What you discuss in the privacy of your own homes is none of the Ass’ business. However, if the subject of your conversation these days is blockade-stockade then it becomes a matter of national security and must be divulged in the public domain. Refusal to do so is punishable by a jail term in Tihar this Tihar, or a fine of INR 5 lacks in counterfeit Indian currency, whichever comes first.
A word of warning to those of you whining and dining about the Indian Blockage: how dare you complain about something as petty as the shortage of oxygen at hospital ICUs when fellow-Nepalis are sitting out in the hot sun day and night manning the barricades in Birganj? What’s that? Of course, the sun doesn’t shine at night, you oxymoron. Isn’t it just so predictable for the permanent elite of Nepal from the hill Brahmin ruling class to quibble about such small things when the marginalised are camped at the border to uphold the principle of might is right in international relations?
For those of us old enough to have survived the 1988-89 Indian Blockade and lived to tell the tale, let me reveal to you youngsters that what we are experiencing now is a picnic. In fact, as an authority on the subject, I would go so far as to say that this is a half-assed blockade. Even the Indians are so embarrassed that they are loath to call it a blockade lest they have to enforce a real one in unforeseeable future. This alleged, ostensible, purported blockade therefore lacks several of the essential criteria necessary for a Very Big Country to squeeze the gonads of a smaller neighbour to achieve the desired outcome.
The architects of this particular whatchamacallit in Dilli should be reminded that it’s not doing the trick. The Neps are thumbing their noses at you and going about their daily lives as if everything is hunkydory for the hillbillies in the boondocks. They are just not taking India seriously enough, and to show them who is boss it is now time to make this a really air tight blockade that lives up to its name.
In order to do so, we are furnishing 10 unsolicited suggestions to the Indian authoritarians. Only if these are implemented will the Nepal government be forced to give India whatever it is that India wants but doesn’t even know it, without further national embarrassment to both sides:
. The problem has always been the open border, how can you enforce a blockade when people can just walk over and fill their jerry cans with petrol? Seal the border now! Build a 1,500 mile 20 ft high wall, plant landmines on no man’s land, and beef up (as it were) India’s security.
. Expedite construction of unnecessarily elevated Indian highway embankments so that the entire border strip is permanently flooded on the Nepal side. Aside from the wall, this will also serve as a crocodile-infested moat as further deterrence to those trying to break the embargo and smuggle essential supplies like pomegranates into Nepal.
. Stop doling out medical scholarships to the offspring of Nepal’s political leaders. That should teach them a lesson, the ungrateful wretches. Those already in medical schools should be rusticated on national security grounds and be deported back to Nepal.
. If China doesn’t halt the supply of petrol to Nepal through the back door, India should also blockade China.
. If that doesn’t work, close down all Chinese restaurants in the National Capital Region and once and for all banish the dish called ‘chowmein’ from the Union Territory.
. Drill oil wells in northern Bihar and suck up underground crude deposits so there will be nothing
left on the Nepal side.
. This week Nepal was ranked #2 in the World Bank Index for Ease of Doing Business in South Asia, while India was at #4. India shouldn’t lift the blockade until it can overtake Nepal.
. What kind of blockade is this when Indian air space is being used for flights to and from Kathmandu? Scramble the IAF MiGs.
. Stop diesel supplies to all embassies in Kathmandu that dare to issue statements about a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Nepal caused by the blockade.
. Reinstate capital punishment for all crossborder petrol smugglers.
These are all highly classified tips and I am revealing them to readers in the strictest confidence on condition that you do not tell anyone else. If you do, you will immediately be sent to Tihar this Tihar.
Lose-lose, Kunda Dixit
India-locked, Bihari K Shrestha