Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected Prime Minister of Nepal at an especially fragile time in the life of the 11 - year - old Himalayan republic. Two years after the majority Madhesi population in the Terai blocked several trading points along the southern border with India, there remains deep - seated resentment in large parts of Nepal against the Kathmandu elite.
Deuba inherits a divided Nepal, divided between the Madhesis and the upper caste Bahun - Chettris of Kathmandu Valley, with whom New Delhi has been doing business since it bailed out King Tribhuvan in 1950.
But what is interesting in todays Nepal is that India, which had supported the 2006 jan andolan against the monarchy which forced King Gyanendra to hand over power to the people; has all but distanced itself from the Madhes agitation and its demands: the right to be represented in Parliament and other state organs on the basis of population, or the one - man - one - vote principle.
Some would say that states must pursue power, and that in Nepal, power has always rested in Kathmandu Valley, not the Terai. And therefore, they would say, India cannot afford to take the high moral ground and continue to interminably support the Madhesis, who constitute 19. 3 per cent of Nepal's 28. 5 million population.
Source: The Indian Express