Nepali Times
Trade diplomacy


NEW DELHI 窶" It is probably the first of its kind. A press release issued by an Indian embassy abroad in support of an Indian company and a very Indian brand.

Last week, the Indian embassy in Nepal was constrained to issue a press release alleging that sections of the Nepali media were seeking to malign an Indian company and suggesting that such a malicious campaign against an Indian brand could hurt bilateral relations.

The company in question is Dabur Nepal, a subsidiary of India's famous Dabur India Limited. The provocation for the embassy press release was a muted campaign against Dabur Nepal's 'Real' fruit juices, suggesting that the company was selling inedible goods. What provoked the embassy to intervene was a desperate plea from the company.

Dabur Nepal had received a blackmail threat from a leading media group in Nepal stating that a major campaign would be unleashed against its products if the company did not resume advertising with the group's print and television media. The company also suspected the active involvement of anti-Indian politicians, especially the Maoists, in the campaign. This was not the first time Indian companies had felt threatened by such smear attacks and so Dabur Nepal felt compelled to approach the embassy for support.

Convinced of its case and taking the view that it is the duty of Indian diplomats to protect the interests of Indian brands and companies, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu issued a press release that sought to alert the general public to the threat of anti-Indianism masquerading as consumer protection. Nepal's media and its political class are engaged in an animated discussion on the rights and wrongs of such diplomatic intervention in a purely commercial matter.

Should diplomats only walk the high road of high diplomacy (strategic policy, bilateral relations and regional cooperation) or should they also walk the low road of low diplomacy (commercial and business diplomacy), promoting the cause of business and commerce? This is an old debate and has played itself out in other countries too. There are equally compelling arguments on both sides of the divide.

Should diplomats restrict themselves to policy issues and only help create a framework for improved economic and commercial relations between countries, or should they dirty their hands, wet their feet, sweat it out, and earn their spurs selling brands and promoting businesses? This is by no means a settled debate, but on balance most governments, and certainly companies, would increasingly expect diplomats to do precisely what the Indian embassy in Nepal did.

Trade has for long followed the flag, but in recent years the flag has followed trade with companies opening doors in difficult lands to their countries' diplomats. Indian companies have helped open many doors around the world for Indian diplomats. In turn, Indian diplomats help open doors in foreign lands to Indian companies.

Every now and then this incestuous relationship between diplomats and businesses does irritate someone or the other. When US diplomats bat in India for American companies, many in India get shirty and upset. Just as the Nepali media is criticising the Indian embassy forツ getting involved in the Dabur controversy, Indian media and politicians often criticise American diplomats and officials for openly espousing the cause of their companies.

In an increasingly competitive, inter-dependent, integrated global economy, governments are expected to be more proactive in promoting the business interests of their respective companies. The Indian embassy in Nepal should, therefore, be complimented for its proactive stance.

Many politicians, officials and diplomats are actually quite comfortable with this hypocrisy of not being seen to be close, friendly and helpful to businesses in public but willing to more than bat in private. But a new generation of proactive diplomats, in embassies around the world, are willing to be more supportive of Indian business, without having to compromise on professional ethics and personal integrity. This ought to be welcomed.

Sanjaya Baru is the editor of the Business Standard newspaper in India, and served as a media advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Real respect

1. chandra Gurung
Let me understand your point here, sanjay. You think the Indian embassy is actually helping Dabar? So, what next? Sending troops to force feed Real Juice to customers? There are some wars only a company can fight, and winning consumers' trust is one of them.

The neighbors are often the first one to notice if their neighbor is getting both richer and more arrogant. Decency and demeanor still have some value, even in commercial world.

2. who cares
i accept the fact that every govt., embassy have right to protect their private investment (please teach nepal govt. the same).

but the problem, in this case is, indian embassy was suppose to respond through diplomatic channel- talking to nepal govt.,ツcomplainantツto authority.

but here, its like, indian embassy in nepal is challenging nepaliツstakeholdersツto fight wrestling in open arena.ツ

an in this case, if blame from indian side is true) its non nepali govt. (legitimateツgroup) is involve in this case so indian corporate is suppose to respond on their own, legally or through propaganda war.... but here its like some kid asking his father to fight his fight.ツ

frankly speaking, india is making nepal, nepali, nepali media look like real life hero.... cause weak are fighting with super power india on their own with out the help from nepal govt. but indian side is getting support from indian govt. this is bollywood tamasa.ツ

3. who cares
and india should never forget that they could receive their own medicine.ツ

what if, tomorrow, nepali or US or chinese embassyツchallengeツindian private sector in india in the similar manner?

never start the trend that could backfire.ツ

4. sammy
Right, when the Brits left India, they seem to have left behind the English language but taken with them the learning curve.ツ
The best the Embassy could do was to distance itself from Dabur's recklessness. There certainly are problems in juice, and there certainly are problems in media too. After all NDTV a little while ago said Maoists had invaded Indian towns for two hours. Oh, and some print media few years back reporting Nepalese fighter planes flying over Bihar and terrorising the people there!
I also totally agree with Sanjay Ji's mantra to "walk the low road of low diplomacy", since "Lainchaur louts" seems to be stooping really low these days...ツ

5. jeevan

Nepal has its own consumerテッツソツスs acts. Every company doing business in Nepal has to follow the acts. If the Indian companies are not very comfortable with the Nepalese acts they can leave the country. If there is a probability of profit there is a business. New company come to fill the gape. Nepalese people are sensible with their health.

