Tarai protests, embargo sour local-level ties

  • nepal-india relations
- AMRITA ANAMOL, BUTWAL
In Bhairahawa, several wedding ceremonies between nationals of the two countries were cancelled due to disputes

Dec 21, 2015-The protracted protests in Tarai, India’s unofficial border blockade and subsequent stand-off between Kathmandu and New Delhi have soured local-level relations between people on both sides of the Nepal-India border.

People in various Tarai districts are worried that the age-old ties might deteriorate further. They said it is not only difficult to establish marital relationships between people of the two countries but has also put already established relations at risk.

As violence in the border area increased, around two dozen wedding ceremonies have been cancelled in Rupandehi district alone.

Locals said the ongoing situation has led to several difficulties between people from both countries. Though many Nepalis and Indians are relatives, they are trying to show themselves as a superior one due to the ongoing political crisis.

Last month, a Nepali family was planning to organise a marriage reception for their Indian relatives in Bhairahawa. The Nepali family said they are planning a low key programme due to the shortage of fuel and other essential materials. However, the discussion led to a heated dispute and some elderly people had to intervene.

This is just an example. There are several other cases in which people from the two sides of the border were involved in disputes. In Bhairahawa, several wedding ceremonies scheduled to be held between youths from the two countries have been cancelled due to such disputes.

Traditionally, people from the Gupta, Dhawal, Kanyouje, Harijan and Muslim families in Nepal have marital relationships with Indian nationals. However, the recent deterioration in the ties between the two countries due to border blockade by the Indian side has affected the age-old people-to-people relations.

Some Indian nationals who have relatives in Nepal run business firms in the border areas. They, too, are worried as their businesses are facing a huge loss due to the ongoing protests and blockade.

Published: 21-12-2015 08:49

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