Thursday, 11 November 2010

MAHA NEPAL OR GREATER NEPAL -- The Latest Craze in Nepal; PART - I

Parvez Iqbal Siddique; a correspondent in north India, wrote back in 2005 an article citing the boiling Nepalese’s sentiment for ‘Maha Nepal’. The new Maoist government in Nepal is all the way supporting the demand for ‘Maha Nepal’ that should chunk out a good portion of Indian territory covering the area between Nepal’s border and the Tista valley in east and up to Kangra ( Sutlej river) in west. However, this news grossly escaped the notice of Indian politicians and policy makers keep afar the Indian citizens. No furor rose anywhere in this issue.  Many articles are published since past two decades in various Nepalese newspapers and magazines in this issue. In support of this claim, the promulgators of ‘Maha Nepal’ are citing history.  They claim the ancient Nepal was far bigger than what it is now, though that goes without any historical evidence. During the regime of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, in 1744 Nepalese army went on war for re-integration of its lost territory. The war brought success and extended the Nepal’s border up to Sikkim by 1779 in east and in west by 1790, it crossed Mahakali River and by 1804 crossing the Gadwall finally in 1805 it conquered Kangda valley across the Sutlej River. By 1809 Napali Army conquered Kangda Fort after continuous fighting for three years. Subsequently in 1809 Nepali army was defeated and they had to retreat across Sutlej River. Concurrently as British East India Company was also in their expansion spree of colonization advanced up to Nepal’s the then border. Nepal impeded East India Company to trade with Tibet through their territory.  It was in contravention to the pact between East India Company and Nepal in 1801; so dispute arose and a war was declared on 1st of November 1814 against Nepal by British East India Company.. However, that was the first time ever the British identified the valor of Gorkha army. After a tough fight for about six months, on 28th April 1815 both the belligerent parties called cease fire and reached an agreement. Nepal parted its holding on area lying between Mahakali and Sutlej River to British East India Company and there was another treaty demarking Nepal’s border in east ceding the area it captured earlier between Mechi River and Sikkim and Dinajpur in Bengal including entire Terai to East India Company. On 4th March 1816 the final treaty was signed between both parties. It is known as Sugauli treaty and at the same time some part was returned to Nepal stretching between Koshi and Tapti river as by then British started recognizing Gurkhas potentiality in their future army.

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