The Indian action cannot be a mystery unless you are blinded by absolute obedience to India or you have personal reasons of blood and birth to detest the very thought of Nepal seeking Chinese help and succeeding.
The Indian Oil Corporation is a Government of India Undertaking. There is no repercussion for the Government in dictating political decisions upon IOC. Also India imports a lot of its own fuel requirement so it is under no economic compulsion to export fuel to Nepal or Bhutan. And of course shortage of fuel can bring a modern nation to grinding halt over a period of time. That's why oil producing countries of Middle East are pampered by all giant nations except by Russia. What would India gain if Nepal does not give in to crippling economic embargo?
India is more liberal in the export of other material including foodstuffs to Nepal. One reason: To protect the business interests of Indian Exporters. Nepal is a captive market for Indian products and its consumption capacity is almost 100 times that of Bhutan. Reason Two: The Indian origin population of Nepal whom India banks for political support will also suffer. Even fuel is being allowed to be smuggled into South Nepal from India to buy cooperation of this section of Nepalese population during the present embargo. Reason Three: India want to demonstrate her economic leverage but in no way had intended to alienate forever Nepal forces.
India is very important to Nepal for economic and transit reasons. Geographical position makes India vital to Bhutan and Nepal. China can never be an equally convenient geographical access substitute for Bhutan and Nepal. . But equally important to India is the strategic geographical positions of Nepal and Bhutan.
The Himalayan Mountains that keep away the hostile forces from the northern plains of India are the same barriers that stand hostile to trade and transit for Nepal and Bhutan in the north. Thus in reality good relationship between India and the two tiny Himalayan nations serve equal interests of all three countries. Today, the defence forces of India sleeps easier during nights because Nepal and Bhutan are their dominoes to manoeuvre.
It is a trade off relationship with India that till date has never been demanded in equal proportion by the tiny Himalayan nations. There will come a time when demonic demands of a giant neighbour finally clashes with true awakenings among smaller nations that will compel about equal relationship and respect between India and her neighbours. What is evolving presently in Nepal may just be the faint beginning towards the necessity and wisdom of friendship with equal dignity among all neighbours regardless of size.
Die hard Indians or writers in the media who enjoy bashing Nepal and China would only high light the greatness of Indian policies. They belittle Nepal and her position. Even in Bhutan some Bhutanese belittle the strategic strength that the Kingdom possess and omnipotence of India is religiously worshipped. However, other leaders including seasoned leaders in India will observe with concern the Indian embargo of Nepal and the consequent ripple impacts on South Asia balance of power and influence.
The inpregnible Himalayan mountains will be handsomely breached as Nepal is gradually forced to open its northern borders to rail and highway traffics with China. India will then have to deal with two pro China nations ( Pakistan and Nepal ). And as I had earlier warned the status of India among SAARC nations will diminish unless India make adjustments.
As a through bred Bhutanese, I opt for good relations with both India and China. I know India has to be and will remain our closest neighbour but I do not endorse the antagonism that certain section of Bhutanese polity hold towards China.
I have full sympathy for Nepal and I pray that both Nepal and China succeed at the earliest in surmounting the formidable natural barriers so that the people of Nepal are not starved and immobilised by the Indian blockade in the years ahead. This ongoing blockade will fade away but there will be another the next time so might as well start from now towards defeating the very objective of an Indian economic blockade in the future. Good Luck to Nepalese leadership and the people.