June 6, 2010


[Below we post an article which is in response to our post earlier today and which fundamentally demerits the proposal for ‘Greater Nepal’ naturally disheartening some of those fellow compatriots. But it has a deeper message to tell all: a message of peace, love and respect. In a broader sense this is what we should be doing. The author argues, ‘Greater Nepal’ is a proposal “merely designed to create friction between Nepal and India” and which is “unnecessary and basically against our national interests”. - The Blogger ]

By Tilak Shrestha, Ph.D

Allow me to opine on the issue of ‘Greater Nepal.’ Let me wish, ‘India gives Bihar state to the greater Nepal.’ Let the ‘Greater Nepal’ democratically elect its President, Cabinet and Members of Parliament reflecting the demography. Perhaps the new government and parliament would decide to move the Capital from Kathmandu to Darbhanga, and name the nation as the ‘Greater Bihar.’ Won’t that be funnier ?

Legal Question:

Jokes aside, regarding the pre-Sugaoli treaty land, I think there are three issues involved. First and foremost, what legal basis do we have, which can stand in an international court? If we consider the Sugauli treaty with Britain not binding with India, then which binding treaty is in between Nepal and Republic of India?

Political Issue:

Second is the political issue, do people living in those areas think themselves as Nepalese today and want to join Nepal? Mind you that India is conducting elections in those areas since her independence. What if they think themselves Indian and laugh at your proposal? Are we so economically advanced that we can provide them with better economic opportunities as incentives? Perhaps we should take a sample survey there to ascertain the nationalistic feelings of the native people.

Historical  Reference:

Third is the historical issue, was there a country called Nepal with pre-Sugaoli border long enough to make an entity recognized in history and in people’s collective memory? In my opinion, undefined Nepal existed all the way from the ‘Mahabharat’ time. However, the seed of modern Nepal is planted by Prithvi Narayan Shah when he won Kathmandu valley in 1768. Then it was a matter of expansion and conquest of Nepalese-Gurkha army. Nepal was expanded up to the river Kali by 1790. The Gurkha Army conquered Kumaoun and Garhwal in 1803. In 1814 Nepal lost these parts to British forces and in 1816 Sugaoli treaty was signed  and recognized as well. Nepal controlled the areas only for a few years and perhaps not long enough to make a nationalist case. If you look it from the historical perspective of Indian Uttaranchal state, a dozen years of Gurkha rule may be only a small foot note. This is the history of the 19th century where conquering land by force was a legitimate politics. It is not relevant today, where politics is about citizens ruling themselves in democratic framework.

By the way, how do you propose to ‘demand’ land from India? Are you going to international court first, or merely write a letter to India? Or I hope not, attack India with a very sharp Khukri? If you do, please do not expect me to follow. If you are for legal action, then please let us have a prima facie case prepared by a lawyer first, before making it a political issue.

My opinion is to take care of the present ‘Mechi – Mahakali’ Nepal first. Sadly, we are not doing any good job ,let alone dream of the greater Nepal. We have to be careful what we dream of. What if Palpa (annexed in 1804) wants to be an independent country? And also Baishe, Chaubise (the 22 and 24 principalities in the western part of present Nepal annexed by Gurkha Kingdom) ? What if people of Kumaon and Garhwal have grievance against recurrent Gurkha invasion then ? Yes, they have lots of grievances towards 'Gurkha  atrocities'. They nametag the Gurkhas as ‘Gurkhels’; which means the Gurkhas are vandals or destroyer. The Gurkhas have a bad name for the Nepalese even today in Uttranchal Pradesh of India. What if China claims suzerainty over Nepal? They may be able to produce some old and forgotten documents.

Greater Nepal’ Causes Friction:

Importantly, we need to check  the legal and political basis behind the idea of the ‘Greater Nepal’ being floated now. Is it merely designed to create friction between Nepal and India? Who benefits out of such friction at our expense? Creation of such unnecessary friction is basically against our national interests.

