Delhi Talk

People's Review - - LEADER -

Glean­ing much from Prime Min­is­ter Sher Ba­hadur Deuba's In­dia pil­grim­age would be a mis­take. As he him­self said prior to his visit, it was de­signed to pur­sue pre­vi­ous agree­ments and pro­vide con­ti­nu­ity to bi­lat­eral ties. He has done it. The In­di­ans, on the other hand, de­spite the largely mar­ginal me­dia cov­er­age of the trip, have courted him well. His visit mer­ited a slightly up­lifted wel­come by his re­cep­tion at the air­port with In­dian for­eign min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj at hand. As it is, his In­dian coun­ter­part once again dis­played yet an­other at­tempt at per­sonal diplo­macy with a sur­prise per­sonal visit where none were to wit­ness his un­sched­uled talks on a one to one ba­sis. What tran­spired there is what mat­ters. Given the highly un­re­li­able na­ture of Nepali pol­i­tics, it is un­likely that both prime min­is­ters are will­ing to pub­licly di­vulge the con­tents of this sig­nif­i­cantly pri­vate talk in pub­lic. After all this is what per­sonal diplo­macy is made of and none less than Naren­dra Modi should be aware of this. That Deuba chose to talk of Nepali pol­i­tics pub­licly has been pounced upon here. Few have cho­sen to point out that the In­dian es­tab­lish­ment in­sists that their view on the scheme of things in Nepal re­mains un­changed. As it stands, the much de­manded of In­dian at­ten­tion on flood­ing have for too long been bi­lat­eral mat­ters de­mand­ing pro­ce­dural at­ten­tion at the bu­reau­cratic lev­els where na­tional stand­points have yet to come clear. Prime Min­is­ter Deuba has gone and come back, made his con­tact, kept up the rit­ual façade. Prime Min­is­ter Modi has said his piece. What is im­por­tant is what should tran­spire now in Nepal. It is an­other mat­ter that Deuba should drop a few pub­lic lines in New Delhi on the aber­ra­tion that is sup­posed to be Nepal's con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism. His op­po­nents will op­pose as his sup­port­ers will support. What mat­ters though is the gen­eral pub­lic non­cha­lance on the In­dian trip. Me­dia dis­cus­sions here on the topic said noth­ing new. The fact is that our po­lit­i­cal masters would rather fo­cus on the has­ten­ing of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new con­sti­tu­tion on which Deuba dropped his lines. He would have had to delve on it any­way since pre­vi­ous two way vis­its have so pre­oc­cu­pied the topic that ig­nor­ing it out­right could well have ben con­sid­ered a lapse. What with In­dian mi­cro­man­age­ment in the coun­try, the pub­lic non­cha­lance on the trip it­self would al­ready have been ex­plained. Un­less we are in for a ma­jor up­heaval for change, pub­lic words would be wasted by mere mouthing of diplo­matic cog­nizance. This is why per­haps Modi's un­sched­uled per­sonal talk with his guest car­ries mean­ing. In this sense, it is not quite pos­si­ble to dis­miss the Deuba trip as mere rou­tine.

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