No Gurkhas in overseas Armies?


MAIDSTONE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Soldiers in the Queen's Gurkha Engineers chat in the parade square of Invicta Park Barracks on February 24, 2011 in Maidstone, England. The first Gurkha Engineer Squadron was raised in 1948 in Kulang, Malaya today the 5000th soldier in The Queen's Gurkha Engineers was attested in front of HM Queen Elizabeth II. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I cannot fathom why the Nepalese parliament would ban overseas recruitment of Gurkhas, unless it sees its nationals fighting against each other for two warring countries. In which case a conflict of interest with Nepal’s foreign policy is significant. This may be at the behest of Chinese influence in the region. It will be shame if it were so, and a failure of India’s foreign policy in the region. There is one reason cited by the Nepalese parliament which makes some sense to me: i.e.: Gurkha  recruitment hasn’t done much for the self-esteem of Nepal as such. I cannot help seeing a Beijing influence in such  conclusions, despite it being a fact. Gurkhas had to struggle in the British army to be treated on par with British troops, citizenship has come only recently. In India, besides the armed forces, where they are extremely well-regarded, Gurkhas are seen as watchmen and guards, the word Gurkha being synonymous to the job.

In the armed forces, there is no denying their excellence and laurels. They were the preferred troops of the colonialists and to an extent rated above the others.  Courage and bravery is not the domain of any one community,  as courage conquers all. It goes back to the myth of martial races, and I am happy to see this change only if it helps Nepalese have an even better place in the world. Why do they think they don’t have it?  The Gurkhas and the Sherpas made them known to the world. Are they going to ban Sherpas joining foreign mountaineering teams.

There are enough Gurkhas in India to sustain the recruitment. The British will have to contend with the generations of their new citizens.  Perhaps it is this overseas recruitment that the Nepalese Parliament  wants to drop, the Indian one being caught in the chaff!

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