(TibetanReview.net, Aug18’20) – China appears to have a problem with many youths of Nepal joining the Gorkha regiments that India had inherited from the British rule amid a raging Ladakh border faceoff. It is funding a Kathmandu-based NGO to study the Gorkha community’s motivation for joining the Indian Army and related matters, reported the IANS news service Aug18.
It is not clear why China is funding an NGO to study the situation when it would have no problem in getting all the answers it seeks from the government of Nepal where it is currently playing the role of a power broker among feuding ruling communist party faction leaders.
With a grant of 12.7 lakh Nepalese rupees in the first week of June, China’s Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, asked Kathmandu-based China Study Centre (CSC) to conduct a study on Nepalis being recruited in the Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army, the report said.
The report quoted an unnamed source as saying: “The CSC has been asked to conduct the study by addressing several points such as the reasons behind Nepalis joining the Indian Army, areas of Nepal from where such recruits are being made and their social-economic impact, their interest in joining the armies of foreign countries, among others.”
The report noted that there were seven Gorkha regiments with 39 battalions in the Indian Army with a total of around 28,000 Nepali citizens. They were part of a previous total of 11 Gorkha Regiments, of which four went to the British Army after India’s Independence.
The Gorkha regiments were raised on the basis of a Tripartite Agreement among India, the UK and Nepal in 1947.
Nepal has previously said the agreement was redundant but did not take any step to discuss the issue with India and Britain or to simply stop its citizens from joining armies of foreign countries.