Ramdev a cultural bridge between India, Nepal: Nepal PM

Updated - March 31, 2010 07:38 pm IST

Published - March 31, 2010 07:30 pm IST - Dhulikhel (Nepal)

Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal welcomed by Yoga guru Swami Ramdev for the inauguration of the Patanjali Yog Peeth at Dhulikhel. Photo: PTI

Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal welcomed by Yoga guru Swami Ramdev for the inauguration of the Patanjali Yog Peeth at Dhulikhel. Photo: PTI

Yoga guru Ramdev is a symbol of friendship between Nepal and India because he is using Indian yoga to bridge the divide between the two nations, Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said here Wednesday.

“Yoga guru Ramdev is a symbol of friendship between the two South Asian countries. He is bridging the divide between Indian and Nepal and helping the historical ties scale new heights with spiritual and cultural exchange through yoga and ayurveda,” Mr. Nepal told a packed gathering at Dhulikhel, 35 km from the capital city of Kathmandu, where he arrived in the morning to inaugurate a new Patanjali Yog Peeth centre.

The centre - a sprawling retreat on the slopes of the Himalayas - will act an Indian yoga centre and ayurveda research institute in the region rich in medicinal herbs.

“He has taken yoga to remote villages in the country where people had not heard about it earlier. Traditional yoga not only improves health and lifestyle but also fosters a positive outlook towards one's own country and the world at large,” he said.

Responding to the Yoga guru’s campaign against fizzy drinks and junk food in Nepal schools - like his campaign in India, the prime minister said he would try to “regulate sale of harmful foodstuff in schools across the country and introduce yoga”.

School canteens across Nepal have already stopped sale of fizzy drinks and junk food.

Though the government has not yet issued an official diktat, it favours regulation of hazardous food stuff and carbonated beverages in school.

“I call upon the people of the country to change their dietary patterns to promote better lifestyles,” he said.

The prime minister said he will carry the science of ayurveda forward. “We have recognised ayurveda as an established alternative therapy,” he said.

Yoga guru Ramdev, who accompanied the prime minister, clarified to the local media in Nepal that “he was not interfering in bilateral issues between India and Nepal”.

“Contrary to reports in the media that I had conferred with a certain political party and taken it into confidence before visiting Nepal, this visit was not politically motivated. I have no intention of interfering in bilateral political issues between India and Nepal. This is purely a spiritual trip meant to promote peace and amity for a prosperous Nepal,” he said.

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