Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Playing for the Home Crowd

Blogdai is reprinting a response to a posting on our "China Timeline" thread below.

It seems as though old Jack Straw and the U.K. have really thrown down the gauntlet. They are suspending $2.5 million in "non-lethal" military aid to Nepal. Big deal, says blogdai. Suspend non-lethal aid? it was a big pose and posture gesture. Brits and Euros can afford to do this; their aid to Nepal will never be of the type needed to affect a change in the Maoist situation.

The only significant form of military aid to come out of that part of the world in the last 10 years was the 5000 Belgian minimi machine guns that were delivered to Nepal a few years ago. Guy Verhoofsted took a lot of heat for that move, so that should tell everyone about appeasing the home crowd in Europe and the U.K. when it comes to real "lethal" aid to Nepal.
Blogdai also took some heat for almost guaranteeing to everyone that the British ambassador would return to Nepal: guess what?

It is a luxury to be able to assuage public opinion when one is not a first-tier participant in the situation. The current list of players are: India, the U.S., China, and Pakistan..that's it.

It would have been diplomatically significant if the U.K. had not only suspended their military aid but issued a statement condemning the U.S. and others for continuing with same. So what do we have? More bluster with no real effect.

The the big shocker ,however, is India. Blogdai never thought they would pull this stunt and ban weapons sales as well. Looks like all the cards are on the table now, so let's do some math: Political parties want to overthrow the Monarchy and are openly advocating an alliance with the Maoists. India stated recently that is "supports 100 percent" Nepal's political parties. So, theMaoists, the Political Parties and India all sound like they are all on the same page now, doesn't it? Maybe blogdai should call this the "Trinity of Evil."

It is an open secret that Delhi has always wanted a somewhat unstable Nepal; it reinforced Nepal's dependence on big brother India. The Maoists have been killing people in Nepal for a decade now. During that time, 11,000 Nepalis were slaughtered. Where was big brother during all of this? The Maoists originated, were trained and receive weapons and materials through India and at India's whim. Make no mistake about it.

India cutting off arms to Nepal is only significant in that it is an anti-monarchy, pro-Indian control gesture. India had better reconsider because China won't waste this opportunity.


At 1:01 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the Indian move came as a surprise to me as well. I really didn't think they would do it but let's give it some time and see if they end up with egg on their face.

As for the UK move it truly is insignificant. What can $2.5 million buy you in terms of sophisticated military equipment?

Few questions about other things:
1) Does anyone have any thoughts on the influence of the Marwadis in all this?
2) What have the Frenchies said about the situation? Although their influence is insignificant, I like the way they usually "stick 2 fingers up" at the US and Brits.


At 1:04 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

India's grand design is to be make Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh satellite states of India.

India has already succeeded with Bhutan. Bangladesh is a little difficult as to Bangladesh's minimal economic reliance on India. This is somewhat due to its progresive economic policies as well as having access to the sea and Burma.

Nepal, on the other hand, whether we like it or not, need to depend on India for a whole slew of things from petroleum products to basic staples.

We are surrounded by India on our East, West and South and hinterland of Tibet on the North.

India understands the geo-political reality of Nepal very well and would like to control Nepal outright or by having a "puppet regime" at the helm in Kathmandu.

This is the oppotune time for India to create "chaos" in Nepal so it can step in to "protect" the democratic ethos of Nepal.

At 1:23 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Make no mistake about it.".......well you sound too arrogant,do you also resemble George Bush? do you shares the genetic garbage with him or is it just and acquired obnoxious trait ?

Your, opinions are full of yourself.. blogdai was right and blogdai was again right....blogdai thinks this and blogdai thinks that.Nauseating arrogance.

Any fool would have guessed that the British Ambasssdor would have been back soon. Everyone one knows the recalling of amabassadors was a syncronised display of displeasure, at least for the public's sake. We dont really know what they confer with the King in private, do we ?

Inida:Wether you like it or not, India will not stop being a big brother. Aceept the reality and live in the rality. No matter how much you howl at them, they are still much better than lazy Nepalses. Nepalese dispise Indians ? What for ? Indians are very hard woeking people, very productive, exceptions are of course those bordering Nepal. Nepalese have to learn to live with the Indians, that is the reality of Neapl, sorry, nothing can be done about it.Nepal will always have to depend on India. As for the Pakis and Chinese, well you have money, they are friends, no money, no friends. Try analyzing China's foreign policy to Nepal, From Mao to Hu. You will find Nepal is no longer important as it used to be. February 1st was an "internal affair", the days Nepalis will wipe out monarchy it will still be "internal affair". By the way Gyanendra might want to take refuge there as the Cambodian king did. The Pakis, well more than Nepal for this is more Hindus than Nepalses.Arms, of course yes to Nepal, then they also get to secure their position in Kathmandu and hatch all sorts of conspiracy against India.

Gyanendra might want to befriend the Chinese and Indians, but it will be short lived.

Sujata Koirala: She needs to rot in jail not for her political idealogy but for all the corruption she has done. No sane person will disagree with that. Same for the other Koiralas who have been corrupt. What do you say about the Ranas and Shahs of Nepal ? What about the military ? what about corruption in the royal household ?Centuries of corruption ? Centuries of stealing from the coffers of Nepalese. Who is going to put them in jail..or do you happen to be one of that you see only faults only in the Koiralas and other janata ko chora chori?

Opinions that you have in your blog are of no value. It is a lousy centrist view....corrupt poiticians bad, Maoist bad, Paras very bad, Gyanendra ill advised ...what kind of opinions are these? Have a categorical opinion. If you support the King say so loud and clear. If you support Maosit say. If you support the political poarties say so. dont just bitch around. There is no time to bitch, it is a time to make a choice.

At 3:03 PM, February 22, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Blogdai is now being criticized for being a "centrist" rather than a blabbering Royalist mouthpiece: this is real progress.

Yep, India will always be big, condecending brother to Nepal. 75% of Nepal's economy depends on some form of contact with big brother. Blogdai wonders why, with Nepal's economic, cultural and political future in their pocket, India feels the need to accomodate such instability in the form of Maoism and the political parties. If India were truly a big brother, wouldn't they have moved in years ago to stabilize the situation? This is a type of enslavement, not a partnership.

One of our posters below implied that India couldn't care less about Nepal and said the country was full of "Hritik Roshans."

Nepal was never important to China other than as a strategic buffer. The same holds true today. China is seizing an opportunity to gain some of India's lost political ground.

Self-aggrandizement helps blogdai stay relevant and maintain a certain distance. It suggests a mildly confrontational style that seems to bring out both the best and worst qualities in readers-I think I'll keep it. -=blogdai

At 3:10 PM, February 22, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Naagboy! Welcome back. You know you have been accused of pandering to blogdai and a few other things, so welcome back to the hot-seat.

France was being France and has really said nothing more than they would like democracy restored immediately. It is curious, they usually love to blast away at U.S. and U.K. policy. Perhaps they were quiet because of Chirac's meeting with Bush. All of this is over now so, hopefully, we'll hear some of that famous French venom soon.

You have stumped me on the Marwadi angle. TO OUR READERS: Help on this would be appreciated. Blogdai will try to find the time to do some reasearch on this as well.


At 3:17 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No matter how much you howl at them, they are still much better than lazy Nepalses (sic(k)). Nepalese dispise Indians ? What for ? Indians are very hard woeking (sic) people, very productive, exceptions are of course those bordering Nepal."

Bit of a generalisation...If you're Nepali then shame on you. If you're Indian than you've answered the question yourself with your patronising attitude.

Most Nepalis just want to work so that they can live.


At 3:23 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks blogdai, just taken some time out to grow myself some thicker skin.


At 3:24 PM, February 22, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

CORRECTION: The above posting mentions Hrithik Roshan as referred to by one of our bloggers in another thread. While Mr. Roshan is a Bollywood cliche' in the highest sense of the word, blogdai feels the reader meant to say Madhuri Dixit.

If you'll remember a few years ago, Ms. Dixit infamously and off-handedly declared Nepal to be a part of India. Such was the outrage of Nepalis that thousands of people rioted in the streets of Kathmandu.

Our reader implies that all India takes this approach to Nepal.


At 3:42 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erm..you're kind of right. They both made disparaging remarks about Nepal.

I definitely remember the scenes of protest after HR made his remark about hating Nepalese people.


Going back to the French, they'll probably stay quiet about the whole thing. After all they've got the world's 4th biggest arms industry and are currently lobbying to end the embargo against the Chinese and I believe are also competing to equip the Indians with various military platforms.


At 4:14 PM, February 22, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

So technically, a vote to end the Chinese arms embargo is a vote to supply French armament to Nepal through China.

France could wind up working both ends of the deal by supplying India as well.

No wonder they didn't know what to say after the takeover.


At 5:57 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just getting the facts straight: I would like to point out that the 5000 minimis were actually purchased by the Nepal Army to replace its SMG which were getting old as the SLR.

At that time, Nepal Army was also trying to replace its SLR with German Heckler and Koch G 36. But the Germans backed out of the deal citing internal insurgency. It was then that the US agreed to supply some M16s in aid and some were actually purchased.

