At the time when the Indian President Pranab Mukharjee visited Nepal, five months ago, the Nepali superstar, Rajesh Hamal had written the following status:
“The head of the present Nepal government who ironically, once upon a time propagated the concept of ‘New Nepal’ has in course of time shaken the very foundation of being Nepali. The protocol amongst sovereign states should be on a reciprocal basis…”
The President of Nepal visited India on April 17, 2017. While Pranab Mukharjee was welcomed by the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and a lot of top level officials in Nepal, India’s reciprocal was really disappointing.
In the beginning there was nobody to welcome the president of Nepal at the airport. Nepali ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhaya welcomed the president when she got out of the airplane. The Indian government didn’t sent any high level officials but a deputy minister of the ministry unrelated to Nepal was sent to receive Bhandari. Krishna Raj, the deputy ministry of Women and Children Ministry, welcomed Bhandari.
A video report about the statement of Rajesh Hamal:
Pranab Mukharjee’s Nepal visit
On Nov 2, 2016 Indian President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Kathmandu on a three-day state visit of Nepal. He arrived in an Indian Air Force plane carrying 60-member delegation. The President Bhandari received Mukherjee at the VVIP lounge at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
The high level Nepali official to welcome Mukherjee were Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Urban Development Arjun Narsingh KC, political leaders and Nepalese Army high-ranking officers. In addition to that, senior officials at the Office of the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present at the welcome ceremony.
That was not all, a contingent of Nepalese Army also offered a guard of honour to the Indian President along with 21-gun salute. After the special welcome ceremony held at the airport, the President Bhandari also boarded in the same limousine to the President’s Office, Shital Niwas.
In addition to a huge welcome, the government also announced a public holiday in honour of the visiting Indian President.
Bidhya Devi Bhandari India Visit
Nobody was there to welcome Bidhya Devi Bhandari. So, the ambassador of Nepal had to welcome her.
Later, a deputy minister of unrelated ministry shook hands.
I hope, the sovereign states reciprocating protocol wasn’t broken!
State visits to India in the past
The states visits to India in the time of royalty in Nepal used to be quite different. For example, during the state visit of then-King Birendra, both the President of India and the Prime Minister of India were present at the airport to welcome him.
It is to be noted, Bidhya Devi deserves the same level of respect by the Indian government because, she is the head of the state, just like King Birendra at that time.
And now, the quiz time ! Find the difference: