Nepalis’ self-esteem higher than Mt Everest, says Indian prime minister

Janakpurdham, May 11

Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi has described the relationship existing between Nepal and India as unique and dating back to ancient times.

“The especial relationship between Nepal and India was established long, long ago by Dashrath and Janak during the Treta Yuga,” said the visiting Indian prime minister, addressing a civil felicitation organised at Baarhabigha, Janakpur. “It’s the same unique relationship between these two countries that people from Rameshwor come to Nepal to pay obeisance to Pashpathinath and devotees from Lumbini reach as far as Bodhagaya on a pilgrimage,” he said.

Further, saying nothing adequately defines Nepal-India relationship, Modi said both the countries had same goal of happiness and prosperity. “In fact, India is incomplete without Nepal, our history is incomplete, and similarly Lord Rama is incomplete without Nepal,” he said, describing the self-esteem of Nepalis as being higher than Mt Everest.

“The way the folk art and hospitality of Mithila is incredible, so is the self-esteem of Nepalis. Your hospitality did such a wonder that I never felt that I’ve come to a different place,” he remarked.

Describing Nepal as the centre of spiritualism and philosophy, Modi didn’t forget to call Nepal as the birthplace of Lord Buddha. “The history is witness to the cooperation between these two countries,” he said, describing democracy as the key to development and congratulating Nepal and the Nepalis for consolidating democracy by successfully holding all three levels of elections. “Nepal has created a history by conducting three levels of elections successfully,” he said, identifying the five Ts — tradition, trade, tourism, technology and transport — as the main preconditions for development.

“Just as India has envisioned a new India, Nepal too has entered a new social and economic phase and is heading towards securing good governance and inclusiveness. Just as there is that dream in every Indian of a new, prosperous India, I’ve seen similar optimism of prosperity in the eyes of every Nepali,” he observed, adding his government acknowledges and respects the vision of Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to make Nepal a prosperous country.

Further, conveying his wish to link India with Nepal via highway, transways, railways, airways and waterways, Modi said connectivity was inevitable in order to cement the people-to-people relationship between the two countries and he was ready for the same.

“Jayanagar-Janakpur railway, Raxaul-Amlekhgunj pipeline, Raxaul-Kathmandu railways extension plan are the gestures that are testimony to our wish to increase connectivity with Nepal,” he said, adding his government was ready to increase cooperation in the agriculture sector and provide technological support to Nepal.

The visiting Indian PM also announced one billion rupees in assistance for the development of  Ramayan circuit. “I offer this assistance to Janaki mata on behalf of one billion plus people of India,” he said, also pledging to work with the government of Nepal and the provincial government for development of Janakpur.

Modi, at the onset of his speech, had apologised for not being able to make it to Janakpur during his previous visit. “I’d intended to come to Janakpur during my previous visit, but I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it then. This time, due to the grace of Sita mata I am here on the day of Bhadrakali Ekadashi. I feel really blessed to be here in the place of king Janak,” he said.

Earlier, Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut, during the civil felicitation, had welcomed the Indian prime minister by offering a 125 kg garland. Janakpur sub-metropolis Mayor Lal Kishor Sah was also present during the felicitation.

Similarly, Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Janakpur chapter of Chamber of Commerce and Industry too had offered a garland weighing 125 kg. Thousands of people from all eight districts of Province 2 had gathered at Barhabigha in order to listen the visiting Indian prime minister speak.