I hope that helps.

At 7:12 PM, February 22, 2005, Anonymous K said...

Blogdai tapaiko nam ma nepalipan ali aayena.
Tapaiko nwaran garera nepali nam Bogledai rakhe kaso hola???

At 1:52 AM, February 23, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...

India's move is not surprising at all. Considering what King Gyanendra is doing in Nepal, ostensibly to fight the Maoists, there is little reason to believe that an absolute monarchy will be any better than a Maoist haven; both for the people of Nepal, and strategically for India.

The good news is that India has declared firmly that it will not allow the king to become its Musharraf.

It is rather unfortunate that India's move in favour of democracy is being interpreted as part of a grand design of making Nepal a satellite state.

While Nepal's Maoists have connections with their Indian Naxalite and Leftist counterparts, their emergence can hardly be said to be favourable to India. It is like having your own Himalayan Cuba.

While India would certainly want Nepal to remain friendly, sympathetic and pro-India, this does not involve destabilising it just for this sake. India, of all people, would not want a failed state on its borders.

Look back in history --- India intervened in the 50s to liberate King Tribhuvan and the royal family. In 89-90 to bring about democracy. As you may note from current history, the easiest way for a country to influence another is to support a dictator there. The more autocratic it is, the easier it is to control. Witness the tinpot dictators the United States supported in the Cold War, witness its reliance on Musharraf. If influence was all India desired, the best way would be to bolster King Gyanendra and make a deal with him.

Therein lies the rub --- India's policy is Nepal recognises that the real endgame in Nepal will be decided by the Nepali people themselves. And democracy is the best way to do it. Even if it means having lousy politicians.

At 1:54 AM, February 23, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...

For those who remain 'anonymous' while leaving comments:

No one takes your views seriously if you do not have the courage to back them up.

At 4:45 AM, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your views are most welcome and it's nice to see someone debating in a reasonable manner.

However, the move was surprising to me because now it gives the king legitimacy to approach the Chinese and Pakistanis for arms.

This will lead to escalation in the regional stakes and could end up becoming even messier than it already is.

As for the lousy politicans they were running the country into the ground against the backdrop of the Maoist insurgency, which arguably they had failed to address and made even worse.


At 5:44 AM, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a Nepali, it hurts me to hear when someone says Nepalese are lazy and Indians hard working. But have to accept that there is a grain of truth in that. Just an example, how many of you have seen Indian workers in Nepal (be it vegetable vendor, or ones in construction work, or khalisiswalas) go and get drunk in a 'bhatti'. And what about Nepalis, most of them (who work) seem to just spend their money doing that; and those who don't work just playing cards while their wives toil all day and night.

At 6:38 AM, February 23, 2005, Blogger El Diablo said...


I think you are fooling yourself if you think that India's motive in crying "foul" to the recent events in Nepal is all altruistic.

India claims to be a champion for "democracy" whereas it doesn't let the Kashmiri decide for themselves their own fate.

India is just trying to assert itself as being a "global force" and wants to join the "big boys" in the security council and elsewhere.

But, its got a long, long way to go!

At 6:04 PM, February 23, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...

El Diablo,

Not for a moment do I think India's motives are altruistic. On the contrary, self-interest dominates foreign policy.

But how you define self-interest is important. You can, for example, cozy up to autocratic regimes and achieve your objective. But that comes at the cost of alienating the people. So while the Bush administration had Musharraf firmly by its side, ordinary Pakistanis, both moderate and extremists do not like the US very much.

Remember Myanmar: India continued its policy of supporting the democratic leaders there even at the cost of losing influence to China. Things changed a bit recently, when India had no choice but to talk to the dictators there.

I think there is a fundamental belief in India, among people, politicians and policymakers, that a democratic Nepal is in India's best interests.

At 6:10 PM, February 23, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...


I'm tempted to believe, especially after reading blogdai's post, that all this was thought-off beforehand.

When Shaukat Aziz was in Nepal, they talked about military assistance. So it is quite possible that the king had some guarantees before he made this move.

My own opinion is that now that India has signalled what it will not blink, it must resume military assistance to Nepal; after it has established that these will be used in the war against Maoists, rather than on ordinary people and politicians.

You are right: the stakes have become higher. That is good. It should wake up concerned people on both sides and make them realise the importance of good India-Nepal relations.

At 10:07 PM, February 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


all hrithik roshans and Madhuri dixits ??

oh please! do you think Indians have nothing better to do than think of stupid old nepal which lies somewhere over there in the himalayas? and IF its a satellite/part of India or not?

