India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas: PM Narendra Modi

Author: Yuvi May 16, 2022 India-Nepal relations are unshakeable like Himalayas, says PM Modi; calls his visit 'a special one'

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (May 16, 2022) visited Nepal and said that India’s relations with its neighbors are “unshakeable” like the Himalayas. He called his visit on the occasion of Buddha Purnima “a special one” and said that India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship and their closeness will benefit the entire humanity in the emerging global situation.

Modi, who was on a day-long visit to the Himalayan nation at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba, made the remarks while addressing the International Buddhist Conference in Lumbini.

“India and Nepal’s ever-strengthening friendship and our closeness will benefit the entire humanity in the kind of global conditions that are emerging,” he said in his 20-minute special address.

My Nepal visit on Buddha Purnima has been a special one. I would like to thank PM @SherBDeuba, the wonderful people and Government of Nepal for the affection.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022

Prime Minister Modi, who attended the 2566th Buddha Jayanti Celebration at International Convention Center and Meditation Hall at Lumbini, was accompanied by his Nepalese counterpart Deuba and his spouse Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba.

As Prime Minister, it was Modi’s fifth visit to Nepal and first to Lumbini.

Modi said that India and Nepal relations are unshakeable like the Himalayas and added that both the countries will work towards solving global problems with Buddha’s ideologies.

“Buddha is the embodiment of the collective understanding of humanity,” he told the gathering of some 2,500 people that included monks, Buddhist scholars and international participants in Lumbini.

Connected by the noble thread of Buddhism, India and Nepal are deepening cooperation in many spheres.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022

The common heritage, common culture, common faith and shared love of India and Nepal is our biggest asset. The richer this capital is, the more effectively we can spread the message of Lord Buddha to the world.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022

Lumbini, located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal, is one of the holiest places of Buddhism, as Lord Buddha was born there.

The Indian prime minister said that the energy of the place where Lord Buddha was born, gives him a different feeling.

“I was happy to see that the Mahabodhi sapling I had gifted in 2014 for this place, is now growing into a tree,” he said.

“From Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar in India to Lumbini in Nepal, this holy place is a symbol of our common heritage and shared values. We have to develop this heritage together and enrich it further,” Modi said.

He said that the construction of the Lumbini Museum in Nepal is also an example of joint cooperation between the two countries.

On his part, Nepalese Prime Minister Deuba described India as a “close neighbor and a trusted friend.” Deuba said he had a “fruitful discussion” with Prime Minister Modi earlier and he was looking forward to developing Buddha Circuit involving Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar in India.

Upon arrival, both Prime Ministers visited the Mayadevi temple, within which lies the birthplace of Lord Buddha. At the temple, the Prime Ministers attended prayers conducted as per Buddhist rituals and made offerings.

The Prime Ministers also lit lamps and visited the historical Ashoka Pillar, which carries the first epigraphic evidence of Lumbini being the birthplace of Lord Buddha. They also watered the holy Bodhi tree that was brought as a gift by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nepal in 2014.

Both Prime Ministers also held a bilateral meeting, during which they followed up on their discussions held on April 2 in New Delhi.

Today’s meeting with PM @SherBDeuba was excellent. We discussed the full range of relations between India and Nepal. Key MoUs were signed which will diversify and deepen cooperation.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2022

“They discussed specific initiatives and ideas to further strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including culture, economy, trade, connectivity, energy, and development partnership. The two sides agreed in principle to establish sister-city relations between Lumbini and Kushinagar, which are among the holiest sites of Buddhism and reflect the shared Buddhist heritage between the two countries,” Prime Minister Modi’s office said in a statement.

(With agency inputs)

16 May, 2022, 8:15 pm

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