The very premise of the "special-relations" is flawed, and so are its futile implementation attempts by the Indian side. Undoubtedly, India wants Nepal to be a good neighbor. In that case, Indian policymakers should shun the mindset of 'special relations’ and focus on friendly and good neighborly relations between the two sovereign countries, putting all major bilateral issues -- including the inert 1950 Treaty -- on the table for renegotiation.
In the Nepali language, the two terms deshbhakti (patriotism) and rastrabhakti (nationalism) have been used interchangeably, but people are slowly differentiating between them. Patriotism is the love of the land: a yearning for soil's sound, sight, and smell. When we feel nostalgic for our own patch of land, music, food, dress, and tradition, we are becoming patriotic. In contrast, nationalism is devotion to the state or polity and far more ideologically driven than patriotism.
In the overall context of anarchy, national interest, and self-help, Covid-19 might not be the sole determinant for creating a new world order. However, the pandemic will undoubtedly intensify the existing grievances and conflict between and among states and potentially create new challenges.
When we proclaim our country a Hindu state, we blatantly violate principle of democratic republicanism. One of the leading causes of the world's deadliest atrocities in the past is the politicization of religion.
Although India is competing with China by investing in connectivity in the region, it has not fully embraced economic openness. India's reluctance to provide vital air gateways for Nepal, for example, is the manifestation of that attitude.
September is known for the annual sessions of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. But this time, most of the activities are being conducted due to Covid-19.This year marks UN’s 75th anniversary, although the collective future of the organization is shrouded in unilateralism, nationalism and populism. The intergovernmental organization should have been the desirable multilateral forum for finding solutions to many of the world’s most pressing problems—from pandemic to nuclear weapons to disruptive technologies to devastating wildfires. That is not the case at the moment. Instead, the global body has been the prisoner of the politics of big powers.
In this unprecedented time of international politics, when the strategic pendulum swings towards the Indo-Pacific region and the US emphasizes partnership with India, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone asks what India’s grand strategy is. Although some even doubt whether India actually has a grand strategy, as a rising power with almost 1.38 billion populations, the Indian grand strategy would be a matter of great interest not only to the small and big states in the region but also to great powers and the global community.