16 October 2016: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or one of his staff anyway, has tried a tweet in Nepali language to welcome the prime minister of Nepal, a country where his popularity initially climbed to the top of Mt Everest and then fell through Terai in the wake of a recent blockade on the landlocked country.
Welcoming Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), Mr Modi tweeted yesterday, “प्रधानमंत्री पुष्पकमल दाहाल प्रचण्डलाइ भारतमा न्यानो स्वागत गरदा । उनको भ्रमणले भारत-नेपाल सम्बन्ध अझ मज़बूत बनाऊनेछ ।”
Another tweet from him did the translation for those who did not understand Nepali, “Wishing PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ a warm welcome to India. His visit will further strengthen India-Nepal ties.”
प्रधानमंत्री पुष्पकमल दाहाल प्रचण्डलाइ भारतमा न्यानो स्वागत गरदा । उनको भ्रमणले भारत-नेपाल सम्बन्ध अझ मज़बूत बनाऊनेछ । @BRICS2016
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 15, 2016
Gajendra Budhathoki, a Kathmandu-based Journalist with Disability who writes on Economic Development, was quick to react to the tweet. Using his trademark humour, Mr Neupane said the effects of the recent “blockade” were still fresh in the minds of Nepalese people. Referring to Mr Modi as chachaji (Hindi for “uncle”), he sarcastically added, “(Your) Veggies did not sell this time.”
— Gajendra Budhathoki (@gbudhathoki) October 15, 2016
Not all were unhappy with Narendra Modi’s happy tweet. Kiran Adhikari, for one, had three words to welcome Mr Modi’s welcome note, “I am happy.”
— Kiran Adhikari (@keeepram) October 15, 2016
Another Twitter-user appeared to hope that the tweet was a harbinger of a renewed Nepal-India relationship. The welcome being accorded to PM Prachanda would further strengthen the ties between the two South Asian neighbours, SP’G tweeted.
@narendramodi प्रधानमंत्री पुष्पकमल दाहाल प्रचण्डलाई भारतमा न्यानो स्वागत गर्दै, उहाँको भ्रमणले भारत-नेपाल सम्बन्ध अझ सुदृढ हुनेछ
ये ठीक है
— SP’G (@SP_5120) October 15, 2016
Nepali is not the only non-English language Mr Modi has tweeted in as he welcomed various heads of states to the BRICS Summit being held in Goa.
The BRICS discussions are expected to focus on increasing intra-BRICS trade and cooperation.