6. rishav
I get your point. Your a buisnessmen, also Inidan and I don't think you understand much about diplomacy. Lol!! Hello!! An embassy is duty bound to protect the interests of all it's citizens involved in buisiness, tourists or what ever in that country. Normal diplomatic channels would be to approach the Nepal Government, that was probably the problem, who gave most likely false assurances. Even still if the Embassy felt that it's citizen's were not being treated well through these channels it should have been eleveated to an Indian Government Official in the foreign Office in new Delhi, who would then approach the Nepali Foreign Office, etc etc, going futher up the ladder of command if things are not addressed. Probably finally an International incident and if the undelying issue was intimidation by politically motivicated media goons, then that should have been exposed for all to benefit from. Readng out a message as the one delivered has completely back fired on any potential support from even the most objective Nepali readers. If the statement was more like we are aware of threats of violence and intimidation against our nationals which we completely deplore and will assisst and contact the Neplai police force and government inorder to help our nationals residing in Nepal. Then i would have said fair enough but threatening the people through a press statement about consequences of a international scale is not on.

7. nepalison
This is not the first time, but for years, Indians have been playing freely in Nepal--doing whatever they like. So, i dont put a blame on poor Mr. Sood, one of the most hated figures in Nepal, as he's been just a good follower of the tradition. Why this particular issue came to light at this moment is becasue now Nepalis are also slowly coming out into protest of such misdemeanor of our 'dear' neighbor. And, Mr. Baru, you are doing good job--protecting the interest of your country. I hope our Nepali intellectuals also would do the same. But poor me!

8. Mahesh

LOL..what an epic failure!! Well Mr. Sanjay, yourself being aツ media advisor of Mr. ManmohanツSingh, you should have known , how companies that went deep down in controversy have recovered in the past. Take into account the Tylenol murder case, or the wall mart case in USA, something a public realtions student learn in the very first class. Dabur could have first apologised for theツmistakes and changed the packets and their cover with new ones, and should have blasted with advertisement about theirツchanged ツproduct(you have enough media working for you in Nepalツanyway), similar to what johnson and johnson did..ツツANdツI recently heard, Sood and the company at Lainchaur had spent 22 crore for theツMadhesi jana-dhikkarツLoktantrik forum and were told to not to vote prachanda, if they want to come down the Chure Hills.How will you justify this Mr. Sanjayツ??, you dont even have a choice to apologise in front of Nepalese..

9. Arun

Cynicism is the root cause here.ツAll those who criticise one or the other act of the Indian embassy or the government or their interventions, should stop for a while and think, if they are indeed fair in their criticism. It takes less than NRs 3000 to take a flight and reach Delhi in less than two hours, which boasts of one of the most modern, political and commercial hub in the region. Only Nepalis have unconditional access to that vast market called India. If Nepalis have not benefitted from this, who is to blame -- Indian embassy or Indian government?

It's not a question of India and Nepal because the two are historically for each other. Make the most of Indian opportunity, the whole world including China is vying for a share of this pie.

Even critical Nepali media should increase their presence in Indian cities in order to cornre some share of the vast advertising budget in the country. Regards

10. who cares

first of all you are partially informed.

let me give you an example of ghee:

yes india has given nepaleseツaccess toツindian market and nepali ghee was indeed doing good business in india, our manufacturers were exporting in reasonable quantity (in nepalese context but that quantity isツnegligibleツto indian context)... i do not know if its indianツjealousyツor its strategy to make nepal economically weak, they blocked nepalese ghee and introduced quota system and destroyed nepalese ghee industry.

and this is the story of nepal india economic treaty, my friend.

and again dont think its one way opportunity. actually indian is in a better position in nepal than nepal in india. indian suppliers are totally controlling nepali market with such aツcustomツduty that suppliers from outside india can not compete with indian supplier.

and regarding media, i do not think indian govt. would let nepali media enter into india or any outside media (law prohibits, i think).... only nepal is letting in indian media in nepal.

11. Kiran Lama
Dr Manmohan Singh is a nice guy, but it is obvious that he got a dullard as his media advisor for some time.

"How to antagonize friends and strengthen enemies" should be the next book by Sanjay.

12. Rani
Ok- Its talk about the Indian business practices Around the world in Information Technology services. You Indians are cheating, lying, practice unethical business practice in the USA. I have seen that your Indian businesses bring IT workers from India to the USA, who most of them do not have any experience, Indian body shops provide trainning. They charges the US clients as experts, with 8-10 years of experience. Do you know this practice? Now Americans becoming more knowledgable about your practice. ツWe need to explore Indian unethical business practice, not only in Nepal, but also in the Western World. So far Indians are getting a free ride in terms of IT unethical business practices.

