Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai questions Indian intention behind ‘Akhand Bharat’ mural

According to him, the 'Akhand Bharat' mural in the new Indian parliament building which shows Nepal's Lumbini as part of India could stoke unnecessary and harmful diplomatic row in Nepal.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has raised question about the intention of the Indian government over the Akhand Bharat mural in the new Indian parliament building, saying this could potentially stoke unnecessary and harmful diplomatic row in India’s neighborhood including Nepal. “The controversial mural of ‘Akhand Bharat’ in the recently inaugurated new Parliament building of India may stoke unnecessary and harmful diplomatic row in the neighborhood including Nepal,” Bhattarai wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “It has the potential of further aggravating the trust deficit already vitiating the bilateral relations between most of the immediate neighbors of India.”

The former Nepal prime minister has also asked the government of India to communicate the real intent behind the move. “It would be prudent for Indian political leadership to unravel and communicate in time the real intent and ramification of this mural episode,” he wrote.

The ‘Akhand Bharat’ mural shows in it Nepal’s Lumbini as part of India.

Akhand Bharat is claimed to be a “cultural concept” of India’s Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a rightwing Hindu nationalist organization.

“Our idea was to depict the influence of Indian thought during the ancient ages. It extended from the present day Afghanistan in the northwestern region to south-eastern Asia,” Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art of India, has been quoted by The Hindu as saying. “According to the RSS, the Akhand Bharat concept refers to the undivided India whose geographical expanse was very wide in ancient times — present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand,” The Hindu reported adding “However, the RSS now maintains that the Akhand Bharat concept, in the present times, should be seen in the cultural context and not political given the partition of India on religious lines at the time of Independence.”