The border issue between India and Nepal is a long-term talk since a long span of history. There are several controversies regarding the border issue. A joint committee of Nepalese and Indian officials has been trying to solve border issues since the 19th century. But the issue remains the same up to now.
This time the news got hike because of the Road Inauguration program from the side of the Indian Government in the disputed area of Lipulek and Limpiadhuara.
India says, “The main reason behind road construction is to shorten the pathway from the Indian route to connect the Mansarovar, which is one of the famous Hindu pilgrims located in Tibet.”
As soon as the road was inaugurated from the Indian Government, Nepal’s government sent a legal notice to the Indian government claiming that the disputed part of the land is ours and you are encroaching the border. But the Indian government disagrees with it.
Nepal Government then published a new map on May -18, 2020 covering the border area up to Limpiyadhura. Nepali officials said the newly publish map will be used in school and college reading materials and also with official documents along with all administrative purposes. The new Area of Nepal is 147,516 km2 (As in Wikipedia.org)
New Political Map of Nepal
Meanwhile, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman ‘Anurag Srivastava’ strongly rejected it pointing towards “unilateral act”. And hence, the dispute catches everyone’s attention around the territory.
What was there in Sugauli Sandhi between Nepal and India?
In 1816, Suagali sandhi was signed from the representative of Nepal & East Indian company which states that “The king of Nepal cedes the whole low land between Mechi and Teesta, Koshi and Gandaki, Gandaki and Rapti, Rapti and Kali“.
Nepal claims the land based on a treaty with the British East India Company in 1816, which sets the Kali river as the main boundary with India. And India also agrees that the Kali river is the main boundary between Nepal and India.
So, What is the actual reason for the Border Dispute?
As there is a large open border of 1800KM (1118 mile) between Nepal and India, there are several disputes over different places happening time and again. But let’s focus on the main topic we are going to cover today.
There is a long-time history of Greater Nepal. You can watch the following video to know more about the History of Nepal.
To Watch History of Greater Nepal – Click Here
So far now, let say everything is okay regarding borderline between India and Nepal (although it is not). Now the main targeted dispute is the Border above the Kali river, which is about 400 square km.
As you can see in the map below. Kali river has two supportive rivers, the Kuti river, and Lipu River. And the main point of dispute is “Which of the tributary river is the main Source of Origin for Kali River?” If it’s Kuti River, then what Nepal claim is right. Similarly, If it’s Lipu River, then India is.
So, let’s break down the dispute in relevance to past Historical evidence.
India-Nepal Border issue – Some Evidence
- Evidence No. 1
Let’s go back to history once again. In 1911, the Indian government published a document named “Almora: A Gazetter” which is still found in www.indianculture.gov.in. On page no. 4 of that magazine, there is written “the Kali on the east has its true source in the Kuthi-Yankti which after the infall of the Kalapani river takes the name of Kali. The Kuthi river has a south-easterly course to the junction”.
And that Kuthi river’s origin is Limpiyadhura. which is written itself in Indian document “Almora”.
- Evidence No. 2
Now let’s see the Hydrological point of view as well. As you can see in the map below. Lipu river is originated from Lipulek which India claims to be the main origin of the Kali River. Let’s break it down further:
Lipu river brings out the Water from 190 sq.km of the catchment area. Whereas the Kuti river brings out the Water from 556 sq. km of the catchment area. Kuti river is originated from the Higher altitude Himalaya than Kalapani river as well. That is the height of 6400 meters. And Kalapani river is from the Himalaya having an altitude of 6000 meters.
So hydrologically, the Kuti river is obviously bigger than the Kalapani river. So, which might be the main supportive river for the Kali river? Of course, Kuti River.
- Evidence No. 3
In 1903, after Sugauli Sandhi, the Qing Dynasty of China published a World Atlas of China map. where Limpiyadhura is pointed as a source of Kali River in Chinese Character. And that place is clearly shown as Nepal territory.