13. Dahmoines

The purpose of having an embassy and of diplomacy is to make sure that there is good effective communication between governments, to build goodwill between the people, and make sure that both countries benefit over the long term.

On these counts, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu seems to have failed miserably as multiple incidents have proven:the Dabur case, case of threatening a law-maker to vote according to Indian policy, threatening media houses and businesses to push Indian interests: the recent case of holding Kantipurテッツソツスs printing merchandise for more than a month in Calcutta being an example .

By acting brashly and contemptuously, it has succeeded in alienating even its many well wishers in Nepal.

Now Mr. SANJAYA BARU is even here to tell us how we should all welcome this テッツソツスproactive standテッツソツス by the Indian government.

Also, I wish he would have refrained from making serious allegations without providing any facts to back it up. That only undermines his own credibility

テッツソツスDabur Nepal had received a blackmail threat from a leading media group in Nepal stating that a major campaign would be unleashed against its products if the company did not resume advertising with the group's print and television media.テッツソツス

If it were true, why not publicize the name of the media group so it may be prosecuted for violating the law?

Whether he is speaking out of ignorance of facts (and history) or is just trying to defend an inept foreign policy gone awry, he is plainly wrong to state that this is how things are done between countries nowadays (by citing the example of other countries).

No other embassy would even contemplate doing such brazen acts that are counterproductive and only serves to antagonize the citizens of another country.

Clearly, the Indian foreign policy establishment needs some help if this is the best it can do.

Establishing a private non-partisan テッツソツスforeign policy brain trustテッツソツス to advise the government would be a good way to start.

Is anyone in the establishment listening?ツツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ

14. nakkali & jhilkay
Nepalese complain about Indian influence. Nepalese should be congratulating Sood & Company, Inc. The more controversies this Lainchour Lamfu generates, the less his influence is going to be. It's hard to make people angry and still expect to have influence over them. Play it again, Sood.ツ

15. Arun

Dear who cares

Friend, I am a journalist withツabout 10 years of mainstream media experience. And, I am a business journalist currently working in Nepal. You can trust my knowledge, experience and integrity thatツall the anti-Indian talks in Nepal are byツpeople with vested interest. The fact that Indian cities are open to Nepali citizens as much as it isツfor any Indian is enough. Nepal has less than 3 crore population. As an independent nation, it can go whichever way it wishes. Currently, Chinese and European interests are growing the counry while Indians have kept a safe distance feeling the anti-India sentiments here. Nepal-India relations areツa lot emotional than profit-based.ツAll talksツrelated to trade treaty and Indians benefittingツmore than Nepalis have been circulated by someツpeople suffering from inferiority complex. They don't feel confident enough to go and talk business in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad ect. But this does not meanツIndia disdains them. Indians still like Nepalis asツbrothers. But relations are made and sustained by both sides. I hope got myツpoint.

And as regards ghee andツother such stuff, this is a poor arguement. Pls find out how many successful and big business houses are dealing with India -- all of them. Because, the youth in India have transformed the country. Nepal is very much on their radar and they want to alleviate Nepal of its ills. It is sad that there is so much of misgiving about Indian intentions. Now it cost less than 2500 to reach delhi in less two hours and it's biggest market Nepalis can reach in such cost and time. Make the most of it. Best regards

16. Biswo Poudel
Reading this post by Mr Baru reminded me of an old comment made by Trotsky regarding an American communist leader Dwight MacDonald," Everybody has the right to be stupid. But comrade MacDonald abuses this privilege."

17. Budabaaje

The old Indian 'twin-pillar' policy towards Nepal i.e. monarchy + democracy was far better forテつ both India and Nepal. But this was not good enough for the 'emerging superpower', was it?

Sood and his Indian masters thought that after getting rid of the monarchy, the Nepali parties (including Maoists) and media would bow down to Lainchaur Darbar as the shadow ruler of Nepal. Now they're getting it in the face.

Just you wait 'bada bhaiyas'. The day is not far when our Maoistsテつ start providing safe haven to your burgeoning Indian Maoists. And don't misreadテつ the Maoists'テつ pure intentions.テつ Their wish will simply be to foster more 'democracy' in India. Same as you wanted in Nepal. Thank you, bada bhaiya, for your gift of Maoism to us. I am sure, in good time,テつ we will do enough to reciprocate.



18. wtf

I wonder in all this back and forth and India bashing, why doesn't one see that the blame is on us? maybe not the man on the street but certainly the politicians and partially the media too.ツWhy do you highlight Indian embassy 'giving' 22 crores to someone, why not highlight the one who TOOKツthe 22 crore bribe mentioned in one of the comments?

Haven't we learnt in primary school that the house has to be strong enough to keep family fueds the house members keep running to the neighbours even when they get constipated and can't get it out. Don't you think the neighbour would exploit such an advantageous situation? I think if the roles were reversed, we would be doing the same.

