BY PROF. DR. SHASTA DUTTA PANT
RAW prepared a secret Nepal Game Plan as per its secret objectives and working procedures. Espionage or intelligence service is not new for an independent nation; it is common for the proper functioning of the polity of a state, being practiced since historical times. Plenty of incidents of keeping a close watch on neighbors and espionages can be found even in the Mahabharat period. Sun Zu‚ a war veteran of China‚ dwelt at length about war in his book “Principles of War” written 2510 years ago. Scholar Chanakya talked about it in great detail in his book “Economics” written 2300 years ago. So much so that the petty kings of Kantipur (today’s Kathmandu) and Lalitpur would keep a close watch on each other’s activities. A place in Kupondole, Lalitpur known as Kandevsthan was such a venue for espionage. There may not be even a single country in the world that has made no arrangement for spies to tone up its security system and protect its interests. However‚ the Research and Analysis Wing‚ known as RAW in short‚ does more than other intelligence agencies of the world in terms of its functioning. This very difference has made the neighboring countries more cautious and watchful of its activities. Nepal Game Plan is one such peculiar instance.
RAW published a 78-page long Nepal Game Plan on the Internet version of Indian magazine India Today. That report seems to have been placed on Internet in haste when the political situation of the country was complicated. The errors – typing mistakes and others – in the report prove that it was brought out in a great hurry. What prompted the report on Internet in such a hurry? The most important reason behind this was India’s vested interests. It was an exercise staged in a bid to take into its hand the air security system of Nepal out of a melodrama of an Indian plane hijack. The incident took place at a time when India had already closed its services for months. Nepal’s prime minister, backed up by his party and cabinet colleagues, had already made up his mind to hand over air security to India; but he wasn’t able to announce the decision due to immense pressure from nationalists‚ intellectuals‚ writers‚ businessmen‚ industrialists‚ other political parties‚ general public‚ farmers and workers. So, India was quite hopeful but it wanted to expedite the decision. A regular bilateral meeting between the two countries was in the offing‚ and a team led by an Indian secretary had already arrived in Kathmandu. With the idea of making this meeting favorable to India, RAW had sought to accomplish the work by bringing out the report in haste. If the Indian delegation not proposed this agenda at the meeting there would have been no reason to doubt. But not only was this agenda tabled at the meeting‚ greater emphasis was also given to it. It clearly explains the report’s intention.
India always holds the notion that those who love Nepal are its vocal critic. Nepali Congress also has pursued this policy. Perhaps‚ because of this‚ whenever some nationalistic Nepali people raise the issue of nationality out of their loyalty to the nation‚ the Congress becomes too quick to respond to it. It also frequently drags the palace into controversy by describing it as ultra-nationalist‚ regressive‚ reactionary‚ ultra-rightist or ultra-mandale. This plan succeeded to grab the CPN-UML first, and CPN-Maoist next as tools for India. These three parties ultimately isolated monarchy, the only institution who never compromised on the issues sovereignty and national independence. China could not understand the development on time. USA had understood, but seeing better chance playing anti-China card ultimately agreed viewing Nepal through Indian perspective window till twelve point pact. With RAW as the mediator, even the leftist parties stood in favor of Congress party as they had developed an understanding that Indian blessing was necessary to remain in power. This is nothing more than a trick of India to fulfill its ulterior motives by frightening the true nationalist writers‚ journalists‚ scholars‚ and politicians. But the outcome was opposite. The nationalist Nepalis people were not frightened. The writers did not stop their pens; the journalist went on exposing the evils. Rather they united and went against RAW like disturbed hornets.
India seems to be over ambitious to get into the security system of Nepal. India can ensure its border security by regulating the porous border with Nepal‚ but it does not want to do so. There may be many reasons behind India not wanting to do so. This is a matter of further analysis altogether. India wants to station its army at the foothills of the Himalayas‚ thereby warding off the potential dangers or threats from Pakistan and China. India has also served up the logic that if India is allowed to keep its army along the northern border of Nepal‚ Nepal would not need extra army for its border security. India also wants to enter into the internal management of regular and armed police functioning. And along this very line‚ the Nepali Congress also argued that this arrangement could save Nepal some Rs 4-5 billion annually which should otherwise have been allocated for defense expenses. This is why‚ former prime minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai‚ while speaking at a public meeting in Birgunj‚ had said that the Royal Nepali army cannot fight even for three hours with the Indian army. Besides‚ till he was in power‚ he had stopped all budget for the army except for allowances and salaries. We cannot rule out the possibility of RAW hands in all these matters. Though it has not been allowed to do the kind of things it wants in Nepal‚ India has been trying to take the responsibility of providing trainings to Nepali army and the police. For this‚ India is ready to make investments‚ no matter how much. RAW had hoped that the Nepal Game Plan would be successful at least to score this achievement.