Do you think any yank even knows where "Asia" or "Europe" even? its likewise with Indians.

At 4:46 AM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Mark said...

"Just getting the facts straight: I would like to point out that the 5000 minimis were actually purchased by the Nepal Army to replace its SMG which were getting old as the SLR. "

This statement is corect. The US government has also shiped 15,000 M16s to the royal nepal army. The US government also has been giving Training to the RNAs Special Operations Brigade. So far the us government has not said it is bringing these trainers home.

The british have provided 3 helichopters at about the same time to the RNA.

India has also provided hilichopters to the RNA along with thousands of wheapons.

In the long run india and the UK and US will have to deal with Gynendra. They may not like it but he is a safer bet than the moaists.

I think all the talk about cutting military aid is just bluster for the public. In the end all 3 governments will continue military aid. The fact is that the US and the UK do not want another afganistan. And india cannot afford to let the moaists win.

At 4:56 AM, February 24, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

In a typically Indian move, they now claim that aid was never officially cut off .

Now it is "under constant review."

At 7:10 AM, February 24, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...


What is the source of that information? None of the newswires, or online news sites are carrying that.

At 7:24 AM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 8:32 AM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy Nitin sounds like the Embassy of India spokesperson, Sanjay Verma.

At 12:19 PM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another article about the Indian arms cuts. Finally someone using their common sense:

Nitin, you are right we do need good India-Nepal relations but surely India must make that first gesture. No one likes a bully after all..


At 1:21 PM, February 24, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

That Feb. 24 rediff posting by naagboy was dead-on target. Blogdai read it and feels like suing the author for plagerism. We've been talking about the China Pakistan relationship for about a week and all of us at nepalnow.blogspot.com were the first to call India's move stupid.

Blogdai said it right here: our readers - both pro and con-are on top of it so keep it up, all!

Reference on India backing down a bit is http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-02-23-voa20. To wit:

"The Indian government says it has not sent any military assistance to Nepal since King Gyanendra seized power on February 1. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna stopped short of calling the decision a formal suspension of aid."

"What I said was that the issue of military supplies is under continuous review, in view of the evolving situation," he said. "And it is a fact that given the disturbed conditions, no supplies have been delivered since February 1 - that is all I said."

Look for more of this behavior as India will make a big show of intitially supporting Nepal's ousted political parties (they've already allowed them to demonstrate in Delhi), but will eventually be forced to deal with the realities of increased Chinese and Pakistani influence in Nepal and abandon the crooked Nepali politicians once and for all.

It is headstrong and foolish for India to continue along its current path. It is highly unlike any Indian political stance blogdai has witnessed. Therefore, blogdai predicts that India will revert back to its old style of playing both sides of an issue with no real committment to anything.

Agreements with Nepal that would result from this might take the form of a compromise whereby the king agrees to reinstate democratic institutions and parliamentary control, if and only if the old politicians, crooks and sycophants are officially banned from the process--a face-saving solution for India.


At 1:55 PM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you want to ban the old crooked politicians sure ....how about starting with the two vice-chairs?

And what are your feudal, conservative, self obssessed, arraogant Gyan Bahadur Shah, whose thought process is two hundred years behind the present?

At 2:02 PM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To nagboy,

Once again : Nepalese are lazy and unproductive.

Dont live in denial.

At 2:09 PM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai.....wa what name ..."dai".... maan namaan meein tera dai!!

wants to be a everybody's "dai"......

the choice of "dai" says a lot about this guy...." I am the big guy here wise and smarter thant all you you our there "...

" I am the ever smart and wise blogdai"

as arrogant as Gyanendra ! no wonder all those prasie and glory for his!

At 4:40 PM, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lazy and unproductive, as opposed to arrogant and obnoxious? Let's take the former.

Yes, India is so "productive" that one can barely breathe in Delhi.

This is the great year of the Indian? Go ahead, work your tail off in some Mumbai sweat shop and blow all your money on some worthless showy wedding for you kids. I'll live in the hills of Nepal, thank you...

At 1:11 AM, February 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

"Lazy and unproductive", if you wish. But again, a gross generalisation. I'd go into some socio-economic rambling about the areas where this may be perceived but at the moment I can't be bothered.

You can also throw in self-destructive and doomed, if you like.

Personally, I've never much been a fan of the *ke garne* attitude.


At 2:47 AM, February 25, 2005, Blogger Nitin said...

Blogdai, Naagboy,

On the matter of military aid 'under constant review' while 'no new aid has been sent':

Nice diplomatic jargon. Perhaps they are following my recommendation.

