India's military ties with Nepal: Here's all you need to know
Due to the escalating dispute between India and Nepal over Nepal's western border, the relationship between the two nations is at the lowest ebb. Recently, on July 10, 2020, a soldier from Nepal, Havildar Sambur Gurung serving in the Gurkha regiment was killed in the stand-off along the LOC in Jammu. Soldiers from Nepal form the Indian Army's Gurkha regiment.
What is the history behind the Kalapani dispute between India and Nepal?
How India-Nepal military ties originated?
During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Army in Lahore had some soldiers from Nepal and were referred to as Lahure or 'soldiers of fortune'. At the time of British Raj in India, the first battalion of Gurkha Regiment was established on April 24, 1815, as the 'Nasiri Regiment'. When World War I started, the British Indian Army had 10 Gurkha Regiments.
After the freedom of India in 1947, in a trilateral agreement between Britain-India-Nepal; the Regiments were equally divided between the British and Indian armies. The Agreement was signed in November 1947. Due to this Tripartite Agreement between the three nations, 6 Gurkha Regiments came to India and another Regiment was raised by the Government of India to accommodate soldiers of 7th and 10th Gurkha Regiments. These soldiers chose to stay back and not to join the British Army.
Gurkhas in the World War II
During World War II (1939-45), over 110,000 men served in 40 Gurkha battalions in battles in the Western Desert, Italy, Greece, Malaya, Singapore and Burma. Around 30,000 Gurkhas were injured or killed in the war. Adolf Hitler once said that if he had Gurkhas, no armies in the world would defeat him.
Can a citizen of Nepal join the Indian Army?
A citizen of Nepal can join the Indian Army as a jawan or as an officer. To get admitted in the Indian Army, a Nepali citizen must clear the National Defence Academy or Combined Defence Services exams. Not only this, but the Government of Nepal also send its officers for training to Military Academies in India.
Currently, the Gurkha Regiment has 35 battalions. A large number of troops in these battalions is recruited from Nepal.
In addition to the above, the troops recruited from Nepal enjoy same rights as the Indian soldiers-- during service as well as retirement. Every year, medical teams from India visit Nepal. On the other hand, the British Government has started giving pensions to the Nepali soldiers only a few years ago while India has never discriminated between Indian and Nepali troops.
It is worth noting that the Army Chief of India is the honorary Chief of the Nepalese Army and vice-versa and dates back to the year 1972.