Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Slight

It might have been so slight that it went unnoticed. Or may be, people did notice but decided against bothering themselves with it.

The Games, as usual, have their own diplomatic element in full flow. It seems so, at least, on the set of things that are close to India. It started off with the invite for the opening ceremony going to Sonia and Rahul. Reaching out to the power center but a slight of no small dimensions to our sovereign head. Of course, this was extensively chronicled and discussed in the media. More in the Hindi/regional newspapers and with a small mention in the English newspapers.

But this thing with Nepal can become disturbing. Deuba, the newly elected president was to go for the closure ceremony of the Olympics. But as soon as, Prachanda (of the CPN - Maoist) was elected Prime Minister, an invite was forwarded to him for attending the closure ceremony. How does it matter?

Nepal has had a strong dependency on India for a lot of things. From trade to defence, India has had a major (not to the liking of the likes of Prachanda at times) role to play in Nepal's affairs. With this kind of change in the leadership in Nepal, things were to change. It seems that China is trying to precipitate the change. We might have to take appropriate diplomatic steps to keep Chinese 'encroachment' under check. The MEA might want to make some right noises that this point in time.

Bhutan is turning into a democracy. It is a state where we have had a strong (at times, intrusive) role to play. It might be a good idea to play our cards right to ensure this relationship does not go the Nepal way.

And what do we do with the slight? Forget it, not sure if anything can be done on that part. Apart from biding our time and taking the odd chance when Taipei is under discussion.

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