--BY MADAN LAMSAL
The photo of a pothole on a Lalitpur road that looked like the map of India went viral on social media a few weeks back. Then someone added to that photo something resembling the map of Sri Lanka below the ‘India pothole’. Though it’s just a pothole resembling the map of India, Many Nepalis have gone gaga over it, imagining it to be a real submerged India. This shows how disapproving the Nepalis are with India. Is it just the anti-India sentiment in Nepalis or their rage against the government’s apathy? Whatever it maybe, let’s just assume for a while that India is really submerged in water. What will happen then?
First of all, the dream of our politicians to make Nepal Switzerland will never come true. Or in other words, they won’t be able to fool the Nepali people any longer with promises to make Nepal like Switzerland! Because a submerged India means the sea is coming to Nepal’s doorsteps. To become like Switzerland, Nepal has to remain a land-locked country!
Now you could say, even if Nepal doesn’t become like Switzerland, it will surely become like Seychelles, Mauritius or the Maldives. Yes, these countries too are beautiful in their own ways and are tourist spots like Switzerland. But Nepal cannot become like Seychelles, Mauritius or Maldives even if India gets submerged and the Indian Ocean comes to Nepal’s border. Because all these counties are surrounded by sea from all sides. There is China to Nepal’s north. Nepal can become like Seychelles, Mauritius or the Maldives only if China, too, is submerged. But what will happen to Nepal if China gets submerged? Nepal will be swept away even if a bit of China is submerged! If China gets submerged but Nepal doesn’t get submerged fully, then the ‘India-China’ game which Nepal plays from time to time will come to an end. Will Nepal ever be able to play the ‘China only’ game?
The other thing to note is that if India gets submerged in water, Nepalis won’t be able to go to the bordering Indian towns like Jogbani, Sunauli, Raxaul, Rupaidiya, Gauriphanta etc to shop! Similarly, no more Delhi or Pune for treatment. The political pilgrimage of our politicians, too, will come to an end. And one major problem would arise- who to consider as the ‘Big Brother’? Who will the Nepali politicians consult with to rule Nepal? The casinos and hotels in the bordering areas will get no clients. Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis will lose an important job destination. The dreams of those who want to go to Mumbai and become like Udit Narayan and Manisha Koirala will be aborted. Nepalis’ recruitment in the Indian Army will come to an end. Who will cut their hair or come to their doorsteps to sell vegetables? What will happen to the Nepalis then?
Even if only India goes under, regional institutions like SAARC, BIMSTEC etc will cease to exist. Nepal will not be able to reap the benefits of these organisations. And with that, Nepal won’t get the incentive to keep its roads and cities clean and beautiful.
Similarly, all the plans of our Prime Minister to bring trains from both India and China and make them compete for Nepal’s development will have to be aborted. If India gets submerged, both the market and development of Nepal will dry up because where will the vehicles as cheap as the Indian ones come from? What will the Nepali cinema halls do? Can they fill their seats throughout the year by running just Nepali movies?
The most important thing is who will we curse day and night if India gets submerged? Who will we fight with time and again, arguing that Buddha was born in Nepal? What new excuse will we have for Nepal’s lack of development as we will no longer be able to say ‘it’s all because of India’?