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Mohan Sharma: Indian Politics & Bhutanese Refugees

Indian Politics and Bhutanese Refugees

Mohan Sharma

The biggest democracy of the world, India has been emerging as one of the super powers of the world. It has been so powerful that Man Mohan Singh has to either blink or gibe a nod to George Bush to step into any Asian concern.

However, the fight for democracy in neighboring countries, Nepal and Bhutan has been perceived by India at different heights. India has a history of backing for the people’s movement for democracy in Nepal from as early as 2007 B.S. Ranarchy collapsed by tripartite agreement between Delhi, King Tribhuvan and Nepali Congress.

Contrary to it, India has been taking the side of Bhutan’s autocratic regime since its establishment in 1907. Though Bhutan’s development would not have been possible without India’s help in almost all spheres, Delhi should not ignore the Bhutanese aspiration for a change. Bhutanese people have witnessed exchange of solidarity between the Nepalese and Indian leaders on several occasions. Sitaram Yechuri’s team could address a huge mass of public in Katmandu but it could barely do so in Thimphu. Indian has always been fertile for all degrees of people movement in the neighborhood. It provides shelter for all yet scrutinizes Bhutanese human rights and democratic activities. Delhi is not happy about Narayanhiti’s functioning, yet keep words of flattering and unworthy salutation for Dechen Choling’s family regime. The absolute monarch ruling Bhutan is taken at par with the most democratic leaders of the world.

A smoking king of non smoking subjects, a king having a family size of 13 members at his wedding, a "charismatic" king who declare in 1990 that he would abdicate throne if he could not solve the problem within three years is still a special friend of India. When all Bhutanese enjoy free movement in India as per the Indo-Bhutan friendship treaty, why Rongthong behind the bars? Why Rizal insecure in India?

India has been proving very frequently that it was a grand design to evict southern population at her consent. Poor Bhutanese refugees who tried to go back to their homeland have to encounter Indian police right at Mechi Bridge. Mr. Kofi Annan or the UN high commissioner for human rights has no words of solidarity for the refugees, instead UNHCR in Katmandu see it as an unfortunate move.

Delaying tactics used by Thimphu in Nepal Bhutan talks and verification procedure is learnt form India. And as usual, foreign ministry in Thimpu does not forget to pat on Shital Niwas as it prepares to raise issue of Bhutanese refugee in international conferences. Khandu Wangchuck’s phone call to Ramesh Nath Pandey before the latter left for New York in September is a vivid example how pseudo-readiness is exhibited by Bhutan.


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