Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Nepal Could Be A Richest Country
Log in

Forgot your password?

Nepal Could Be A Richest Country

Issue 09, February 26, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

While speaking to the Nepalese reporters at his official residence in Patna on February 18, 2012, Chief Minister of Bihar State of India has said that Nepal could be a richest country in south Asia if it could utilize its hydropower potential. Nepalese reporters have been in Patna to cover the opening of the three-day Global Bihar Summit of 2012 held in Patna. Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai opened the three-day Global Bihar Summit of 2012 on Friday, February 17, 2012.

Visiting Bihar state of India, whether Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has violated or not the protocol that forbids Indian state ministers including chief ministers to have a direct contact with any foreign countries. In fact, Indian ministers need the approval of the Union Government for visiting Nepal even though the border is opened to the citizens of both the countries. Thus, Nepalese or Indian citizens could visit each other country without visa and do businesses as any citizens do in any country of their choice. The flows of humans have been both ways.

In fact, Dr. Baburam Bhattaria has been a record setter. So, Dr. Bhattarai has been the prime minister of potentially a richest country in south Asia. He has set the record of not marking the 62nd Democracy Day on February 19, 2012. He also has set the record of his cabinet making decision on legalizing the property deals made by the Revolutionary Council of his party called CPN-Maoist during the insurgency. He also has made a decision on removing the statue of Tribhuvan set at the Sahidgate above the four martyrs that had shed their blood voicing against the tyrannical regime of the Ranas.

Leaders of NC and CPN-UML have been mad at Dr. Bhattarai for his government breaking off the tradition of celebrating democracy day on ‘Fagun 7’: the day Shah dynastic ruler Tribhuvan came back to Nepal in 1951 after the understanding reached between himself and the then-autocratic family Rana ruler called Shree-3 Maharaj Prime Minister Mohan Shusher in New Delhi, India.

The then NC led the people’s movement against the Rana regime but Tribhuvan sidelined the NC leaders and held a direct deal with the Ranas to end the hereditary transfer of power from the Shah dynastic ruler to the Rana family ruler. Consequently, Tribuvan recovered the power from the Rana family ruler at the cost of many Nepalis shedding their blood to tear down the Rana regime. The dynastic shah ruler had lost the power to the Rana ruler in the palace massacre called ‘kot parva’ in which hundreds of royalties were killed by the army of Jung Bahadur Rana.

Most probably, the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist and UDFM did not think that the ‘Fagun 7’ did represent the democracy in Nepal, as the day symbolized the return of one absolute ruler in the name of Tribhuvan after finishing off another absolute ruler called Mohan Shumsher. It must have sounded logical to think ‘Fagun 7’ is actually not a democracy day, then why the government should run any programs on celebrating the democracy day, the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF must have thought.

However, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said that the decision of government on not celebrating the day indicated Maoist intention to establish an autocratic system like the Rana regime; similarly, Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal said that his party would demand clarification from Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of the government decision on not celebrating the democracy day according to the news posted on on February 19, 2012.

Speaking at the House session on February 21, 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Gacchedhar holding the portfolio of Home apologized to the lawmakers for not marking the ‘Falgun 7’: democracy day on February 19, 2012; however, Gacchedhar also has defended why the government has not marked the democracy day saying that the government has just followed the decision of the government led by Madhav Kumar Nepal on celebrating the ‘Jestha 15’ as the national day and dropping the celebration of Democracy day and Loktantra day following the decision made by an all-party meeting held on February 3, 2010, ‘The Himalayan Times’ of February 21, 2012 reported.

Speaking at the House on February 21, 2012, NC lawmaker Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat has said that the government has demeaned democracy not celebrating the Democracy Day in the history of Nepal; this has raised the question in the faith of the Maoist party-led government in democracy; the party that fought a war against the feudalism has forgotten the epoch-making democracy day; the day marks the end of 104-year long Rana oligarchy, ‘The Himalayan Times’ of February 21, 2012 quoted Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat as saying.

Similarly, these NC and CPN-UML guys have been mad at Prime Minister Bhattarai for his cabinet decision on removing the statue of Tribhuvan from the Sahidgate because they must have believed that this guy called Tribhuvan had been the front-runner democrat even though he had been instrumental to revoke whatever the democratic rights Nepalis had received in 1950s.

Some experts believed that the statue of the killer could not go with the statues of the killed. The Sahidgate has the statues of four martyrs such as Sukraraj Shastri, Dharmabhakta Mathema, Dashrath Chand and Gangalal Shrestha. The then-autocratic despotic ruler called Judha Shumsher taking the approval of Tribhuvan had hanged two of the martyrs and shot dead the remaining two in 1942 for voicing for the fundamental rights of the Nepalese people. It is logical to think that the statue of killer Tribhuvan should not stay above the statues of those killed by him at the Sahidgate.

Now back to the visit of Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai to Patna, Bihar to open the three-day Global Bihar Summit of 2012. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar welcomed Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on his arrival at Jai Prakash Narayan Airport in Patna on Friday, February 17, 2012.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been instrumental to put Bihar back on the track of development. Even though Bihar was the most developed state when the British left India in 1947, it could not keep the pace of development with other Indian states during the last half century but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been successful to put Bihar on the fast track of development again.

The Global Bihar Summit of 2012 opened by the Nepalese prime minister on Friday, February 17, 2012 provides another showcase for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for displaying the achievement made by him even though the summit has been to ascertain the development strategy for Bihar.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must have especially invited the prime minister of neighboring country to open the summit, as even though Nepal is a small country but it is strategically located for the Bihar state of India. Major rivers such as Kosi, Burhi Gandak and Bagmati flow from Nepal. Some years, these rivers have caused floods submerging not only the farmlands but also numerous villages during the monsoon time.

Naturally, any logical thinking chief minister would try to have a cordial relationship with such a neighbor. So, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has received the Nepalese Member of Parliament Pradip Giri at his official residence called Janata Darbar in Patna to weeks ago, and the Bihar court acquitted 11 Nepalese Maoist leaders from the Bihar prison a few days ago; the Bihar state government also has requested the Union External Affairs Ministry to engage with Nepal in the river issue according to the Indian news media.

During the opening function of the three-day Global Bihar Summit of 2012, Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai hinted at a possible solution of the chronic problem of floods through positive cooperation between India and Nepal on this matter.

"We are not just close neighbors; nature has forced us to work together in harmony. The Himalayan watershed feeds into most of the Bihar's river systems. The river systems support our life; enrich our land for agriculture and provide the basis for several other economic activities. At times, they swell to create havoc," ‘The Times of India’ of February 18, 2012 quoted Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai as saying in his inaugural speech at the summit.

"Your state today is one of the fastest growing states of India. In the eyes of many citizens in Nepal, Bihar is now a role model for development, economic advancement and social inclusion. What you have accomplished thus far makes us almost envious; Nepal not only shares borders with Bihar but also a significant portion of Nepal's international trade is dependent on the use of the road and rail transport of Bihar; let the lands of Buddha and Ashoka cooperate for the betterment of humanity and to lead the world in the 21st century. There is tremendous scope for investments in joint ventures on both the sides," ‘The Times of India’ of February 18, 2012 quoted Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Chief Minister Kumar said, “some of Bihar's problems could not be solved without Nepal's help; it is high time we understood the problems of each other; the GDP growth is not real development unless the income of the poor increases; we have, therefore, adopted a policy which is aimed at growth with justice," ‘The Times of India’ of February 18, 2012 quoted Chief Minister Kumar.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi recalled the visit of the then King of Nepal to Bihar's Valmikinagar in 1954 when Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and he jointly opened the Kosi barrage (built just on the border between Nepal and India submerging most of the agricultural land in Nepal and irrigating agricultural land in Bihar, India), ‘The Times of India’ writes. “It is almost six decades later that the head of the state (government) of Nepal has come to Bihar,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi according to ‘The Times of India’ of February 18, 2012.

Speaking to the Nepalese reporters covering the visit of Nepalese Prime Minster Dr. Baburam Bhattarai to Bihar on February 18, 2012, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has said that Nepal could be the richest country in South Asia exploiting its water resources and managing the Himalayan Rivers that flow through Nepal to India; sustainable management of Himalayan Rivers would irrigate vast areas on both sides of the border and help mitigate floods, ‘The Himalayan Times’ of February 18, 2012 writes.

“You have enormous hydro power potential and we are the biggest market for your power. We are always ready to buy your power; we can do things on our side of the border to manage rivers and mitigate floods, but the more prudent step would be to build structures in Nepal,” ‘The Himalayan Times’ of February 18, 2012 quotes Chief Minister Kumar.

The Nepalese state agency called RSS has quoted the Chief Minister of Bihar Kumar as saying; “the Bihar government is ready to be a partner in the development initiatives in Nepal and has expressed confidence in strengthening democracy with constitution writing and conclusion of peace process in Nepal very soon.”

Until a few years ago Bihar was one of the poorly governed states in India and social and political crimes had been the established order but today the economic growth attained in Bihar has been remarkable and governance situation has significantly improved, ‘The Rising Nepal’ of February 19, 2012 wrote in its editorial.  The editorial in ‘The Rising Nepal’ also quotes Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai, “Since Nepal and Indian state of Bihar share many commonalities including the geographical proximity, it is in the fitness of developing context that both should cooperate with each other to promote development and mitigate social malaises as well.”

“Recurring floods have proved to be disastrous for both Bihar and Nepal; now we have to make concerted efforts to turn the bane into boon by tackling the floods; there are several problems facing Bihar, the solutions to which are there in Nepal,” quotes Chief Minister of Bihar Kumar on February 18, 2012.

Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has claimed to have said that the tsunami like waves of development coming from both the north and the south of the country would submerged the development in Nepal if the country couldn’t take the benefits of the development occurring in the north and the south. Dr. Bhattari has seen the tsunami like waves of development in the south now needs to see such things in the north.

February 20, 2012

Document Actions