14:26 GMT +321 October 2018
Listen Live
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the audience as he prepares to deliver the 37th Singapore Lecture Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

    Indian PM Modi to Participate in Nepal’s Traditional Hindu Procession

    © AP Photo / Wong Maye-E
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    0 50

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to underline the connection between India and Nepal through the Hindu mythological epic Ramayan - the story of Lord Ram - are believed to be directed at his domestic constituency, considering how close the general elections are.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend a traditional religious procession in the neighboring country of Nepal this year. The procession, slated for December 12, is an annual extravaganza that marks the wedding anniversary of the Hindu mythological characters of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.

    "It's not final yet if the Indian PM will come for the inauguration but discussions are going on about a possible visit," Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali was quoted by the Kathmandu Post.

    However, an Indian official confirmed the news and said that Nepal has been asked to expedite work on the Janakpur-Jayanagar railway track, which will also be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit.

    The procession will start from Ayodhya in India's Uttar Pradesh- the birthplace of Lord Ram — and will culminate in Nepal's Janakpur to which Goddess Sita belonged, according to the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana.  

    READ MORE: Nepal Needs Both India and China for Speedy Development – Senior Fellow

    "Without Nepal, India's faith is incomplete. Without Nepal, India's history is incomplete. Without Nepal, India's dhams (temples) are incomplete. Without Nepal, our Ram is incomplete," the Indian prime minister said in May this year, after flagging off the bus between Ayodhya and Janakpur. 

    ​The timing of Narendra Modi's fifth visit to Nepal is highly significant as it will fall a few months ahead of India's general elections. By taking part in the symbolic wedding procession of Lord Ram, Modi expects to garner the support of millions of voters in the country's most populated states, like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal that not only share a border with Nepal, but have deep religious and cultural connections with the Himalayan nation.

    It is noteworthy that Ayodhya became synonymous with communal strife in 1992 when hardline Hindus brought down the 15th-century Babri mosque, as they believed that the Muslim emperor had built the mosque on the foundation of the temple of Lord Ram. India's ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in its manifesto ahead of the 2014 polls promised the people of India that they would build a soaring sandstone temple where the mosque once stood.

    READ MORE: China Opens Seven Ports for Nepal to Bypass India in International Trade

    Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the powerful Hindu nationalist outfit Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), only last week, had pitched for the early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. RSS is the parent organization of the governing BJP and it is believed that the right-wing, non-political organization has a greater say in the decisions of the Narendra Modi administration.

    However, the issue of whether or not a temple should be constructed at the site of the demolished mosque is pending before the apex court of India. In 2010, a lower court had divided the disputed land in Ayodhya between the Hindus and the Muslim parties. The decision was rejected by both parties and hence, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court of India to revisit the case. 

    Related:

    India’s Anti-Pakistan Diplomacy Goes Awry; Nepal, Thailand Skip Military Drill
    Setback for Nepal, Bhutan as India Says It Won't Take Back Demonetized Currency
    Maoist Election Victory in Nepal Could Signal Pivot from India to China
    India, China Keep Fingers Crossed as Nepal Elects First Democratic Government
    Tags:
    domestic affairs, Hindus, religious beliefs, temple, election, Narendra Modi, India, Nepal
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment