India’s Policy Towards Nepal and Bhutan: Nehru to Present
Nehru considered the Indian subcontinent as an exclusive sphere of influence for New Delhi. India’s policy towards the Himalayan states of Nepal and Bhutan was articulated by Nehru in the form of special relationship around the issues of the ideal of democracy, treaty diplomacy, manipulation of political pragmatism and the most important determinant being the China factor. Nepal was treated as an independent country, Sikkim as a full protectorate of India and Bhutan enjoyed a status in-between. They were strongly bound into the security framework of the Raj through the treaties signed with Nepal in 1819 and 1923, Bhutan in 1865 and 1910, and Sikkim in 1817 and 1890. Nehru invited the representatives of Nepal and Bhutan to participate in the first Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi in March 1947, thereby facilitating Nepal and Bhutan kingdoms for external exposure. India has been supporting Bhutan in all areas of business pertaining to its holistic development since 1949.