Nepalese kings organised massive hunts to get on the good side of the British – hunts that may have been terrible for conservation, but worked diplomatic magic.
Amish Raj Mulmi
As the Doklam stand-off continues, is Nepal set to make another foreign policy shift away from India and towards China, as it did in the 1960s?
On May 27, 1800, Banaras received a visitor who had fled from Kathmandu and who called himself Swami Nirgunanda. Four years later, the very same Nirgunanda, now reverting to his original title of Rana Bahadur Shah, entered Kathmandu and caused the rise of a bloody era of Nepal politics.
To justify a cattle slaughter ban in India, many point to Nepal’s cow protection laws. But history shows the ‘Hindu nation’ followed an intentionally ambiguous approach to cattle slaughter as an exercise in social realpolitik.
Although it is not history’s job to dabble in ‘what-ifs’, could an alliance between the Gorkhas, the Sikhs and the Marathas have succeeded in ending the East India Company’s machinations in the subcontinent?