Whoever you chat with these days, there are only two talking points: the coronavirus pandemic and the Indian highhandedness on Kalapani. Heeding the public sentiment, APEX has in the recent past brought to you common folks’ views on nearly every aspect of the pandemic. Now we talk to people from different walks of life for their take on the Kalapani land encroachment.
A positive message
Ganesh Karki, 34, blogger
The unity of both the opposition and the ruling parties on this dispute gives a positive message. That land belongs to Nepal, and the issue should be resolved through talks at government and diplomatic levels. But, first, the Indian forces should immediately leave Kalapani and other disputed lands. Only then will there be a realistic hope of resolution.
Fight with reason
CP Bhusal, 25, IT expert
Because of its domineering attitude, India does not have sound relations with its neighbors—not only Nepal but also Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, etc. I am proud that my government has dared publish a new map of the country accommodating the disputed but clearly Nepali territories. My suggestion: fight with reasons rather than emotions.
War is unwise
Sujata Shiwakoti, 22, student
The land east of the Kali River is ours. And we have paper evidence too. The government will never be able to get back the land without its troops in the Limpiyadhura region. And all Nepalis should support efforts to protect the country’s territories. However, it is not wise to start a war.
Ignoring our people
Achyut Nepal, 24, travel manager
Nepal has been indifferent to the people living in Kalapani and Lipulekh areas. I agree that the land belongs to Nepal but our government has always neglected the people there. Nepal should take care of its people. If we were careful, this day may not have come.
Plenty of evidence
Jagdish Bhandari, 35, historian/photo collector
The Kali River was marked as Nepal’s border with India in the Sugauli Treaty. And it originates at Limpiyadhura. So the whole area east of the river belongs to Nepal. The census of 1961 provides additional evidence. We can seek UN’s help and take this issue to the International Court of Justice. India has been encroaching on our border as it thinks Nepal is weak and its unstable governments won’t complain.
History on our side
Radha Sharma, 43, school principal
Besides the Sugauli Treaty, the records of taxes paid on food-grains by the people of Limpiyadhura in 1938 and the voter list of 1959 general elections are evidences in favor of Nepal’s claim on the territory. We cannot be assured Nepal will get back the land just by issuing the new map. It is important to get the Indian troops to retreat from Nepali land first.
Side of the truth
Prajwal Luitel, 30, priest
If we have historical evidence, why be shy to stake our claim? If you are on the side of the truth, you need not fear and compromise the country’s sovereignty. If not, then it is useless to talk. So, first, we have to arm ourselves with strong evidence.
Need for deft diplomacy
Aarti Ojha, 23, student
Our previous governments ignored the posting of Indian troops on Nepali territory. That is the root cause of the dispute. Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura all belong to Nepal. It is necessary to remove the Indian troops from Kalapani through diplomatic efforts as soon as possible.
Stand up and fight
Sandeep Kattel, 32, lecturer
If India does not agree to hand over our land, we should show our love for the country and fight for its sovereignty. How long shall we live as cowards? We won’t have any other option if high-level discussions fail. No matter what, we must not compromise with our national pride.
Upasna Upadhyaya, 21, assistant pharmacist
According to the Sugauli Treaty, the areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal. But India refuses to accept it. So both the countries should come to the talks-table with all the evidences they can marshal. They should come to a resolution. And India should from that point stop encroaching on Nepali territories.