Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat attends Nepal Army Day celebrations
In previous years, the Nepal Army Day celebrations used to take place in the daylight, but this year, the people of Kathmandu had to wait till evening to witness the celebration. The Nepal army organised its 225th year of celebration and had made vigorous preparations over the time to showcase the activities in the dark with the use of various lighting techniques.
Along with the shifting of the time for the celebrations to evening, the Nepal Army invited the Army Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat this year, who was one amongst the chief guests of the occasion. “There has been a close and cordial relation between Nepal Army and the Indian Army since a long time and there is a tradition of inviting chiefs of Nepali and Indian Army during the special occasions,” a statement from the Nepal Army ahead of General Rawat’s arrival in Kathmandu on Monday said.
The Tuesday celebrations, which was held in Tundhikhel in central Kathmandu, showcased a band performance from Nepali and Indian Army teams. The event also had the dramatic representation of the unification story of Nepal led by then King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who took the initiative to unify Nepal as one. The Nepal Army Day celebrations concluded with the fireworks display. Though the Nepal Army claimed of the timely presence of the military officials in such events, no official records are found about such tradition. Hence, General Rawat is regarded as the first Head of the Army to be the guest of honour in Nepal Army Day.
General Rawat who arrived in Kathmandu late on Monday at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Rajendra Chhetri, made a courtesy call on him on Tuesday. He is expected to meet Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday. Nepal and India have the unique tradition of conferring the Head of the Army Staff of both countries with the honorary title of the Army after another Chief of Army Staff takes over the office.
General Rawat, who assumed the office last year came to Nepal to receive the title of Honour of Nepal Army last year. India, who also is the biggest arms exporter for Nepal relies on it for all its military equipments and ammunitions with a treaty signed half century before. In 2014, Nepal finalised the deal to import arms from India.