India is sensible for its security concerns. It is natural. But same thing is rejected in the case of Nepal. The peace zone proposal of Nepal and the open border management issues, work permit issues and the amendment of articles of the 1950 treaty, except article 1 and 8, are denied. However, they are in favors of India’s security. India has already been applying these things to the borders of Bangladesh and Pakistan. It indicates India has vested interests in Nepal. The present plain land (Tarai) problem is also a part of the game plan.
RAW activities are generally very secret. It never makes public its reports. The act of making public the Nepal Game Plan report was a conspiracy within a web of conspiracies. With the release of the report‚ Nepali Congress party hurriedly brought up the Citizenship Bill and passed it from the interim parliament. But due to protests and pressures of nationalist Nepali people‚ His Majesty the King did not put the royal seal on it and thus the attempt from Nepali Congress was foiled. Attempts continued to revive the bill until it was later passed by amending the constitution. The postponement of the scheduled visit of His majesty king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev for Oct 12, 2004 was due to India’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) which was unsure of how to deal with Nepal’s already dire crisis. The indecisive factors of UPA led by Dr. MM Singh (but controlled from the background by Sonia Gandhi) made hard choices on Nepal.
The disputes between Nepal’s nationalists and pro Indian forces on foreign policy has essentially been about who has India’s ear, never on how to eliminate India’s influence in Nepal or how to cut the king elbow umbilical cord with India.
Nepal’s political parties have failed in practicing democratic exercises and protecting sovereignty & independency to their country and their people. Nepal’s more than a decade long experiment with parliamentary democracy has failed. India may well find that trying to resuscitate Nepal’s fractious political parties is like trying to beat a dead horse into entering the race. Another reason for exposing the report was to wash and clean its already exposed payroll agents. The high-ranking officials working in collusion with RAW were already stinking in the society. By inserting the names of these India-supporting Nepalis in the Nepal Game Plan Report‚ RAW wanted to remove the suspicion on its Nepalis agents. This is also one factor that prompted the release of the report. Since all the intellectuals are able enough to distinguish between who are RAW agents and who are not‚ their names are not mentioned here.
RAW spends a whopping amount of money in Nepal. RAW also spends on appointment of certain persons on certain posts. The names of those who were already rotten in the Nepalis political realm because of their relation with RAW might have been included so that it would be easier for it to discontinue the allowances to them. Though there is a large number of those giving threats‚ the names of RAW workers are also there.
Nepal has unity in diversity. But now attempts are being made to cause disunity. All the patriots and nationalists of the country should keep their wits about them with regard to the role of RAW in creating trouble in areas of religion‚ language‚ culture‚ ethnicity‚ employment‚ citizenship‚ factories and industries‚ development projects and the Indians working there‚ sweet sellers‚ barbers‚ fruit sellers‚ carpenters and masons and the appointment of persons who create a favorable atmosphere for them. Given the various incidents that have taken place‚ RAW has also caused deviation in the ideology and organization in the communist parties. It is equally necessary for these parties to not bow down in matters of national interests and to further consolidate the constitutional monarchy. They should stop being swayed by others.
The game plan of India is still active. One after another it has gained a lot. It has pushed over 7 million its low grade citizen into Nepal by making the citizenship act 2006 and a net of roti-beti of adding 45 persons every day. It is quite contradictory to its policy with Bhutan. It is grabbing water and labour resources, micro politics and bureaucracy; it could remove the Hindu kingdom considering the greatest hurdle to India’s interest. After the reinstate of multiparty system, the prime ministers KP Bhattarai, GP Koirala, SB Thapa, BR Bhattarai and lastly Pushpa Kamal’s 25 point agreement 2016 all invited Indian penetration, weakening Nepal’s sovereignty, nationality, economy, independency and political stability. As Kalbhusan Yadav, a RAW agent who was recently arrested in Pakistan; has disclosed that he has been playing game in separating Nepal’s Tarai territory.] [Excerpts from the book “Machination of RAW in Nepal”]
RAW in Nepal Game Plan
BY PROF. DR. SHASTA DUTTA PANT