New Delhi: After Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Monday triggered a raging controversy by reportedly claiming that the “real” Ayodhya lies in Nepal and not in India and that Lord Rama was born in Thori in southern Nepal, the Nepalese Government seemed to swing into damage-control mode on Tuesday, saying Mr. Oli did not intend to hurt the feelings or sentiments of anyone by his remarks. Saying its attention was drawn to various “interpretations” of the remarks, Nepal said its Prime Minister also did not mean to “debase” the significance of Ayodhya or its cultural value.
It may be recalled that under the Communist leadership of Mr. Oli in Nepal who is seen to be deeply anti-India and pro-China, ties between the two neighbours have plunged sharply in the past few weeks after Nepal adopted its new controversial map that shows Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh -- territory in India’s Uttarakhand State -- as part of Nepal.
Stating that Mr. Oli’s remarks on Ayodhya were not linked to any “political subject”, the Nepalese Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying Mr. Oli was “simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research” of the “vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents” to obtain facts about Lord Rama and the Ramayana as there have been “several myths and references” about the Prince of Ayodhya and the places associated with him.
The Nepalese PM had been quoted as saying, in his controversial remarks on Monday, “Although the real Ayodhya lies at Thori in the west of Birgunj, India has claimed the Indian site as the birthplace of Lord Ram. ... Actually, Ayodhya is a village lying west of Birgunj ... The place called Thori, near Birgunj is the real Ayodhya, where Lord Ram was born. In India there is great dispute on Ayodhya. But, there is no dispute in our Ayodhya.”
The Nepalese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the Ramayana circuit launched by the leadership of the two countries two years ago “signifies the bond of time-honoured cultural affinity between our two countries and peoples”.
The Nepalese PM had made his controversial remarks during the 207th birth anniversary celebrations of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, the “author of the Ramayana in the Nepali language”....