KATHMANDU, Oct 27: The government's decision to observe a public holiday during the upcoming Nepal visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has provoked a huge public outcry.
People in general have taken a strong exception to the government’s decision via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The general public has lashed out at the government’s decision saying that it is against the norms of the equidistance policy that Nepal has adopted for neighboring countries China and Nepal.
There has been a flurry of criticism against the public holiday on social media. Journalist Dipak Bhattarai writes, “In the past, public holidays would be announced during the kings' foreign visits.” We have already dethroned the monarchy. Does the recent announcement of public holiday by the Cabinet mean that we should keep the president of a neighboring country on an equal footing with the former monarchs?”
पहिले राजा बिदेश जाँदा/आउँदा बिदा हुन्थ्यो। आफ्ना राजा फालियो अब छिमेकी देशकै राष्ट्रपतिलाई राजा सरह मानौं भनेको हो मन्त्रीपरिषद्? वाहियात्। https://t.co/VSyHlT73Vy
Similarly, Narayan Gaunle has said that the decision has undermined our national integrity and independece. “What could be more disgraceful than this announcement when it comes to our national integrity, independence and sovereignty,” Gaunle writes on his Facebook wall.
Stating that India does not observe a public holiday when Nepali leaders visit the southern neighbor, many have pointed out that the government's decision is against the policy of reciprocity. Journalist Madhav Dhital writes, “Does China or India announce a public holiday when Nepal’s President goes there?"
भारत-चीनका राष्ट्रपति प्रमुख नेपाल आउँदा सार्वजनिक विदा! तर, नेपालका राष्ट्रपति भारत-चीन भ्रमणमा जाँदा त्यहाँ सार्वजनिक बिदा हुन्छ कि हुन्न।