My Republica

Biswas Baral

Biswas Baral has been associated with Republica national daily as a journalist since 2011. He oversees the op-ed pages of Republica and writes and reports on Nepal's foreign affairs. He is a regular contributor to The Wire (India). Know More

Who won: India or China?

Published On: December 14, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Having secured a mandate to rule for next five years, no one should be surprised if new Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli makes a concerted effort to improve frayed ties with India.

Old Love

Published On: December 8, 2017 07:31 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

The first time I voted, I was undecided. Torn between subtle family pressure (both my parents were dedicated Kangresi voters) and my wish to give a chance to new forces (I was supposed to vote as an individual, not as part of my family), I really didn't know whom pick. I was having a running debate in my head even as I lined up to vote outside the polling booth. When my turn came, my mind was made, if with great difficulty. I went in, stamped the ballot paper and heaved a huge sigh of relief. My week-long mental torment had finally ended.

SCO and Nepal

Published On: December 7, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Indian and Pakistani curiosity in the Eurasian group is understandable. But why is Nepal interested in joining?

Humans & hypocrites

Published On: November 24, 2017 09:29 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

I know how it feels to lose someone close and I felt bad for Prachanda as he sobbed at his son’s funeral. With time, he will again be the politician that I know of, and perhaps then I will not look at him as charitably.

When giants clash

Published On: November 23, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Cancellation of Budhi Gandaki did not go down well in Beijing. So why was Chinese envoy at such pains to talk up good relations with Nepal?

SAARC: The no-talk shop

Published On: November 16, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

As far apart as India and Pakistan are on key issues, it would be dangerous to progressively close all avenues of dialogue.

Vision 2099

Published On: November 10, 2017 08:26 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Our political leaders are unjustly chastised for selling the false dream of turning Nepal into another ‘Singapore’ or ‘Switzerland’. What Nepalis who criticize them don’t understand is that lasting peace and prosperity cannot be had overnight. It takes years of hard work and dedication of the political class. Perhaps few other leaders understand this as well as the communist duo of KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Thus, in their new joint election manifesto, they promise to get Nepal enlisted among the most prosperous countries in the world by 2099.

Climate of uncertainty

Published On: November 9, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Climate change is not taken seriously in Nepal, as it is supposedly not something that directly impacts our ‘sovereignty’ and ‘territorial integrity’.

Xi and Nepal

Published On: November 2, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Ever since Xi came to power in 2013, the Chinese have been more forceful in pursuing their agendas in Nepal.

Art of imitation

Published On: October 27, 2017 07:22 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Everybody in Nepal is a master of the creative art of copying. And why wouldn't they be? We like to teach this not-so-subtle art to our children young, and our schools also make sure they learn the needful. As any tireless parents of a school-going child would attest, the homework teachers give to these children, barely six or seven, is actually meant for them.

Post-election blues

Published On: October 26, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

How was Nepal elected to the top United Nations human rights body with such a checkered rights record of its vital state actors?

No country for Rohingya

Published On: October 19, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

If we are indeed a tolerant country, why can’t Nepal offer a sanctuary to the Rohingya people, often dubbed ‘the most persecuted minority in the world’?

Made in Nepal

Published On: October 12, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Nepali Congress President Deuba knows better than anyone else that China these days does not have to pick favorites among the Nepali political actors.

Cheap thrills

Published On: October 6, 2017 08:19 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

Never a patient reader, I cannot sit in a place with a book for more than half hour, tops. On a typical Saturday I am home, invariably laboring through a godforsaken book, the same book I would have plodded through for better part of a fortnight. I start out at the little tea table and chair out on the porch.

The EPG muddle

Published On: October 5, 2017 12:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

It is becoming increasingly clear that substantive issues related to the 1950 treaty can be settled only through extensive political engagement

Washington consensus

Published On: September 21, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

There is some substance to the argument that American focus in Nepal is to contain China, which has been true since the start of US-Nepal ties.

Un-Welcome Dashain

Published On: September 15, 2017 09:04 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

I still remember the names of those buses by heart. One year was particularly memorable in my night-bus odyssey, the year of the famous race for Bhadrapur between our cream-colored ‘Pashupati Travels’ and the dark-green ‘Welcome Travels’.

Glocal concerns

Published On: September 14, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

If domestic politics are a major determinant of international relations, a few factors will disproportionately influence Nepal’s foreign policy.

India’s Oli complex

Published On: September 7, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Biswas Baral

India wants to keep China-baiting and ‘anti-Madhesi’ KP Sharma Oli and his party out of power at any cost. That would be a mistake.

Grit for MPs

Published On: September 1, 2017 01:47 PM NPT By: Biswas Baral

If grit were made the sole basis to judge our policymakers, they would be judged on their ability to complete projects on time, and not on their lofty promises.