Today,  Nepal is facing so many political centrifugal forces within ethnicity, language, political ideology, economic disparity etc. While sub-groups within Nepal are talking about separate autonomous nations, do we need to bring Sugauli treaty and Greater Nepal up in the front again?
One mistake we make is we put different legitimate and illegitimate cases together vis-à-vis India and make it a sentimental issue against India. Issues like water resources, encroachment in border, 1950 treaty, free borders, migration, balance of trade, transit etc. are separate issues needing well researched homework before approaching Indian government.

Being realistic and pragmatic is not anti-national: committing mistakes without thinking is basically. I also have a dream of ‘Greater Nepal,’ defined by my cultural attributes, not political. Let all the people with Nepali roots and the Nepal loving people, be recognized as the citizens of the Greater Nepal. Let it not be about nationality or politics, but about culture and friendship. Let the common bond be about peace and friendship extended to non-Nepalese people also. Let Indian Hindus come to Janaki and Pashupati temples as pilgrims. Let Japanese, Thais and Shri Lankan come to Lumbini. Let Americans and Indonesians come to Nepal as tourists. Let them perceive Nepal and Nepalese as loving and good. Let Nepal be known as the country of peace, ancient civilization and culture. Let our greatness be measured by our goodwill and spirituality. Yes, it needs some deeper thoughts, meditations and proper attitudes.

May the Buddha guide us  towards peace and prosperity !

Comment(s) on the post:

From: Ram B Chherti
Date: Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 1:43 AM

Thank you. To the best of my knowledge, there was only Bharatbarsha, and no other countries in that area for thousands of years. Should Bharat also go on claiming Pakistan, Bangaladesh, Burma ,Nepal etc. ?

It is all a terrible waste of time. The concept of Greater Nepal is the brain child of traitors who do not want good relationship with India. The fact of the matter is: Nepal can make tremendous progress if there is good will from India.
Otherwise, forget about it.

Ram B Chhetri

From: Shastra Dutta Pant
Date: Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 9:51 PM

I totally disagree what the writer says ‘Greater Nepal’ is a proposal “merely designed to create friction between Nepal and India” and which is “unnecessary and basically against our national interests”.

This is weaker and defeated mentality. If Nepal is free from Indian hegemony and donors’ dictates, Nepalese people can  peacefully and unitedly mobilize the country’s wonderful natural resources. If it could be done, Nepal can be a power in Asia as Israel  in the Middle East.

Then Nepal can legally and democratically claim its ‘looted lands’ almost one third part of the present Nepal.

Please go through the attached chapter of the book.


Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 4:40 AM, Mukund Apte  wrote:

Dear Sir,

I have read with interest the article by Dr Tilak Shreshtha.

I like his well balanced thinking. The idea of 'Greater Nepal' is surely attractive. Like Nepali, we also like to think and aspire for having a 'Greater Bhaarat'  or “Bishal Bhaarat’ as it existed at the time of Mahabharat and before. Moreover mind well that it was acquired by invading other countries but just culturally. You must be proud that Sanatan Dharma needed no invasion to assimilate the land culturally. Rather in the whole world, Bhaarat is only country which has not sent her armed forces to annex any land in Bhaarat. We must be proud as Sanaatan Dharmee. Instead of that we have seceded Pakistan and Bangladesh to Muslims. Don't we feel that we must get them back? Can we do so by dreaming ? No.

Our culture is strong enough to prevent any need of weapons for getting our land back. The people therein are also Bhaarateeya only. Do you know Pakistan had claimed in UNO earlier that PANINI, our Sanskrit Grammarian, belonged to them and they are merely 60 years of age whereas Panini was at the start of Christian years. No other country found any contradiction in the claim. Of course we also can claim that Indonesia, Shyam (Thailand), Afghanistan belonged to Bhaarat. We can only hope or make our culture  strong and attractive that the people there will claim to be Bhaarateeya and desire to become one with us.