Stop nagging, think, just ranting doesnt help.

19. Mahesh
@wtf? 22 crore bribe thing i mentioned was just an example but what comes into my mind is that ugly intention India has for its neighbouring weak and smaller nations, to destablize them politically,ツ until they find someone who dances to their tune. India with its rampant poverty, terror and sanitation problem in its own land can come across the border and make ugly investments(like the one mentioned above)ツツhere so that it can seeツus fighting and divided. HOW UGLY IS THAT???

20. wtf

@mahesh: Everyone outside of one's family has ugly is upto onesef to protect one's integrity or be driven away with other's "intentions"...haven't you learnt that lesson in your regular day to dayツlife? thats why I gave the example of 'home' in my previous post.

how ugly is it that one of "us" excepts that bribe of 22 crores. If one of "us" was to say "no", none of the talk about destabilising, ugly investment yadda yadda would be needed, would it? You seem to see the fault in the ones who gave, and not in the ones who accept...for me, the ones who accept are the bigger culprits...that was what I was trying to point you see my point now about "Stop nagging, think..."???

21. Sargam

Nepal and India are in the eyes of the world an strangely assorted pair placed face to face like two dogs in faience as if ready to jump at each other's throat which no terrestrial power of any sort can yank out let alone such permanent cross-purposes. And China and Pakistan are there to add fuel to the flames and to contemplate the same as assiduous spectators of their mischievous power of a nuisance and rabble-rousing.

Unless there are some visionaries at the top level of high diplomacy in New Delhi and Kathmandu determined to get an equitable solution sorted out for both protagonists in a very short span of time there will be all the time such fire and brimstone or comments with cross-firing and war of words.

And there will be always somebody in both countries to write nothing but fillers to clown around to amuse the crowd.

22. Battisputali
@ who cares:-
"i do not know if its indianツjealousyツor its strategy to make nepal economically weak, they blocked nepalese ghee and introduced quota system and destroyed nepalese ghee industry."

Ignorant argument. You do realize that a Nepali citizen enjoys all the economic rights that an Indian citizen enjoys within India.

Most countries have non-tariff barriers against one product or the other. It's a part of international trade.ツ Putting in non tarrif barriers like quotas can have many reasons like vested trade interests in India lobbying the Indian government to do so. Most trade decisions are rational. Trade has nothing to do with emotional issues like jealosy.

If India introduced non-tarrif barriers in one product, then there are ways in "economic diplomacy" (which is different from our ill informed author's "trade diplomacy") in which this can be dealt with. Nepal can, very nicely, put in non-tarrif barriers in other goods to pressure India to take the ghee quotas off.

Or instead of crying foul over the barriers, Nepali businessmen, who enjoy lots of financial rights in India anyways, can lobby Indian parliamentarians to push their government to take off those quotas. Beleive me, international lobbying works, even in a fairly nationalistic country like India.

Or Nepal can get more involved more in the Doha round negotiations at the WTO (which Nepal is a member of) and put its stamp on current negotiation to phase out non-tarrif barriers altogether. Remember that India is also a member of the WTO.

The point, who cares, is not to cry foul over trade problems with India and stop interacting with it, but to engage it even more in trade related issues through regular economic dialogues. Does Nepal even have an "office of international trade negotiator". If it doesn't, it needs to create it pronto to deal with trade related issues. And Nepal needs to train some of those new recruits in the foreign service in economics and trade. Maybe, some of them could hold the "trade negotiator" position later in their careers.

23. Mahesh

wtf?? I dont believe that everyone out of one's family have ugly intentions for others, neither was I taught so. I was rather taught to live with harmony with neighbours and help each others when needed, notツto bully, interfere, and use others when they are weak.ツComing to the point, see howツshit Indian companies cropped up producing low quality productsツ, in Bangladesh whenツit was newly formed, and not to forgetツIndian hagemonyツthere until recently. See how India sponsoredツLTTE in lanka killing more than 50,000 lankans. See how lanka treats India now.ツAnd what about the ethnic cleansing of Nepali speaking Bhutanese from Bhutan and from Meghalaya.and the list keeps going..........with all theseツwhat I am trying to say is this is not what a neighbour does. So its better u stop nagging and think, dont advocate Indian hagemoney and its sponsored terror, and dont find an excuse to keep ur mouth shut. Well, for me, I PROTEST in whatever form I can.

24. wtf

@Mahesh, First off, I am not advocating any hagemony and sponsered terror, Indian or Nepali or whatever, nor am I finding an excuse to keep my mouth shut (I am not sure what you mean by that). Don't throw big words around on others just because you know them.

I am just a reader of these forums and am trying to show a DIFFERENT point of view, whether or not I subscribe to it.ツ

But I don't think you're seeing my point here, or you don't want to see my point here. So I will try it once more with a cooler head.

