Saying he has come not as a Prime Minister but as the chief pilgrim, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering at the Janakpur city of Nepal this afternoon after inaugurating historic Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service. Modi, who is on two-day visit to Nepal, inaugurated the bus service along with his counterpart KP Sharma Oli.
Announcing Rs 100 crore package to develop Janakpur, the city which assumes religious significance for Hindus, Modi assured Nepal that it is at the top of India’s Neighbourhood First policy. Janakpur is believed to be the birth place of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama.
Briefly speaking in Nepali and Maithili, he read out a verse from sacred text Ramcharitmanas which says ‘one cannot remain isolated from the suffering of a friend and a true friend always helps his friend in the time of suffering.’
“Whenever there has been a problem, India and Nepal have stood together. We have been there for each other in the most difficult of times,” said Modi.
Modi, who earlier with his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya – the two sacred cities for Hindus, said he was happy to link Janakpur with Ramayan Circuit.
“This circuit will develop religious tourism. It also will strengthen connectivity between the two nations,” Modi said.
He also announced that two other circuits will also be developed for the promotion of the areas related to Buddhism and Jain religion in both Nepal and India, which will be instrumental in generating employment for the youths.
Modi, who landed in Nepal this morning, offered special prayers at the famed 20th century Janaki temple.
“Nepal and India relations were started during the rule of King Janak in Treta Yuga and the bondage built by Sita during the period is still strong. It is this bondage which attracts people from Rameswaram to Pashupatinath, people from Lumbini to Bodhgaya and I was also attracted with the same bondage,” he said.
He said Nepal and India not only share border, aspirations, dreams and destination, but their happiness and challenge are also same.
“Nepal is the land of great sages like Yagyavalkya, Astavakra, Gargi, who used to debate on theology and social issues in the palace of King Janak,” he said, adding that Nepal has become the centre of spiritualism and philosophy.
He also said that India will build a railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu to facilitate people-to-people contact and movement of goods.
(With inputs from PTI)