At 2:31 PM, February 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya ya whatever, these reads are very immature and is just an endless mumbojumbo of who is trying to outwit who....just wasting time by posting all these nonsense...

and here is this guy who says one can barely breathe in delhi....ya really ? try farting in Nepal then.....you will then know what happens!

anyway i agree with this anon opinion that Nepalis are in general lazy and unproductive.This coulumn is a good example to begin with....all...masters of non-stop nonsense.

At 6:02 PM, February 25, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

Good article, Nitin. No matter what India thinks of the Nepalis (apparently, not much, judging from our posters) they would be foolish to underestimate G. playing "The China Card."

Odds and ends:

The air in Delhi is notoriously bad by world standards. Respiratory effects are noticed immediately and represent the single largest public health threat to Indians living in Delhi. Blogdai has farted on many occasions in Kathmandu, however, with no apparent ill effects.

"Dai" also can represent "mediator" or "discussion leader" as is does on this blog.

Yes, the clarification on Belgian weapons helps. Please offer more.

K: maaph garnus saati, mero naam no bolni.

Finally, blogdai is shocked at some of the responses from our apparently Indian posters. To constantly repeat the "we-can't-be-bothered-with-those-lazy-Nepalis" mantra says a lot about your perspective. To make broad, overgeneralizations about a neighboring culture says a lot about your education. Take a good look at the postings from Naagboy, Nitin, El Diablo, and others. All of their thoughts are well conceived and well articulated; and yet, we get nothing but condescending, dismissive childishnessness from some of those who respond to their ideas.

I don't see my Nepali saatis just giving up and accepting defeat; so why must my Indian saatis assume that they must? Do the Indians who respond here believe that they are somehow genetically superior? Perhaps the master race? You see where blogdai is going. To India: your credibility as both a world leader and a voice for peace in south Asia is seriously compromised by bringing such cultural and racial bias to the discussion. If you are as big and powerful as you think you are, you can tolerate a little independent thought and action from poor little brother Nepal.

So, lead, follow or Get Out of The Way. (Sorry, GOTW) -=blogdai

(New mnemonic: NFI = Nazi From India.)

At 1:38 PM, March 02, 2005, Anonymous Manish/ktm said...

One thing India wants more than anything is to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council ( I love pie in the sky dreams). Unlike Japan (one of the largest UN donors) or Germany (largest European Economy), India wants to be in the Security Council because it has one of the largest populations in the world. Yup one of the largest populations is the reason. I wouldn’t be too proud about that when 100’s of millions live in poverty and the wide spread cast discrimination.

With India rejecting aid for its tsunami victims and now using Nepal to show the world it is a staunch support of democracy ain’t gonna get them in. When a country can’t conduct elections without hundreds of people dieing is now trying to be a beacon for democracy for another nation. Me thinks the country is crazy. Off course Indians enjoy electing criminals like Laloo Prasad Yadav every time they get the opportunity.

Friends Nepal has had it with leaders similar to Yadav. Move over or get rolled over.

At 6:16 AM, April 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, time and again we have seen protests over who said what about Nepal. The result: we have damaged our own public infrastructure and really what have we got out of all those. Having watched Hrithik Roshan's show and then going through whatever happened in Nepal made me think: do we ever look before we leap? Then, Madhuri Dixit told that she did not feel any different being in Nepal than being in India. All she meant was, she felt at home in Nepal. Some people in Nepal felt this to be an attack on sovereingnty of Nepal and guess what did they do? They started destroying the public infrastructure. Come on, let's grow up. Let's question ourselves. Just look at the list of Nepalese applying for DV Lottery. This should give us a clear hint of how many Nepalese want to stay in Nepal. By the way, Nepalese have become famous for going abroad and then suddenly vanishing. This has meant, that countries have tougher visa laws for Nepal.
Really, we should look at ourselves and stop criticizing others. Let's do our own criticism. By the way, the king is nearing his 100 day honeymoon period and I can't see any signs of his promised grandiose. I really doubt if there will be any.

At 6:25 AM, April 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I definitely remember the scenes of protest after HR made his remark about hating Nepalese people."
Before making statements like these, just verify the facts. First of all, I watched the show myself and I am sure, there was not a single word mentioned. I was shocked myself as to how these things could happen in Nepal.

"Bit of a generalisation...If you're Nepali then shame on you. If you're Indian than you've answered the question yourself with your patronising attitude."
This has been the greatest problem. Anything we don't like, we castigate. We need to reform. We surely want to work to live. Let's have others say what they feel but let's not criticize the people but their opinion. I should have a right to criticize my own weaknesses. If I do then that is how I correct myself.


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