There are only two HINDU states in the world out of which Bhaarat has become already secular. Let us not make Nepal also another secular one thereby having no state for Hindus. Let us not raise any unnecessary issue to have differences amongst where none exists presently. We must be pragmatic. Let us not indulge in such trickery and have Sanatan Dharma Dweshi  penetrating our Pawan (sacred) sphere here. Have your Nepal as it is and Rule it with Sanatan Dharma principles for reaching glorious heights again.
With regards to all,

Mukund Apte,

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 5:35 PM, Ram Upadhayay wrote:

Hello friends,

The concept of Greater Nepal itself is not bad but given the present situation in the country, it is better to think  about Nepal from Mechi to Mahakali. Nepal is falling apart rapidly. The most important thing is how we would be able to stop Nepal from falling or failing. Let’s think carefully about the present situation of the country. There are lots of examples around the world how people come together to solve the gravest of problems of their countries even in a very difficult situation.

This time I wish to remind you all about the situation of Japan after Nagashaki and Hirosima bombardment. The country had already lost large number of youth force at the different war fronts, and at least two cities got wiped out with the bombing, life crippled down. Technically nothing seemed possible to bring the country back on track. That made all Japanese come together and united. There was no bargain of power, no division of people by politics or by ethnicity. Everybody was ready to bring back the country. They set some goals and worked hard. They didn't have oil, they didn't have mineral, they didn't have coal mines but all their firm determination and strong willingness and hard work made them the 2nd largest economy only behind USA today. Nothing is impossible.

Now, majority of Nepalese are hard workers. The real problem is the country has not been able to find a statesman - a real leader. The leadership is the main thing to bring country together and move forward. In the present context more than 2.5 million most energetic people are outside Nepal working hard and spending their precious time for the sake of l- roji roti – livelihood only. Many more are still trying to find an outlet to get out of the country.

So this is the time to wake up and set a common goal for the nation and Nepali people. No division, on the basis of political belief, no division on the basis of origin and ethnicity. It has already been too much for the country like Nepal. There are few politicians who could do something for the country but they are pushed to the corner. It does not matter in which group or in which political party you belong to but it matters when you come up in the front breaking all the barriers for the country and its people

I'm not a writer sorry for lengthy writing. We don't need a country divided; we need to be a united force for the development from Mechi to Mahakali.

Thank you.

Ram Upadhayay

From: Ram B Chherti
Date: Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Kam kuro ekatira ;kumlo boki Thimi tira bhaneko yahi ho. And the concept of 'Greater Nepal' is not any working concept. At a time when they are not being able to manage even the small Nepal, how would they  manage a 'Greater Nepal'. This is the most stupid concept if ever there was any.

The interests of Nepal will never be served positively when India gets irritated. It is like an ant biting an elephant. Friends, you better learn from Bhutan what she has been able to achieve. One must be pragmatic.

The harm done cannot be undone but the damage can be controlled with some visions for the country: by setting short term, mid-term and long term goals.

Ram B. Chhetri
Virginia, USA

From: Kalyan Dev Bhattarai
Date: Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Dear friend,

I liked the article by Dr Tilak Shrestha and support him fully. I also agree that before we go for a Greater Nepal campaign, we must seriously see its logical, legal, political, cultural and all other relating issues carefully.

In this 21st century, when people in the country are talking of their right to self-rule or federal state structure, the idea of Greater Nepal may not be a good one. We are having problems within the country itself. Will India easily accept this Greater Nepal concept forwarded by some of our fellow Nepalese ? And to be realistic, Nepalese cannot fight in any manner with India to get back all the land to make Greater Nepal.

I fully agree with Dr. Shrestha that at this stage our politicians have not become able to properly manage the country and its people. And, talking of a Greater Nepal is nothing but a kind of some joke to me.

My sincere thanks to Dr Tilak Shrestha.

Kalyan Dev Bhattarai
P.O.Box.No. 2216
Kathmandu, Nepal.