Commentary: Indian media's blame China strategy is complicating the Lipu Lekh issue

Published On: May 22, 2020 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 22: Nepal's objection to India's unilateral inauguration of a road through Lipu Lekh, a sovereign Nepali territory, two weeks ago has been horribly misinterpreted in Indian media. Basically, they say that Nepal is taking up this issue at someone else's behest. 

According to the Indian media narrative, Nepal is not making its opinion on Lipu Lekh on its own, rather it is provoking the matter at China's behest. However, China has nothing to do with Nepal's stance on Lipu Lekh. 

As Nepal released its new map incorporating Kalapani and Lipu Lekh on May 20, the Indian media have again started telling that Nepal is doing it at someone else's behest. 

Indian media have been going crazy about the China factor in Nepal in recent years. After Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane remarked recently that Nepal is expressing displeasure with India on the Lipu Lekh issue at someone else's behest, the Indian media echoed the same rhetoric. 

Neither the Indian media have gone through historical facts on the Kalapani issue, nor have they analyzed why the bilateral ties between Nepal and India is at its new low. The Indian media don't talk about the Sugauli Treaty, rather they see China's hand behind Nepal's protest over Lipu Lekh or Kalapani issue. They fail to see India's naked military occupation of Kalapani for 60 years because they see it as a good vantage point to keep monitoring Tibet. 

In a recent television show, TV anchor Arnab Goswami tried to portray Nepal as a "client state of China", putting blame on Nepal for the current state of Nepal-India relations. This shows how Indian media run after false narratives and try to misguide the Indian people. The Indian media also does not seem to be sensitive toward the issue of other country's genuine territorial and sovereignty issues. 

The China factor has been a masala for Indian media when they talk something about India's ties with Nepal and other South Asian neighbors. It seems China-bashing or the China threat theory has been widely saleable in India.

Actor Manisha Koirala, who is a Nepali citizen, also backed Nepal government's position on Lipu Lekh. Sadly, it has also irritated the Indian media and the intellectuals. They have started lashing out at Koirala for her remarks. 

As a result of Indian media's misperception regarding India's relations with Nepal mixing up with Nepal-China relations, the people-to-people relationship has been eroded through hate speeches. These false narratives are not contributing to promote friendly ties between Nepal and India, rather they further complicate the situation. The India media's knee-jerk reaction is further eroding people-to-people ties between the two countries. 

Leave A Comment