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The IUP Journal of International Relations :
Indo-Nepal Relations: A Bilateral Paradox .
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The Indo-Nepal relations are old, based on historicity of socio-cultural identities. The so-called socio-cultural identities became a well-founded base for the bilateral relationship, solidified through the signing of treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1950. While strengthening their bilateral relationship, the two countries came closer to each other in the arena of political, economic and strategic dimensions. India came forward for maintaining its status and security in Nepal and Nepal tried to attain substantial amount of holistic support. So, the relationship was going on in a confederating manner having a mutual purpose. However, the entente cordiale often moved in a vacillating framework during both the monarchical and post-monarchical periods, the reason being the inability of both the countries to create mutual trust and confidence. While being unreceptive to the changing interests and concerns, the ironical aspect is, the bilateral issues and events unleashed brought down the tone of bilateral relations at their maximal stage of cooperation. No doubt, bilateral initiatives and efforts have often been taken up, but bridging the trust gap remained unsuccessful. Thus, the study endeavors to analyze the Indo-Nepal relations as an exceedingly bilateral paradox. It explores the inadequacies created in harnessing the fruits of bilateral cooperation by scrutinizing the bilateral differences, issues and events.

 
 
 

Since time immemorial, Indo-Nepal relations have been formed and shaped by their geographical contiguity and historicity of socio-cultural identities which were possible because of the 1690 km long open border. Approximately, 6,00,000 Indians are living or domiciled in Nepal. These include businessmen and traders who have been living in Nepal for a long time. The people of both the countries have been closely and strongly interlinked by social life and cultural tradition and had made great contributions towards enriching religious and cultural heritage in the South Asian region and beyond.1 The historical, socio-cultural and religious ties between the two countries have left an indelible impact on Indo-Nepal political, economic and strategic relations. Nepalís politico-strategic ties with India dates back to the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816 signed between the Nepalese Monarch and the British East India Company.2

Nepal was seen by the British Indian Empire as a buffer with China. After independence, India continued with the same policy and considers Nepal as critical to Indiaís security.3 So, the relationship was strengthened by the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1950. After the signing of the treaty, India extended economic and technical support and contributed significantly to the socioeconomic development of Nepal. However, the pace of relations slowed down with the growing anti-Indian sentiments in the late 1950s and 1960s.4 The same state of affairs continued during the 1970s and 1980s because of frequent Indian interference in Nepalís internal affairs and unequal treaties signed in the past.5 Consequently, Indian blockade of Nepal goods in 1988, which deteriorated the Nepal economy, further weakened the relations.6

 
 
 

International Relations Journal,The Indo-Nepal relations, Socio-cultural identities , Bilateral relationship, Political, Economic and strategic dimensions, maximal stage of cooperation.