The Great Yawn | Nepali Times

To make a country great again, one prerequisite is that citizens must respect their leader.

The Chinese people hold President Xi Jinping in high regard, and his country is now a super-duper power. Or take Prime Minister Shree Modiji, it is because of the veneration of his citizens that he has been able to completely modify India. 

And then, the esteem which the DPRK people have for their Dear Leader Marshall Kim Jong-un is what has allowed North Korea to attain the pinnacle of progress and test its own hypersonic intercontinental missile. 

And here in Nepal, how do we treat our leader? We show disrespect for our prime minister, and run him down every chance we get. Like it or not, he is our Shree 5-time prime minister, so show uncle some respect even if he is not a rapper.


Take the Modi-Deuba get-together on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti on Monday. But on social media, Nepalis poured scorn at their own prime minister, poking fun at the way he sat, his enunciation, his gait, how he watered plastic flowers, and the way he yawned.

What most people do not know (and the following is a closely guarded military secret because of its vital importance to Nepal’s national security so don’t go blurting it to everyone in public) is that this was all an elaborate ruse. Prime Minister Deuba deserves the highest medal of valour in the land, if not the Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor Category. 

It was pre-planned that Arzoo was the decoy and Nepal’s Prime Minister would look bored with the entire proceeding so as to upstage Modiji with a better photo-op. It was a masterstroke in planning and execution on Deuba’s part, and we have to thank the PMO for briefing him so carefully to just be himself. 

Modi had also planned his optics meticulously so that he sat cross legged at Maya Devi Temple with hands folded in a reverent namaskar, eyes closed, and deep in meditation. But that was no match for Deuba’s posture, which was a hybrid between the sukhasana cross-legged yoga sitting position and a latrine squat. This was a well-calculated move on Deuba’s part to steal the spotlight from Modiji, and make him look like a grumpy old man.   

In other photographs of the event, Deuba is on the verge of dozing off, eyes glazed over and his mind elsewhere — probably on how to make Renu win again, if she loses once more. This is a deliberate defence tactic that a much smaller country uses to throw off the leader of a larger neighbour by not giving it the attention he thinks he deserves.

Body language is important in international relations, and passive-aggressive Deuba’s message was: “Who cares?”

But the coup de grâce (not to be mistaken for coup d’état) was The Great Yawn. With that one gesture, Deuba achieved the equivalent of the Gorkha conquest of Kumaon and Garhwal and allowed Nepalis to hold their head high once more, and show the world that we will not be pushed around.

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