NEW DELHI: India and Nepal may share strong historical, cultural and religious links but India needs to look beyond these if it wants to be in sync with a new Nepal. This advice comes from Nepal’s Sujeev Shakya who describes himself as a thought leader and speaker. Shakya is also an author, having written two books—‘Unleashing Nepal’ and more recently ‘Unleashing the Vajra’ which looks at his country’s journey between India and China. Shakya who is also the Chair of the Nepal Economic Forum, a non-profit engaged in economic policy and research, tells StratNews Global Deputy Editor Parul Chandra in this interview that India needs to reach out to young Nepalese who do not have the same connect with Nepal’s next door neighbour as the older generation. Shakya says he’d like to see more Nepalese and Indian youth engage with each other while noting rather bluntly: “The Nepal-India relationship has been hijacked by the retirees club”. Shakya who has been closely following the trajectory of New Delhi-Kathmandu ties also says that the 2015 economic blockade ‘imposed’ by India led to an entire generation of Nepalese being alienated from India. As for China’s increasing footprints in his country, Shakya says there is a perception among the Nepalese that the northern neighbour is always willing to help. Beijing’s soft power initiatives in Nepal too have helped win the Nepalese over, he notes.
Professional newshound, have navigated through typewriters, computers and mobile phones during my over three-decade-long career working in some of India's finest newsrooms (The Times of India, Financial Express). Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are my focus, also Sri Lanka (when boss permits). Age and arthritis (that's a joke) have not dimmed the thrill of chasing a story. Loves music, animals and pasta.