Shaken by its protest, Modi now wants report on strength of Nepalese diaspora in England

London protest
A Nepalese protester holds placard that speak volumes. Source: Facebook

Shaken by the fierce but peaceful protest by members of the British Nepalese community, the Modi government has ordered the Indian High Commission in London to prepare a report on the ‘influence’ of the Nepalese diaspora in England.

If being heard was what the hundreds of Nepalese protesters wanted when Narendra Modi was being welcomed in London by David Cameron last Thursday then they have had their first victory. Their voice has reached the Prime Minister’s Office of India, understands from an Indian media report.

There were Sikhs, Dalits, Tamils and even British protesters on Downing Street as a red carpet was laid out for the ‘charismatic’ Mr Modi but none of them appeared to have shaken the  Indian establishment as much as the Nepalese did.

The protest was primarily organised by British residents of Nepalese origin, which of course coincided with similar activities by members of the Sikh diaspora as well as people who accuse Mr Modi as being complicit with the Gujarat mass murder of Muslims in 2002. The riot had in fact prompted the British government to roll out an ‘informal ban’ on his travel to the UK which was eventually lifted in 2012. Such is the dynamics of today’s economics-driven international politics that the same government this week spread out a red carpet for him.

The Indian Express has reported that the ‘presence’ of the Nepalese nationalists took the Indian delegation ‘by surprise’ and therefore, now wants to know exactly how powerful the British Nepalese society is through a detailed report on the ‘scale’ of Wednesday’s protest and the extent of their ‘influence in British society’.

The Express report suggests that the Indian government expected protests by Sikhs and other human rights organisations but the Nepal-related placards completely caught it by surprise. “While protesters on Gujarat riots and Sikh groups were expected, what surprised us were Nepalese protesters. The High Commission will send a report,” the daily quoted the ‘source’ as saying.

Narendra Modi with the Queen in London on 14 November.
In this Instagram photo, Narendra Modi shakes hand with the Queen.

The placards read slogans such as ‘Modi Illegal Blockade on Nepal’, ‘Back off India’, ‘BRITAIN DO NOT SIGN ANY TRADE DEALS WITH INDIA IF THEY BLOCKADE NEPAL’, ‘Your Action Is Inhuman and Against International Laws’ and so on and so forth.

London Nepal Portests 1It is noteworthy that protest by Nepalese diaspora turned out to be so powerful that London police reportedly struggled to contain the peaceful protest.

However, despite the immediacy of the Indo-Nepal saga and its unfolding humanitarian consequences on the Himalayan nation’s 28 million people, the international media remained somewhat blind to the gravity of the situation. CNN’s report on the visit, for instance, mentions the word ‘Nepal’ just once and even then without elucidating what the issue is. Analysts associated with believe mere two sentences more would have sufficed to give the world a notion about the violation of the young republic’s internationally guaranteed right to transit. But what is Nepal in the eyes of a global media elephant? A nondescript patch of mountainous region in a remote corner of the world, perhaps.

4 thoughts on “Shaken by its protest, Modi now wants report on strength of Nepalese diaspora in England

  1. Nepalese particularly because of Gurkhas serving in the British Army and by nature being friendly and peaceful people are very much respected by British. Indians should know There are few things you can’t buy with 9 billion dollar investment

  2. A QUESTION OF SOVEREIGNITY: It is hoped that time, education and the people’s experience from the past will lead to the formation of a new, democratic Nepal where justice, tolerance, self-reliance and mutual respect will flourish. Constitutions are there to be amended through debates and discussions in the parliament.

    We, in Nepal, also know how it feels when Britain makes a joint statement about the so-called internal affairs of this Himalayan, landlocked country.
    Britains politicians don’t seem to read newspapers like the Guardian and watch the BBC news which relate a different inside-story about the developments along the Indo-Nepalese border. Instead of making such meaningless joint-statements, the British government ought to look into the matter and not take everything at face value. Behind the joint-statement lies the hope of the British to connect with India economically and commercially, and what Nepal has to offer in not a match in comparison to India. This is the reason why PM Modi is treating the Nepalese issue as something that has nothing to do with India and PM Modi has declared it an ‘internal issue’ of Nepal.

    Nepal has been a good friend of Britain in the past and the Gurkhas have fought for the British nation since the times of Queen Victoria. The British government will be doing the Nepalese a great service by investigating into the matter. We need people like Ms. Joanna Lumley and Mrs. Blair to take up the cause of this important issue in Everest country, the land of the Gurkhas, Sherpas, Madeshis, Tharus and other ethnic people from the hilly of Nepal.

    India has vested interests if the people of the Terai (Lowlands of Nepal) opt to join India, that is the reason why India has been carrying out a blockade along Nepal’s outlets to India. India has been stopping the trucks with fuel and other commodities from crossing the Indian border for over two months. This has caused a major humanitarian problem in Nepal. It would be great if the UK government looked into the matter by appointing a commission to investigate this matter, which is serious.

    After the British left India, it took a long time because India was back on its two feet. The British had left the infrastructure (railways, post and telegraph and a good functioning administrative system. Nepal had none of these and has had to start from scratch. It is dependent on India for fuel, using Indian harbours due to the landlocked nature of the country.

    Communicationn and transport with China is a lot difficult due to the geographic barrier created by the formidable Himalayas. It must be mentioned that till the 1990 Nepal was a Hindu country and thus had, and still has, more cultural and religious connections with India than with China. Moreover, the border with India doesn’t have any hinderances, except the Indian border checkposts. There has been a blockade of vital goods on the part of India, which is deliberate and unjusttified for a small country like Nepal. And There is a humanitarian crisis in Nepal since two months caused by India and the world looks away. This is the sad state of affairs in Everest country.

  3. BBC and CNN , these are the channels of only Rich countries and Rich people. If there were Indians protesters, definitely, BBC would show the scene 24 hrs repeating the word, India and Indians but sadly, these channels did not give importance to the protest of Nepalese. Even the Cameroon was not serious about the India’s blockade against Nepal. Britain and US are the supporters of India. They never listen to us.

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