6-12 January 2017 #840

What’s wrong with nationalism?

UML Chair KP Oli in a candid conversation with journalist Kishore Nepal in www.pahilopost.com, 3 January

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  Kishore Nepal: You have chosen a difficult path isn’t it?

KP Oli: Yes. But it is necessary because our sovereignty is at risk. Five years after India’s independence in 1947, Kashmir became an Indian state. Bangladesh emerged as a new nation in 1971. And Sikkim was annexed into India in 1974.   But Nepal is a UN member. So why are you so paranoid?

UN membership gives Nepal a degree of legal status. But that does not mean that our sovereignty is completely protected.   What didn’t you raise this with the Indian Prime Minister?

Wanting to annex another country is one thing, but it is quite a different thing to actually do it. But the Tarai is now being turned into a buffer zone. We have already made a mistake by creating Province 2, a Tarai-only state.   Why did the major parties hastily promulgate the constitution?

Hastily? Where were you when we were negotiating for eight long years?   Why are the parties polarised then?

This is a battle for nationalism. Have we ever begged for anything from India? Have we have done any injustice to India? We have always expressed our commitment to protect India’s genuine and justified concerns. But why did India just take note of our constitution?   All of you top leaders stood up to Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar. Why are you divided now?

India made the wrong move at the wrong time. The special envoy’s advice was also wrong. I told Jaishankar Nepal should not feel bullied by India. But whenever I talk of Nepal’s national interest I am accused of being a hollow nationalist, or a disciple of Mahendra.  

Why did the Nepali Congress breach the agreement with the UML when you were set to become Prime Minister?

You know why – to stop me from being Prime Minister. It is a power game, but it is also about nationalism. I fought against Mahendra’s authoritarianism, but I appreciate his nationalist stand to an extent. But when I talk of nationalism, you people make fun of me.

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