Along with citing so called 'shit' companies etc, you might want to put aツquestion:

Why is someone accepting 22 crores worth of bribe acceptable to you, and not someone who is offering it? At least, from your writings, you don't seem to acknowledge in anyway to my earlier writings about the people ACCEPTING the bribe. For me both are unacceptable. The BIGGER unacceptable being the one who accepts the bribe.

Is your answer still a general 'India'? I wouldn't be surprised if it is.

While I agree with you on your intial thought of how Dabur should have handled the affair (apologies to consumers, new packaging, new ads etc), which is the way most companies around the world do their thing, I don't know why you're so skeptical in accepting that theツBIGGER culprits in your second part, if it's true, since you note it's a rumorツ(I heard....22 crores), is our own politicians?

All Iツwas sayingツwas: Don'tツalways offload the blame on others,ツfirst see what's wrong in yourself and correct that. I am not talking about 'you' the person but 'you'ツas in the general state of things in Nepal,ツof course.

But it seems to be going nowhere.ツ

You know, any place and any aspect of life, like even one's workplace, others are going to take advantage of you if you let them. Everyone, including ourselves, has vested interests.ツIf you can't be practical enough to understand that, keep citing examples of random things, keep 'protesting' and then keep dreaming of being treated 'harmonously'. Good luck.

25. Mahesh

wtf! .ツIf you can't be practical enough to understand that, keep citing examples of random things, keep 'protesting' and then keep dreaming of being treated 'harmonously'.????

you seem to easily submit yourself, even when you see clearly that things are wrong. Living harmoniously means living with respect and mutual understanding, not like one party totally submitting itself to another.

Why is someone accepting 22 crores worth of bribe acceptable to you, and not someone who is offering it? At least, from your writings, you don't seem to acknowledge in anyway to my earlier writings about the people ACCEPTING the bribe. For me both are unacceptable.

Its known to everyone, that bribing and accepting bribe, ツboth are wrong. But for me, the ones who poke their noseツin others internal affair, by giving life threats, bribes and making propagandas are more wrong. I may have a different point of view.

26. who cares
hello Arun,

regarding ghee, it is not a poorツargument, this is the fact which did occur.... a few days ago, i read in a paper that there is still quota system but today, this industry is further in trouble due to nepal govt.'s policy.ツ

and the example of ghee is more related to my claim (not just trade but also used as controlling, blackmailing tactic) ツthat india start to block or create problem if nepal start to do good business and/or when india need to blackmail nepal on other areas like if nepali govt. do not obey them etc.

just today, i read in a paper that india is creating problem in transit. india is taking a month or more to let nepali herbs to pass through india to bangladesh. .... do india even have right to stop our goods????........ you may remember how indian govt. hold nepali press prints, and there are many more examples.

i do agree with your claim regarding individuals, business houses doing business in india. And indians are doing better in nepal too. but still, problems do keep on arising not due to trade factor but rather political.ツ

regarding anti-india elements;ツ
there are mainly three types-ツ
1: those toツfull fillツtheir vested interested- ex royals, hard core commies and may be those who are getting paid. ex royals and hard core commies are actually fakes.

2: those who are brain washed, who went through personal suffering etc.

3: these are not really anti-india but rather pro nepal, who are not anti india but do not tolerate illツtreatmentツfrom india and express their feeling based on case.

and those anti india elements are biggerツthreatツto nepal than india. they are one of the major reasons, we are poor.

nepal look to be getting closer to china becuase of indian activity, indian policy, bullying, insult. ...... and india policy makers are making a huge blunder; to stop nepal from slipping to china, they are using even greater bulling, blackmailing which will definitely backfire.ツ

to improve relation, india should respect nepal, and both countries should solve boarder and water problems, mainly.

indian policy makers being threatened by nepal is nothing more than imagination since nepal is totally dependent on india, our culture, tradition are almost similar. .... its will beツsuicidal for nepal to join hand with china ツto fight india, and it will be possible only if nepal have no other option to protect our dignity, nation.ツ

india being super power of the region, its india who is suppose to protect its smallerツneighbour, helpツfinanciallyツand in other area, but actually its the other way round. all countries surrounding india are threatened by india like india sheltering (was/is)terrorist of nepal and srilanka.... terrorist do sometime use nepal to enter india, but nepal have always arrested those known, but well known nepaliツterroristsツfreely live in india.ツ

it will be best for india if indian govt. hire nepalese expert as advisers while making nepal policy, cause, it looks like indian policy makers have no idea regarding nepali society, nepali problems etc.

and its great that you are a journalist, cause you can make matter.ツ


"Ignorant argument. You do realize that a Nepali citizen enjoys all the economic rights that an Indian citizen enjoys within India."

first of all it's both ways. and secondly it is in paper. and i am not talking about in india or in nepal. i am talking about export, import, transit. (you do live in nepal, right?)

