London, Jan. 19 (PTI): Nepal refuses to honour Tenzing Norgay posthumously for accepting Indian citizenship.
“There is a problem. Declaring him a national hero is difficult,” Ganesh Karki, an official at Nepal’s tourism ministry, told The Observer.
Campaigners led by the Nepal Mountaineering Association want Tenzing to be made a Rastriya Vibhuti, an honour given posthumously to Nepal residents. Though Tenzing planted a Nepalese flag on the Everest, Nepal argues that he spent most of his life in India and acquired Indian citizenship.
Tenzing grew up in Nepal, but in his early teens, he found work as a porter in Darjeeling on British expeditions to the Himalayas.
Kathmandu bestowed Tenzing the Nepal Tara (Star of Nepal) medal after he conquered Everest with Hillary on May 29, 1953. But he subsequently accepted an Indian passport from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to be able to travel to England.
Tenzing, who ran a successful mountaineering school in Darjeeling, died there in 1986.