“Time to prioritize geo-economics over geo-politics”
Bhaktapur, 21 January (2019) – At a time when the stakeholders have been emphasizing on the need of thwarting international influence in domestic affairs, the scholars have said that the efforts should be made to prioritize sovereign national policies.
“As Nepal is popularly known as a yam between two boulders, the national security or foreign policy of our country often gets influenced by our two gigantic neighbors,” said Kundan Jha, main speaker in the one-day seminar on “Geo-economics and development of Nepal” held in Kathmandu School of Law, Bhaktapur today.
Jha further said that though Nepal adopts a non-aligned policy. “We are yet to keep the international influence at arm’s length.” He added that the international obligations, to which Nepal is signatory, at times influence our normative legal structure.
Unfortunately, “Nepal is heading towards a client-state which is in a dire need of replacing geo-politics with geo-economics. We are currently a buffer state but our attempts should be made to become a bridge state between the two gigantic neighbors.” He added that our business policy should be product-specific and country-specific.
“A section of people is getting richer and richer day by day while the ordinary people are still struggling for basic amenities. The resources and facilities of the state are under control of certain groups,” said Prem Chandra Rai, Associate Professor at Kathmandu School of Law, Bhaktapur. He further said corruption is rapidly gaining ground in the country.
He then lamented on the creation of a situation in Nepal where leaders are in a position to guide the academicians. “The academicians should have a role to direct the minds of leaders. However, contrary things are happening in our country.”
Another speaker Dr Dinesh Paudel, associated with North Carolina University, stressed on the need of overcoming with divisive politics. “We are under the trap of international dominance. We are psychologically divided along the lines of culture or ethnicity. Our goal of prosperity could not be achieved unless we succeed to prioritize our own model of ideology and politics suiting our national sovereignty and development.”
Dr Paudel opined that Nepal became a client state since the inking of Sugauli Treaty. “We should refrain from being identified as India-managed state. What I feel that Nepal is a ‘Himalayan tragedy’ under the grip of heavy Indian and Chinese influence. The Dalai Lama politics, liberalism, communism, or foreign ideologies, which are not understandable to us, should be blamed for the deepening influence of geo-politics and international dominance in our sovereignty.”
He further said that the role of development partners or Non-government organizations (NGOs) have severely affected domestic policies. “The heavy presence of NGOs has invited domination, colonization and hegemony policies in our state. The Christian politics should be disregarded as it is not in the interest of our sovereignty.”
Another speaker Prof Dr Yubaraj Sangroula said that Nepal has a rich civilization of existentialism. “However, our existence is getting badly affected by the import of foreign culture and tradition which are not understandable to us. If we keep prioritizing international trends, language or culture, a day would come when we would lose our own identity,” further said Sangroula.
“The concept of neo-liberalism has badly affected our domestic culture, tradition and policies. This concept has paved the ways for over privatization which ultimately led to closure of the state-owned industries,” added Dr Sangroula. He further added that the concept of neo-liberalism ensures food security, not food sovereignty. “We are largely dependent on the foreign produce rather than relying on domestic products.”
The concept of neo-liberalism is a big threat to our traditional production, egalitarian system and eastern philosophy as a whole,” added Dr Sangroula.
The seminar saw the presence of academicians, diplomats and researchers from different fields. The speakers stressed on the need of prioritizing national culture, tradition and sovereignty over international culture and influence in the name of globalization and modernization.
Video of the seminar is available here:
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