explained-in-depth-modi-visits-nepal

Context: PM Modi tweeted “My Nepal visit has further deepened India’s connect with an important neighbor.” 

India Nepal Relations Statements:

  • “Our ties with Nepal are unparalleled. The civilizational and people-to-people contacts between India and Nepal form the enduring edifice of our close relationship,” said Modi.
  • “My visit is intended to celebrate and further deepen these time-honored linkages that have been fostered through centuries and recorded in our long history of intermingling.” Mr. Modi.

He Prayed at the Mahaparinirvana Stupa in Kushinagar. He talked about the various Government efforts made to boost infrastructure in Kushinagar so that more tourists and pilgrims can visit.

Background:

Both the countries owe equally to Buddhism for their spiritualism as well as tourism. The feeling of discomfort among Nepali Buddhists was generated due to the display of Buddhism as more Indian than Nepali.

The major tourist package deals for pilgrims from across the world used to make a fleeting visit to the Buddha’s birthplace only, before being herded back to Buddhist shrines in India, denying Nepal its due economic gain.

Current Developments: 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lumbini this May, marking his fifth trip to Nepal since his first election as prime minister in 2014. This, however, is his first Nepal visit since his re-election in 2019. This was termed as a trip to deepen “time honored ties”.

Significance of the visit:

  • The two sides will hold talks in Lumbini. The visit may seem religious but holds strategic significance, as the recent past has witnessed visits by officials from USA, UK, China to Kathmandu.
  • The Newly elected Prime Minister of Nepal had a visit just a month ago to New Delhi.
  • India’s perspective seems to renew the Indo-Nepal relations amid rapid shifts in the geopolitics, as per the experts of International relations have commented over the visit.

The Brief about program: 

  • A delegation-level talk between the political representatives of two countries.
  • The signing of Five agreements and understandings.
  • PM Modi will attend the 2566th Buddha Jayanti celebrations.
  • PM Modi will address a gathering of people, including Buddhist scholars and monks, from Nepal and India.
  • PM Modi along with Deuba, will visit the Mayadevi temple and attend a special prayer. 
  • Modi will also be lighting a butter lamp in front of the Ashoka Pillar, and water the Bodhi tree, gifted by Modi during his 2014 Nepal visit.
  •  He will be laying the foundation stone for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage, being built at the initiative of the International Buddhist Confederation, New Delhi.

What are the issues of current discussion:

  • India has offered to set up a satellite campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Rupandehi.
  • The Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, and Lumbini Buddhist University will sign some agreements on educational cooperation with a number of Indian universities.
  • Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, an important arm of the Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India in 1996, and West Seti Hydropower Project, a reservoir-type project with a projected capacity of 1,200 megawatts.
  • The discussions will be taken up again during the future visit of PM Deuba to Delhi. “We will continue to build on our shared understanding to expand cooperation in multiple areas, including in hydropower, development and connectivity,” said Modi.
  • To date Modi has offered prayers at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, Janaki Temple in Janakpur, and Muktinath in Mustang, building India’s soft power along with the common heritage of Nepal and India.

Way Forward:

Diplomatic suggestions make us believe that the visit should open new horizons of cooperation and partnership between the two sides and erase irritants in relations.

Conclusion: 

We are linked by culture, civilization, and religion, but that is only one dimension of our ties, this visit should open more dimensions to bilateral relations economically and politically.