and contract is a contract, there are always going to be individuals who will suffer cause of contract,,, that is why you have to study before signing it.ツ

and also, this is more like unilateral contract, so tradeツdiplomacyツmay not work here.ツ

business community lobbing, you are just dreaming.ツ

and i do not think its WTO's business.ツ

lovely words like negotiation, work only betweenツcountriesツwithツmutualツbenefit. and only our water gives us edge over india and nepali policy makers, idiot commies and their blind followers do not get it ....... that is why we are loosing lots of possibilities.ツ

i want to see nepal exchanging our extra water with what we want, need from india, but commies do not let it happen, and girija sold lots of water for little cash.

nepal is a tiny market for india, even though india export many times more than imports from nepal, so india can wait for nepal to surrender....... even if nepal sign free trade agreement with india, with ourツgeographicalツposition, india may not respect the contract. ......... so we should not see india as a market.... first of all we should start signing free trade agreement with bangladesh, thailand, srilanka and other smaller countries which nepal govt. hasツinitiated.ツ

27. wtf


Well, I think for someone to be able to poke their noses in one's matters, one has to be on the vulnerable side. That vulnerability comes by way of compromising oneself. So who compromises and why can'tツthat hole beツplugged? Since this is ongoing, we can't be idealistic about livingツwith mutual respect. That will never happen. Not only from this discussion's prespective,ツbut anywhere in the world.

Overall, I thinkツwe're allツfrustrated by the current (and ongoing for years now) happenings.

I have been understanding your point of view to a certain degree, even if I agree to it or not, and as I said earlier, wanted to give you another perspective of the issue.

Hopefully, by now you understand what I was trying to get at. Even if not, it's ok.ツI will not be pursuing this discussion further. Peace.

28. Battisputali
"you do live in nepal, right?"

No. I don't. That is why I can look at India-Nepal problems without the bias of nationalism bordering on xenophobia that you seem to posses. :)

29. Shivaji

Firstly, you have established a blatant precedent to start off with. ツYou said テッツソツスIt is probably the first of its kind................テッツソツス then towards the end of the sixth paragraph you ended with テッツソツス...........would increasingly expect diplomats to do precisely what the Indian embassy in Nepal didテッツソツス.ツ These words of yours show the incongruity and inconsistency in your article. The article has no substance as it is regrettably only based on emotions and allegations with no evidence provided. This questions not only your integrity as the editor of the Business Standard newspaper in India but now I am sure that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must be thinking the same.ツ As a media advisor, you appear to be the テッツソツスfirst of its kind!テッツソツス ツThe imbecility of your mind invites your readers to stifle a titter on tweeter.

A job description is a list of the general tasks, or functions, and responsibilities of a position. ツSo, what is the job description of the Indian Ambassador in Nepal? ツThere certainly appears to be a delusion/confusion of the diplomatic roles and responsibilities. ツSomewhere in the description, you will see the roles and responsibilities of diplomats are to facilitate................... or to support................, but not to intervene in the commercial matters and protect the interests of Indian brands and companies in another sovereign state. ツIt would be politically correct to say to support (but not protect) the interests of Indian brands and companies.

The Indian Embassy represents the Government of India in other countries. ツSo, to see certain Indian diplomats acting erratically on foreign soils and devaluing the image of the countryテッツソツスs flag will naturally provoke every Indian tax payerテッツソツスs right to know and evaluate the performance of those diplomats based on fact and rational argument where emotions are out of the equation.ツ I am sure that Indian taxpayers would be alarmed to find that their hard-earned taxes are being used to support the financial interests of one Indian company.

The Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." ツHe defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways.テッツソツス ツI find that the article in the Business Standard newspaper serves nothing more than flagrant abuse of power by a journalist. ツHere we have a report that the Indian Embassy is issuing a press release suggesting that such a malicious campaign against an Indian brand could hurt bilateral relations ツ- this is just like imposing a threat by a preposterously bully neighbour to a peaceful neighbour.

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. ツWith $639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt, Lehman's bankruptcy filing was the largest in history, as its assets far surpassed those of previous bankrupt giants such as WorldCom and Enron. ツSo, according to the illogic of your article, all the international countriesテッツソツス diplomats should have threatened the US that the crisis will harm international bilateral relations. ツThis would be outrageous and would have been laughed at and derided all around the world.ツ ツDid you have the guts to raise this tone of voice to the US diplomats through the Indian Embassy in Washington? ツThe answer is - the pussy cat just meows.

It is like saying that if Australian consumers find New Zealand kiwi fruit disgusting and revolting then you should get the New Zealand diplomats to intervene in the Australian market and protect the interests of the New Zealand kiwi fruit brand.ツ However the reality is that the New Zealand diplomats would follow international protocols and follow a strict chain of command within their job description of their roles and responsibilities, which would be clearly and diplomatically outlined. ツYou certainly wouldnテッツソツスt be seeing undiplomatic cowboys in the arena like the ones we have seen in Nepal.

