Nepali Times
How Nepalis and Indians see each other


Arina Singh Pradhan

India and Nepal have a lot in common. Because India is a lot bigger it sometimes misuses its power. The Indian media has tremendous impact in Nepal. The quality of entertainment that they provide is very good. But when it comes to Nepal it doesn\'t allow the Nepali market to grow. We should work towards limiting the Indian media presence in Nepal and give the Nepali media a chance to grow.

Our prime minister doesn\'t have enough bargaining power and this the Indians know. They are pushing us because we are smaller than them.

It all boils down to communication but we should be realistic too. Maybe trying to understand each other will lead to better relations.

India is afraid. Things like hijacks happen everywhere. The security has certainly improved after the incident, which is good. It wasn\'t Nepal\'s fault in the first place.

Suresh Kumar
Graphic designer

The Nepalis are very friendly and helpful. I have been here for just three months and I already love this beautiful country. Everything moves at a slow and steady pace, which is so wonderful because in the rest of the world it\'s all hustle and bustle.

In the past, our relations may have come under a lot or stress but now I think we\'re back to normal. Incidents like the hijack case are insignificant compared comes to our centuries-old relations. We shouldn\'t let such things strain our relations and both the Indian and the Nepali masses should realise this.

The media in both nations should also try and minimise the tensions instead of trying to increase it. We are like brothers and there is no problem that cannot be solved through discussion.

Dheeraj Jung Gurung
Bank employee

The Indians are our closest friends and we are dependent on them in many ways. Even Hindi movies have gained so much popularity in Nepal that people seldom watch Nepali movies.

But the way India treats us is not good. The Indian Airlines hijack was given so much coverage even though something like that could have happened anywhere in the world. Look at the way they treated us after the incident. We had to virtually go down on our knees to have them resume their flights. If they had restarted the fight taking it to be a minor issue, a lot of tension would have been reduced.

Vajpayee and Koirala are good friends but that doesn\'t mean we should agree with whatever they say. If they don\'t reach an understanding there are plenty of other nations that will willingly help us. The problem is that India has understood Nepali politics and politicians very well and they take advantage of that. We do not do our homework properly. Issues crucial to the nation are treated like topics that deserve mere formal discussion in the parliament, so how can we expect the prime minister to bring back what we want?

Malabika Talukdar

I don\'t think we have any tensions. I have been here for the past six years and I have always felt very free. If there are incidents that are of worry to both the nations then I am sure the PM\'s visit will solve it.

Yes, theoretically what the Indian media writes about ISI activities in Nepal is not impossible, and after the IA hijack it has become even clear that Nepal is not safe from being dragged into what is essentially not her problem.

The media should be careful when informing the people. The mistake that Zee TV made during the hijacking clearly-caused a lot of worn.- on both sides.

But then the media is not the government. So the government in both the nations should make sure that the media does not cause a lot of unnecessary tensions.

Pappu Kandoi

I\'ve been staying in Nepal for the last 11 years. I was never bullied or hassled until 5 vears back. I\'ve sensed a growing hatred against Indian people and others from the tarai who look similar to Indians. And it is not because of any natural instinct or cultural differences between the people. I still live in the heart of Kathmandu and my neighbours have always been good to me but the propaganda by both our governments has slowly been making it difficult for me to live as a non-Nepali.

People are not well informed of true facts. In fact the government\'s policies are very confusing and are meant to be good only for big businesses.

My relatives are all in business though but I might move back to Rajasthan if the situation grows bitter, I love the culture here because I find it very unique but then things are turning sour. And it is all because of the reckless and insensitive people in power.

Nilendra Mali
Travel agent

One thing I don\'t like about India is that very often it intervenes in the affairs of the small neighbouring countries. It only cares for its self-interest. Fine, we accept that India has advanced much in terms of the economy and technology. But as a South Asian partner, if it helps us. it would also be helping itself.

I don\'t have anything against Indians. I have travelled several times to India and have never been mistreated there. There is easy communication and since we have the same culture and share the same angst (created by our selfish leaders), I feel just like the Indians do.

Indian tourists are also a very good asset for the Nepali tourism industry. Scaring them away does no good. The people are not doing that but the government is. After the Indian Airlines hijack, Indian tourists are still coming to Nepal. The bad relations is just hype by the government and the media.

There are no big problems between the two countries as such. Sensible table talk would help solve everything. But the leaders are not well educated and cannot be trusted.

Gayas Din-un
Carpet seller

What I like best about Nepal is the weather and the people. Nepalis are similar to Kashmiris in feature and habits. They are very good. I think nobody is better than them in the respect they show guests and foreigners. There are disputes at the high level of politics but if you look at the social life of people from both the countries, it is always they who suffer.

I\'ve lived in Nepal for eight years and not once have I faced any difficulties or problems from my Nepali dosts. Everybody is nice. People come to buy carpets and other items from my shop with recommendations from other Nepalis.

Whenever I have the time, I go and watch Nepali movies also. My best one is Crorepati. During the festivals also it is nice to go and see people celebrating. Living here, I don\'t feel like I\'m staving in a foreign country.

Shova Wagley

We have very strong cultural tie: which also means we have very good relations with India. A lot of cultural and social exchanges take place.

I m an artist and am not concerned with political issues although I do feel that India does bully us around sometimes.

There could be some truth to reports in the Indian media but not to the extent they claim. On our side we must be able to do what we can. provide security and ensure that no such activities take place.

Ram Chandra Gami

Nationality is just a label that has been forced on us. People from all over come and buy fish from me. How can I charge someone more because he is an Indian? Everybody is the same as long as they are good human beings. Of course there are people who rob, kill and suppress others. But don\'t tell me it doesn\'t happen in rich countries as well.

Most of my fish supplies come from India. If Indians were bad, why would they still send us good fish? Everything is okay among people. We think in the same way and we see the same movies.

I come from Janakpur in the tarai. Whenever I visit my home, I go across the border to meet friends and relatives. And I don\'t feel anything has happened there. They don\'t chase me for being a Nepali. But sometimes, I do hear derogatory remarks like \'dhoti\' in Nepal itself.

The leaders in both countries need to be taught a lesson. They have become very pampered.

Minati Roy
Retired teacher

Nepalis are very honest. Given proper guidance, they can bring about great change in the country. But the leaders are not making it possible to do that. I have met many Nepalis during my several visits here.

I love to come to Nepal because there is no agitation; people are safe even outside their home. Just now I went shopping and am very happy with the way people behave with an outsider. In fact, I don\'t feel at all that I am an Indian national travelling in some other land. This is because of the kindness that people here have.

I haven\'t seen a strong leader to guide people well in our countries. But I am very positive about the young generation in both countries. They are coming together in terms of education, music and the arts.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)