Banaras itself. These examples reveal the intensity of relations between Varanasi and Nepal.

NEPAL & INDIA’S RELATIONS THROUGH THE CORRIDOR OF HISTORY .

According to Hindu religion, Lord Shri Ram was a resident of Ayodhya. Mata Sita, the wife of Lord Shri Ram, used to come from the ancient Videha kingdom (these parts of Mithila lie presently inside Nepal).

*GAUTAM BUDDHA *

Gautam Buddha was born in 624 B.C.E in Lumbini, near Kapilvastu, which was, at that time the capital of the Shakya Republic, which also lies in Nepal now. According to the believers of Buddhism, there are four major pilgrimage centers of Buddhism.
Lumbini (Birth)
Bodh Gaya (Enlightenment)
Sarnath Varanasi (Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon here)
Kushinagar (Death ,  Parinirvana)
these places fall in the border areas of Nepal and India.

*Nehru the cause of the Himalayan blunder*

After India’s independence, Nehru, the so-called champion of foreign policy, had no interest in Indo-Nepal relations. Nehru favored imperialism of the Soviet Union rather than nationalism. Nehru’s prejudices were the biggest obstacle in the betterment of Indo-Nepal relations. Nehru considered Hindu religion to be backward and orthodox, so he looked down upon the thousands of years of common heritage and culture of Nepal and India and this heritage was of no importance for him.
Nehru was a staunch opponent of the monarchical system of governance. His opposition was also based on the baseless facts of Communist propaganda literature and the fake revolution of the Soviet Union. During a meeting with CHOU EN LAI of China, he mocked the great Indian female freedom fighter ~ Rani Lakshmi Bai, describing her as a landowner and a symbol of monarchical rule rather than honoring her love and sacrifice towards the nation. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/11/13/nehru-architect-of-spineless-india/
Nehru’s bureaucrats also used to give more importance to his ideas than the interests of the country with an intention to please him.
Nepal is a small country from the geographically perspective and depends on other countries for many of its needs. Not getting importance from Nehru and to fulfil its needs, the ruler dynasty of Nepal started looking for an alternative to India. Soon this option emerged as China. China found a partner in the form of Nepal while trying to push the Soviet Union to become the leader of the communist nation and replace Soviet influence in the countries of South East Asia. Even after Nehru’s death, India’s bureaucracy remained devoted to the Gandhi family, and the Gandhi family was devoted to the Soviet Union, due to which India always stood with the forces opposing the monarchy in Nepal. Due to this attitude of India, the feeling of hatred towards India in the elite class of Nepal continued to grow progressively. After the Indo-China war, China further instigated the anti-India sentiment among the people of Nepal. As a result, countries which emerged and belonged to the same history, same culture, same religion and the same civilization became fiercely opposed to each other.

Rajiv Gandhi and Indo-Nepal Relations :-

The Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi was in Kathmandu on a state visit to Nepal. Rajiv Gandhi also went to Pashupatinath temple with his wife (Sonia Gandhi). The head priest of Pashupatinath objected the entry of Sonia Gandhi into the temple. According to the tradition of the temple, the entry of non-Hindus in the temple is prohibited. (Sonia Gandhi is a Catholic Christian.)
Rajiv Gandhi asked the King of Nepal to intervene in this matter.
The King of Nepal expressed his inability to Rajiv Gandhi and said that he cannot interfere in religious matters. The King of Nepal believed that his intervention would hurt the sentiments of the Hindus of Nepal and India, who see and respect the King of Nepal as the protector of Hinduism.
Rajiv Gandhi considered this incident as his personal insult, while the people of Nepal thought that India was now trying to interfere in Nepal’s internal matters.

Rajiv Gandhi gave his consent to overthrow the monarchy in Nepal after coming back to India. India’s Foreign Department engaged in all kinds of assistance to the Maoists who were demanding opposition to the monarchy in Nepal. Due to this act of India, the feeling of discontent towards India in Nepal’s royal family and general public flared up.

Vicious game of China

The Maoists supported by India were actually only the well-wishers of China and no one else. Soon Nepal and India’s Maoists started acting like imperialist agents of China by sidelining India, now both India and Nepal were facing China-backed terrorists due to Rajiv Gandhi’s personal ego. Soon the monarchy was abolished from Nepal and the democratic government was established, but in reality it was not a democracy but a victory for China’s imperialism. Due to Rajiv Gandhi’s failed foreign policy, India lost its buddying country Nepal and to make matters worst turned it into an enemy.

Chinese imperialism and Indo-Nepal relations

Many countries of the third world have been entangled in the Debt trap of China. Countries in South Asia like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives are gradually becoming colonies of China. Nepal should take a lesson from the current situation in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan. At the same time, India should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal. The main source of income of Nepal is the tourism industry and most of the tourists in Nepal go from India. About eight million Nepalese work in India, India accounts for sixty percent of Nepal’s total exports. There are immense possibilities of tourism in Nepal, with the cooperation of India, Nepal can earn a lot of foreign exchange in this field. Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world. There is a large number of Buddhists mainly in countries like Japan, China, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea etc. A large number of tourists from these countries come to the major pilgrimage sites of Buddhism, all these Buddhist sites mostly lie around the Indo-Nepal border area. India Nepal can jointly earn foreign exchange from these tourist places. This would not only economically strengthen Nepal, and benefit it, but would also strengthen Indo-Nepal relations once again, hopefully correcting the mistakes which were committed in the past.

Author: nitinsingh

Postgraduate in International relations. Experience in writing in various journals, from BBC WORLD NEWS SERVICE to India's one of the oldest hindi daily. I like to write on international relations, religion, religious conflict. Social media has bridged the distance between writing and reading. Now writing is not just the expression of one's own thought, but also knowing the expression of people on various subject.

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