Recently, Nepal has banned all the TV news channels of India except the Doordarshan stating that it will not allow any foreign TV channels that assassin the character of its leaders.We have seen how the kalapani dispute has soften the relation between the two neighbor countries in the diplomatic level. India enjoys the civilizational and cultural relation with Nepal from many years. Any Bilateral relation set on the foundation of soft power treats both the partners as equal irrespective of their size and the influence. India has given soft power higher priority , so setting up strong trade and economic relations.
Over the last 30 year’s India’s soft power influence in Nepal has come under threat due to internal political instability and by the external players such as Pakistan and China.India’s relation is primarily built on three main pillars – Religious connect built by Hinduism and Buddhism , Link of Madhesi – Terai belt with UP and Bihar , Influence of Bollywood and Indian Television. But over the past 30 years there has been rising Anti-India sentiments .Nepal has always alleged that India has excessively interfered in the internal affairs right from the days of Nepal Monarchy.In civil war ,India was accused of taking Maoists sides and interfered in the transition of democracy through taking a political side at the time of Constitution framing.There has always been few political elements who have opposed in the India’s involvement in Nepal and these sentiments have been exploited by external players such as Pakistan and China leading to the significant surge in anti India sentiments.This sentiments has led to the decrease in soft power influence in Nepal take for Example Lumbini project which India was looking to develop was handed over to the chinese .
Since Buddhism has share a strong cultural connection between South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia , Indian diplomacy has always tried to exploit this connection by developing all the buddhism sites under the Buddhist circuit project but the project was taken over by china .China’s interest in Nepal can be explained to counter Indian influence in Nepal and also to monitor the Tibetian refugees who are present in large number in Nepal. Over the last few years China has bought massive investment in construction of Nepal’s -Road, Rail, Hydro power plant, Internet and Telecom sector. Apart from these hard investments, China is also looking for soft power influence by promoting the Mandarian language in Nepali schools. So overall a combination of Indian mistakes, Political instability and External players have contributed to the decline in soft power influence of India in Nepal.