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Nepal’s Prime Minister urges India to lift economic blockade

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Kathmandu: Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has called on India to lift “unofficial blockade” in Nepal as soon as possible.

In his televised address on Sunday to the nation, the premier, who assumed office as the head of the government on October 11, explicitly mentioned that Nepali people have been undergoing through a hard time due to blockade imposed by India.

“It is unthinkable that a sovereign nation faces such an inhumane and severe pain, misery and blockade in the 21st century for having a Constitution with a progressive, pro-people and democratic contents through an elected Constituent Assembly with people’s overwhelming participation and democratic franchise,” Prime Minister Oli said, Xinhua reported.

The Nepali prime minister’s remark has come at a time when Nepali people have been reeling under acute shortage of fuel and basic commodities due to an Indian embargo after the Nepal adopted democratic constitution on September 20.

This was the first time Nepali prime minister categorically pointed out Indian economic blockade in the Himalayan nation, though the Indian has been denying any embargo against Nepal.

The Indian government has cited security reasons behind the obstruction of fuel and basic commodities supply to Nepal due to ongoing agitation against the new constitution by Nepal’s Madhesi parties at the India-Nepal border.

“Nepal is passing through a serious humanitarian crisis, which should not happen even during the wars. The blockade imposed by our southern neighbor has underestimated the feeling of the Nepali and Indian people. Imposing a blockade to a landlocked nation is a breach of international treaties, norms, and values,” the prime minister said.

He said that Nepal wants to have relations with its neighbors on the basis of the principles of Panchsheel.

Stating that the government was making all efforts to address genuine concerns of agitating Madhesi parties, Prime Minister Oli remarked that the government is ready to review the demarcation of federal state borders which has been a key demand of the agitating parties.

“The newly promulgated constitution is not discriminatory to any sections of people including the Madhesi. It has addressed the aspirations of all people. As the constitution is a dynamic document, it can be amended several times. I would like to urge Madhesi parties to end the ongoing agitation,” the prime minister added.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s talks between the agitating Madhesi parties and the government has failed to reach any conclusion, officials told Xinhua.

(IANS)

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Ancient Hindu Temple Changu Narayan in Nepal Possesses Historical Significance

Changu Narayan is a sacred Hindu temple in Nepal and was built in the memory of Lord Vishnu

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Changu Narayan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Nepal. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple in Nepal
  • It is based on a high hilltop know was Changu or Dolagiri
  • It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has an interesting tale behind it

New Delhi, July 14, 2017: The ancient Hindu temple Changu Narayan is situated on the top of a high hill well known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple had a neighboring forest of champak tree and a small village called Changu and is situated in Bhaktapur District, Nepal.

The hill is about 7 miles or 12 km east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. This holy place “changu narayan Temple” is devoted to Lord Vishnu and held in admiration by the people of Hindu religion. Changu Narayan is believed to be the oldest temple in Nepal’s history. Bhaktapur king established kingdoms in Kashmir and kept it as Hindu kingdom.

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“changu narayan Temple” has a very intriguing story behind its existence. In old times, a Gwala, a cow herder, was given a cow by a Brahmin whose name was Sudarshan. The cow was believed to produce milk in large quantities. The cow herder used to take the cow for grazing to Change, which was a Champak trees forest that time. The cow was always found under a particular tree’s shade while grazing. In the evening, when the Gwala started milking the cow at his house, he received only a negligible quantity of milk. This continued for a number of days. He was disappointed and told the Brahmin about the cow not giving enough quantity of milk. After seeing this incident with his eyes, Sudarshan agreed and they decided that they should examine the cow while her grazing activity was being undertaken.

Changu Narayan Temple, east side, with the griffin (stone sculpture) left at the entrance. Source: Wikimedia

Both of them hid behind the trees and observed the cow. They noticed that a small black boy who had come out of the tree started feeding himself with the milk. This infuriated the two men as they thought of the boy as a demon and the tree as its home.

So the champak tree was cut down by the Brahmin. While he was doing this, he saw human blood come out of the champak tree. Both Brahmin and Gwala presumed they had done a crime and started crying.

Lord Vishnu suddenly emerged and told the Gwala and Brahmin, the mistake was not theirs and began narrating the story of him committing a crime by unknowingly murdering Sudarshan’s father while forest hunting. Afterward, he was cursed and he wandered on his mouth, as ‘Garuda’ descending on the Changu hill where he survived on stolen milk. The cutting down of the tree by Brahmin beheaded Vishnu and freed him from his sins.

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Following this incident, Brahmin and Gwala started worshiping that place and built a small temple of Lord Vishnu. That place has been considered sacred ever since. Even today, Sudarshan’s descendant is one of the priest of that temple and the Gwala’s descendants as conservators.

People belonging to Newar community reside in and around the area of Changu Narayan. Due to tourism development in this area, we can locate many hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants etc.

However, this holy temple “changu narayan” faces a lot of challenges and threats. The Manohara stream has witnessed rampant mining of sand and stones. The local administration has failed to cut down the mining activities. Due to these mining activities, the temple area has become prone to landslides. Because of overgrazing in the nearby forest, the chances of soil erosion and landslide have become very high.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025