The incoming Nepali government is a serendipitous opportunity that must be handled with care and even distance; no talks of ‘interference‘ (as often murmured) must be allowed. There will be occasional speed-breakers that must be spared condescending and coercive innuendoes, as the immediate past of the last seven years must be buried and perhaps the better past that survived for centuries invoked, without suggestions of appropriations and usurpations

Nepal is in flux in terms of emerging perceptions and directions that it seeks vis-à-vis India. From a dire situation where it had swerved hard-left as a counter-reaction to India’s perceived arm-twisting during the framing of its Constitution in 2015 to the ostensible ‘blockade’ enforced by Delhi, Nepal was left fuming and seen to be cozying up to Beijing, on the rebound.

The mood of the nation was further reflected in the increasing ideological popularity of the supposedly ‘anti-India’ and ‘proChina’ strain of Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Prachanda (Communist Party of Nepal ~ Maoist Centre) and KP Sharma Oli (Communist Party of Nepal ~ Unified MarxistLeninist).

While both Prachanda and Oli played down the simplistic notions of anti/pro towards either neighbour, they did posit the sophistry of balance between neighbours. Beijing was thrilled at the political developments and moved in quickly to ensnare the ripe opportunity.

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