Kathmandu, May 31,2023: The murals in the new Indian Parliament building, where some parts of Nepal were depicted, have invited controversy and opposition in Nepal.
During a parliamentary party meeting of CPN (Maoist Center) on Tuesday, some lawmakers have asked Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, famously known as ‘Prachanda’, to take up this matter with Indian authorities during his India visit scheduled to take place from Wednesday.
At the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prachanda is embarking on a four-day official visit (from Wednesday) to India where Prachanda and Modi are all set to meet at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday at Hyderabad House. Prachanda and Modi will sign some agreements, memorandum of understandings and inaugurate some projects remotely following the delegation level talks.
Some Maoist lawmakers had raised the issue of murals depicted in the new Indian Parliament building where some of the Nepali places like, Kapilvastu, Lumbini and Biratnagar were incorporated in the ancient civilizations of India which have been defended by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
“I will discuss this issue with Indian officials, I have read this in the news and will solicit Indian views,” Prachanda told his party lawmakers. Some lawmakers said that since this issue has become controversial inside India, its authenticity is yet to be established.
It was opposition party leader KP Oli who prominently raised the issue on Tuesday. The Prime Minister should take up and clear this (murals) issue during his India visit, Oli said during a function at party headquarters.
“It is unfair to hang or keep the murals in the Parliament where Nepali territory is incorporated. We have heard that some places of Nepal are carved in wooden murals and depicted in the Indian Parliament, which is objectionable,” said Oli.
RSS, the sister organisation of ruling BJP, has clarified that it is a cultural concept of ancient Akhand Bharat and in the present context it is seen as cultural context not as political one given the partition of India on religious lines at the time of Independence.
“If a country like India, which is said to be an old, strong, champion of democracy, puts the land of Nepal in its map and places it like Parliament, then it cannot be called fair,” Oli said, adding that the Prime Minister should take up this matter with India.
The Prime Minister is going for an India visit from tomorrow, Oli said, if he cannot take up and resolve the matter, why is he going then?
Leaders from other political parties have also raised this issue in Nepal.
Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said, the controversial mural of ‘Akhand Bharat’ in the recently inaugurated new Parliament building of India may stoke unnecessary and harmful diplomatic row in the neighbourhood including Nepal.
“It has the potential of further aggravating the trust deficit already vitiating the bilateral relations between most of the immediate neighbours of India. It would be prudent for Indian political leadership to unravel and communicate in time the real intent and ramification of this mural episode,” the former Maoist leader wrote on Twitter.