- Evidence No. 4
The historic maps from 1818 AD to 1856 AD, published by the British Survey of India, shows the boundary of Nepal is up to Limpiyadhura, and the river that originates from this point is named as ‘River Kali.’
- Evidence No. 5
From 2009 BS to almost 11 years onwards, there is proof with Nepal for having a population census of 434 families with 1816 Nepali citizens residing in the Lipulek area. Later in 2015 BS and 2036 BS, Nepali citizens, who were residing in Lipulek, get part on election for Nepal.
- Evidence No 6
The Land-Tax documents paid to the Nepalese Government by the citizens of Lipulek are stored safely in the Government Custody of Nepal. Even the people residing can be the live evidences for Nepal.
So, Nepal has got a lot of evidence to prove what it claims.
How this Border Issue can be sorted out?
Although there are several disputes over there between Nepal and India regarding border issues. But the current dispute in Nepal about India has got a new height in recent months after India unveiled its political map including the area of Lipulekh Kalapani.
As this issue seems to be uncommon in nature. Both countries are claiming the same area of land, The best and fruitful action for both countries is to sit for talks and solve this dispute permanently. It should be solved in the Policy Level.
Nepal should collect and submit all evidence and historical data available so far and similarly and India must be ready to discuss with Nepal seriously and resolve it.
“Boundary issue is not new, it’s rather a difficult issue and should be settled down diplomatically through high-level talks,” the former Nepali diplomat, Mr. Baral said.
Last but not least option is to go with the International Court of Justice by both countries to get a genuine solution regarding this issue.
Also read: Top 10 interesting facts about China
Bitter truth about Nepal – Honest Opinion
If we see the north-western borderline of Mahakali zone of Nepal, where this dispute is currently hiking, people over there are totally dependent on Indian goods, transportations, Hospitals & even for higher studies. To reach their home, Nepalese have to use Indian Land. This seems dependency on India is more than a lot.
However, in the world of globalization, not even a single country can be completely independent with other countries, on the basis of business, trade, and other commercial and noncommercial purposes. Because these are the basics for running the world economy and the fact is that we all share the same planet and we all are dependent on each other. In this case, developed and powerful countries might have different eyes to look at the developing countries, which can be considered ok. But when it comes to hampering sovereignty of any country and the border encroachment, it cannot be tolerable. Because every country has an equal right to protect its independence supremacy.
Recently, in 2015, when Indian PM Modi visited China, they declare the joint statement where Lipulek was mentioned as a trading point, but very sad to say that, Nepal who claims Lipulek as its territory, was not even consulted. It was completely against the norms and values, at the time when Nepal and India are working to resolve the boundary issues.
In the case of Nepal, We are just limited by saying ourselves ‘Bir Gorkhali’. But seems that we forget the meaning of that. Look at us, For centuries we are cheated and only cheated by our own leaders. Because our so-called leaders only raise this topic in order to get some sentiments when needed. And forgot later on.
That’s why Nepal is always leaving behind in such controversies.
During the Sino-China border war in 1962, India settle camp in Kala Pani Area, And Nepal was silent because of its historical friendly relations with India. But the Indian army doesn’t leave any of the camp even the war was over. No strict actions were taken from the side of Nepal as well to solve this controversy as well.
However, we must appreciate the first strong move from the Nepalese government in order to save our sovereignty. Yes, the political scenario of Nepal is worse as always, but this is the duty of every individual Nepali to make their country strong from every aspect and help to boost our government’s courage, to face India and solve all the border issues on a permanent basis.
As of now, since we have other primary concerns as well, both nations are struggling against coronavirus pandemic and the cases have just started to rise in our country. So, this dispute should be solved in a proper and peaceful way, so as to keep a healthy relationship going on with neighboring countries. Because neither we can shift our nation somewhere else on the planet, nor we can change our neighbors.
An expert group from both countries should be sent to visit the disputed area, and have a higher level of detail analysis based on the historical and diplomatic level of understanding. And make a genuine conclusion to draw a demarcation line between the two neighbors.
If you find it useful, please do comment below or you can join the discussion below on this topic.