STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Future of India–Nepal Relations: Is China a Factor?

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  • March 2015
    Volume: 
    39
    Issue: 
    2
    Strategic Essay

    Nepal shares an open border of 1,868 km with five Indian states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim) and 1,415 km with Tibet. Under the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with India, Nepali citizens enjoy ‘national’ treatment and Nepali businesses unhindered rights of trade, transit and movement. An estimated six million Nepalese live and work in India and contribute to their inward remittances. Social intercourse along the Gangetic plane is described by people as ‘roti-beti ka sambandh’ (a relationship based on sharing of hearth and marriage). Predominantly a land of believers of Hinduism and Buddhism, Nepal shares a long and enduring cultural history with India. The Hindus of India hold Pashupatinath in high esteem and those of Nepal the Char Dham of India (the four important abodes of the Hindu pantheon in India, namely Jagannath Puri, Dwarka, Rameswaram and Badrinath). Lumbini and Bodhgaya join the common ethos of Buddha’s life and teachings. About 40,000 Gurkha soldiers serve in the Indian army today.

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