If colonization in the 19th century was widespread and had a deep impact on the colonized countries, then neoliberalism is the new agenda of the rich countries to keep a tap on the unstable and poor vulnerable countries to fulfil their own terms. Nepal is a good example in the recent decades due to its erratic dependence on India for energy and trade; and on migrant workers and non-resident Nepalis for remittance, and on foreign countries, international and national organizations for donor money and funding from international banks. In short, Nepal is in the tight grip of neoliberalism. The term itself, however, is not liberal at all.

Neoliberalism is one of the earliest theories of International Relations, which, was created during the post-1945 era. The key idea for this theory was the thought of creating a mutual unity among global powers and use democracy as a way to prevent wars. The theory simply states that democratic countries won’t fight with each other. Democracy Peace definitely unites two nations and prevents any military tensions. The democratic institutions like checks and balances; right to vote, elect and elections, make a huge difference in the separation of powers in a nation. Interestingly, we’ve seen over the years that a democratically elected leader is likely not going to war with its neighbours. Most importantly, in democratic societies any conflicting issues can be taken to the court or sit for negotiations through peaceful dialogue and discussions. This democratic process is one of the successful factors in most developed democratic countries which has lessened conflicts.

The democratic process, however, is prone to conflict as democracy and non-democracy state go to war. For example, the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea; China and South East Asian countries including India. The other criticism of democracy peace theory is that it is violent. The democratization per se and transition is a turbulent and gory process. The perfect example is Nepal where we had a bloody civil war in the name of acquiring a democratic nation.

Neoliberalism emerged as an answer to build a global community within the scope of social, religious, technological and economic relations sans power relations and military security. This broad definition augurs the idea that states cooperate and come to a mutual term through international laws, treaties and organizations which will help the nations to resolve their tensions and address their interests through collective actions. These processes lead to the emergence of nation’s expectations and behaviours. At times, the nation’s behaviours aren’t regulated.

The prime example of the effects of neoliberalism is Nepal and India. The 1950 treaty between the two nations and the on-going energy and trade agreements are the outcome of it. The problem here although is that realists argue that what do you do when a nation breaks the rules or doesn’t obey the treaties? This question has emerged during the unofficial blockade imposed by India. Who is going to regulate India’s behaviour? Definitely not any international organizations or SAARC but maybe communities from Nepal and India can do that. The ruling govt BJP has denied any involved of India on the economic blockade.

India's blind focus on its absolute gains in terms with Nepal severely damaged the nations’ relations. Few sections of Nepalese everywhere, suddenly, stood up against the behaviour of India. The southern neighbour failed to foresee the outcomes on Nepal’s society and economy because of its irritant behaviour. India has definitely not focused on its relative gains because there’s no wealth in Nepal for it to extract except hydropower and water. The behaviour of India has definitely bemused and puzzled lot of Nepali thinkers and critics as the debate goes on as what it really expects with Nepal. Does it mean that India will always reduce petroleum supply to 70% for Nepal if it’s unhappy and not let allow any hydropower development?

Political leaders in Nepal too should stop playing the China card or intimidate India now and then. Leaders of both nations have shown immaturity by focusing excessively on absolute gains, which, benefited none but only powerless, hapless Nepalese suffered mostly, both in Terai and elsewhere. Indians, on the other hand, had to face up with antagonism. The leaders of Nepal now have to show their commitment towards democratic peace giving the deserved rights to the Madeshis, women and janajatis. The agitating Madeshi parties need to sit down for table talks and negotiate accordingly rather than hitting the streets to make the innocent people suffer.

Communities in India too are suffering from the policies of the ultranationalist right-wing BJP party. But any political party in India so far hasn’t changed its behaviour or expectations with Nepal. There are various conspiracy theories about what India expects with Nepal. But what has surfaced till now is that India doesn’t want to give up Nepal to China. Its ulterior motives from time to time are motivated by the fact that Nepal might open up the Pandora box gifted by China and let the plagues spread across the open porous borders. Its high-handedness on Nepal regarding the supply of petroleum products is also startling. Will India only provide 100% oil to Nepal if the latter says yes to all of its demands? The answer, recently, is unwelcoming the constitution and then welcoming the amendment. BJP party might still expect Nepal to remain a Hindu nation but this isn’t possible. This expectation, India, should give up to resolve the tensions between two states. When India itself is a republic country why does it expect Nepal to return to a Hindu-Sanatan nation? The other behaviour of India is that it thinks Nepal will escape from its geopolitics clutch if it signs petroleum agreement with China. India has failed to understand that Nepal has become a secular and democratic country like itself. The problem, however, is that it views the communist parties and leaders of Nepal with a biased lens. For India, I presume, the problematic issue is Nepal’s alignment with China.

India has to understand that Nepal is in all ways close to India and misusing the processes of neoliberalism will only sever the ties between the two nations. Nepal, on the other hand, can’t have high hopes and dreams on China. If laymen believe that India micromanages Nepal’s politics, then there are those who believe that China can transform Nepal into the second Tibet. The real issue here is whether the constitution is implemented or not and whether Nepal becomes stable. If not there will be no progress and the current special friendship with India will likely change in the near future. Neither parties will have any gains then.