A day after Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli made controversial claims about Lord Ram’s birthplace, the country’s foreign ministry Tuesday stated that the comment was “not meant to debase the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears”.
Speaking at an event on Monday, Oli had said Ayodhya was an area west of Birgunj, a town bordering Bihar. “We have been culturally deceived, as India has distorted facts. Sita was not given in marriage to an Indian prince,” he said, insisting that Ayodhya in Faizabad district of UP was a later-day creation of India, and not the real ancient kingdom of Ram.
Oli also claimed that pandits who performed the ‘putresti yagna’ for King Dashrath were from Ridi area, in Nepal.
In its three-point clarification, the Nepal Foreign Ministry said the remarks made by Oli were “not linked to any political subject” and have no intention at all to hurt the feeling and sentiment of anyone.
“As there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him, the Prime Minister was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilisation,” the statement said.
“The remarks were not meant to debasing the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears,” it added.
Oli’s remark has received backlash from Hindu organisations in India. In a statement, Vishva Hindu Parishad Tuesday said it seemed Oli had given the statement under the pressure of a foreign power.
“It’s an unsuccessful attempt to break the unbreakable ties between the religious Hindu communities of both countries. His statement probably cannot be relied upon – by anybody except himself,” VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said in the statement.
Ayodhya is one & well known to the world: Alok kumar, VHP pic.twitter.com/7Hv7aHraOf
— Vishva Hindu Parishad -VHP (@VHPDigital) July 14, 2020
Oli and his Communist Party of Nepal were recently engaged in a border row with India over areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura. The country’s Parliament unanimously cleared a constitution amendment Bill on June 18, endorsing its new map that includes territories within India.
Oli has also accused New Delhi of hatching a conspiracy with his Communist Party co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to topple his government.
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