So, the Indian Embassy is in Nepal to facilitate and support the interests of the India not to protect the interests of the Indian brands. ツI sometimes do get carried away by passion and find myself in a quagmire. ツIt is good to revisit your job description and I recommend that every Indian diplomat should also do that. ツThis might sound like common sense, but is not common in our practical life. ツI suggest that as a foreign diplomat that you donテッツソツスt get bogged down in commercial mayhem and a mercilessツfurore,ツthat you don'tツmake a misrepresentation ofツrepresenting your own country,ツyou are rather there to facilitate and improve bilateral relations between the two countries. ツI alsoツstrongly believeツthat the Nepali government needs to step up, and speak up.ツ I believe the Nepali government has the right to question these kinds of inappropriate behavioural issues and ask the Indian Embassy テッツソツスto please explain.テッツソツス

30. who cares
"you do live in nepal, right?"
No. I don't.ツ

i did guess. cause, you sounded like the person who knows something regarding the documented agreements. but what we nepalese have been facing is totally different?ツ

31. Arun


Dear Friend,

Nepal getting closer to China or the other way round is a good thing, This does not necessarily mean India or Indians will be jealous of this. Surprisingly, this is how people in Nepal think. I think, this is the line of thinking the Maoists in Nepal have brought in to encash. Indian and China are two emerging superpower with Nuclear capability and they are also good freinds and their freindship will grow in times to come. Nepal having good relations with China will only help India.

In matters of business, India is looking out to the world and not to Nepal. Infact, Nepal has a ready market in India. Now, it is up to average Nepali how they take it. China's freindship with Nepal is a welcome development. But if a politcial party uses this for its benefit, again it's average Nepali's concern, not so much of India's. As a neighbour, we feel sad about killings in the name of politics, whether in India, Nepal or just anywhere. Regards

32. rishav
China and India relations are not good. Been to war and now are economic competitors. They still have issues regarding their border which they went to war over and also the current Dalai lama and Free Tibet issue which the West are very keen about too. Things are still not so close , especially with Chinesse aide in helping Pakistan in times of need especially in regard to their Nuclear power capabilities which I'm sure puts the Indian establishment in a bit of bother.

The West are also worried of the economic success of China as a realistic competitor and global superpower. The only way to deal with this threat is through India, their democratic ally and use Nepal as a tool to keep tabs on China. China being about 3-4 steps ahead are fully aware of this and therefore plays a very close and inteligent diplomatic game.ツ They have cleverly moved into Nepal, with now maximum influence with no one uttering a word thanks really to theツ Indian Government's beligerent actions.

Indian diplomacy and it's foreign policy really does need to smarten up. In terms of it's neighbours relationships:

1. Pakistan - been to war with a few times, and even came close to nuclear confrontation.

2. Bangladesh - after being helped by India for Independence from Pakistan, it probably now shares closer ties with Pakistan than India. also turning the backs on interfering Inidan diplomats.

3. Sri Lanka - overt interference into their politics - especially in the aide of the Tamil population, cost Rajiv Gandhi an embarrasing hit on the top of the head by a Singalesse Soldier for the World to see, and ultimately cost the life of the Indian Prime minister.

4. China - I think you been to war with them not too long ago. Which you lost!

5.. Nepal - well that's what were talking - probably it's closest neighbour by the looks of things, say's alot really. At the same time you can't really count Bhutan considering you own their defence and foreign policy. Sikkim??!! Lets not go there. Afghanistan, not really a border country but your only friends with them just to annoy Pakistan.

6. Burma - well the fact they are a military Junta and kicked out alot of Indian citizens who were 2n and 3rd generation but your still trying to be their bed fellows say's alot more about the Indian Government than Burma. I guess it's their oil which matters most.

All in all your closest to us Nepal, a relationship you like to call as big brother little brother, that in itself is demeaning and will really annoy us. We are the oldest nation in the southern asian region, where due a bit of respect, we have been Independent even at a time when you were under the rule of the Mughals. You need to start looking to us for a change and especially how nicely we keep diplomatic relations with other nations especially from the southern asian region.

33. Arun

Dear Rishav,

I read your points very carefully. Good that you have articulated them in some detail.

See, the last war India fought with China was in 1962, well almost 50 years ago. And if you go by the gestures, acts and intentions,ツin the last 50 years the two countries only looked at each other with a sense of guilt and tried to avoid hurting each other's feeligns. China and India have been friend from centuries. You know they practise Buddhism and they learnt the religion by imbing Indian values. China never created any problems even when India faced separatist movements in North-East, Kashmir and elsewhere in the country. India respects China's maturity in theツmatter.

Somehow, powers in the West and elsewhere who are scared of the both China and India like to pit the twoツagainst each other. I don't understand what is the basis of them thinking that the two countriesツcan go to war. This is sheer nonsense.

Secondly, when Europe can divided and fightツlike dogs in the first and second world warツand can again come under what they call European Union, how does couple of ill-conceivd wars between India and Pakistanツcan them enemies for ever. This is again what the West wants and likes to potray. Try to understand that modern education and media have inherited the West model. So, these institutions even in India and rest of the south asia, perhaps not in china or even there to some extent, copy the Western agenda in the name of professionalism and a certain model of development. So they the same.

