Indian Foreign Minister apologises to the Nepalese people


The Indian External Affairs Minister (MEA) Sushma Swaraj made a faux-pax when she described the people of Janakpur as Indian while addressing a press conference about Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi's outreach to overseas Indians.

A Nepalese parliamentarian from Nepal, Gagan Thapa pointed out that Swaraj had made a mistake while conveying her statements. And it was regrettable that she described the population of Janakpur as Indian.

India has been long accused of behaving like the big brother of Nepal. Last year during the protests of Madhesi's India was accused of working against the interests of Nepal.

Sushma Swaraj apologises

Swaraj who is a seasoned politician was quick to tweet an apology. She said, "This was a mistake on my part. I sincerely apologise for this."

Her statement was made in the following context where she talked about the greatness of PM Modi. She was addressing a press conference on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the NDA government, Swaraj said no prime minister before Modi had tried to reach out to the Indian diaspora at such a large scale. "Narendra Modi is the first prime minister of the country who has from America's Madison Square to Janakpur (in Nepal) addressed lakhs of Indians and reached out to them," Swaraj had said.

India and Nepal

The relationship between India and Nepal is very close but it has always had undertones of tension. Indian businessmen control most business in Nepal and there are ethnic tensions in Nepal, Northern Bengal and Sikkim that impact the whole relationship. India and Nepal will have to make tangible efforts to make their relationship more stable.

It cannot be a transactional relationship from both sides. India shouldn't be arm twisting Nepal and Nepal shouldn't use China to leverage its strength. It is going to require maturity on leadership on both sides. The cultural ties are deep but so is the distrust now.

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