Your arguements are typically those represented by the modern education and media. Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and India are still living in peace and harmony if you compare them with other parts of the world like Africa, Iraq, Central Asian countries etc.

The bigger question isツa seat of UN has to come to thisツpart of the world -- most possibly to Nepal. Then only the values represented by us is recognised and thisツpart of geography gets the kind of attention itツdeserves.

And, India is leading that charge. Regards

34. rishav

Really don't know what to make of what you have written. I get a mixture of diiferent views on the same iisues.

For instance your views of Inida and China relations. I get a sense that you are hoping for good relations with China, which is a good thing but at the same time your making out everything is honkey dorey right now. Unfortunately, you could fool yourself some of the time but you can't fool yourself all the time. The sudden increased political interest by China in Nepal is a result of it's fears of what India may be doing in Nepal. If things were so kosher between the two nations, China would just let India have a free for all right now in Nepal. China would also would not be interested in SAARC if wasn't worried or concerned about India.

You mentioned the war between India and China almost 50 years ago, but you didn't mention that the same issues regarding the disputed NEFA still linger on and a bone of contention between the nations even to this day. Also there is dipsuted land that China has claim over parts of Kashmir too that is not going to help things for the future as well. Unfortunately China has been interfering in your relations with Pakistan , supporting them in times of need and still will do so if the situation arises.

Yes there were wars between different countries but you mentioned things have settled, your e.g. Pakistan. Have they really settled, didn't the Mumbai bombers come from Pakistan and don't alot Kashmiri militants harbour in Pakistan as well. A very volatile part of the World, you just have to ask any Pakistani even they will tell you that, so that nullifies your argument that south asia being relatively peaceful in comparisson to other hot spots in the World, hello Afghanistan that's just next door as well.

You say my views are typified by modern education and media well I definately hope so, I would hate to think I'm reading books telling me the World is square.

The Indian Government has to develop some tact and learn a bit of diplomacy. India is still very young and in it's short life so far has done many things which has harmed it's relations not only with it's neighbours but also groups within India itself.

This so called leading the charge??!! of what? How to alienate and become alienated by your friends and enemies.

35. who cares
friend arun,

trade: india not creating trouble in transit enough would beツgrateful.ツ

politics: trust me, some political parties and some politicians tried to use nepalese against india, but it did not work. rather, its people who made politicians to change their way of thinking regarding india.ツ

for example, maoist have been trying to bully india using hydro power, but it is not working because of public.ツ

36. Arun

More than its geography, India is an idea. Idea of simple living high thinking. Idea of how people can live within meagre means and can still have a self esteem which can show the world the way.

Little land here and there could be the reasons for war in the past, not anymore. Presentday society is knowledge-based. And, if India has the best pool of talent, the entire world will salute it, not fight with it.

India is not limited to its geography. It can be found far beyond, whereever humanity is suffering and wherever the debate on freedom amd democracy is going on.

India is the talking point in Nepal, China and elsewhere, not because what wrong it can do but because of its capability of good.

India is what the whole world to meant to become. Tell me one country you like and why.

With Himalayas and Hinduism, Nepal complements India. Nepal offers whateverツIndia misses.

You admitツit today, you will be happy forever. You deny it and you will be marking rounds in vicious circle of hatred and bigotry.


37. who cares
arun, 36

you sounded sensible in your previous comments, now, it looks like you are totally hijacked by indian media, bollywood, those indians like ram dev who brags about hollow.

individuals, countries give space to india cause of its, mainly, size.

#"Idea of simple living high thinking."ツ

ツi do not know about each and every indians, but the indians, indian medias have been presenting are just the opposite of what you are saying.

since, indian media are more focused on actors and players and politicians and since they are popular, so outsiders, like i have to imagine what indians are like.

truest me, i have never seen any human who has such a complex life- leg pulling, anger,ツjealousy, ass licking, chicken (in front of powerful) and bullies weak etc ツbut no thinking.ツ

remember this quote: " you are popular for what you are, they (clowns from movie) are popular for what they are not."

so it would for better for indians as well as others who has to deal with indians especially neighbours, if indians start to act in real.

#With Himalayas and Hinduism, Nepal complements India. Nepal offers whateverツIndia misses.

really a good and important one, if both countires realise this, would be better for both.

and every country has good as well as bad side.ツ

the things i like about india are food and music, especially from 80s and early 90s. but most of them turned out to be stolen.ツ

what i do not like about indians are - (beside from how indian govt., politicians mainly from joint states are treating nepal) indians do not have self respect (looser)- they follow, lick no body like actors, they try to dominate weak and surrender to powerful, they live in imaginary world, talk too much ... ツツ

ツbut i do respect indians for their hard work, those who work really hard for lower wages, even those getting lower wages have real talent.

but those hi-tech from all fields are just average, no creativity.ツ

there is one more thing, there are some especially politicians whom i thought were poor and under educated but turned out to have 100s of crores of property. --------- for you it is simple living, but for me they looked more like a fraud.ツ


38. Arun

Dear Whocares,

I think I agree with you. Regards

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)