Nepal, India foreign ministries clarify over Indian external affairs minister’s remarks on BuddhaS Jaishankar had told a virtual meeting recently that Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi ‘are the two greatest Indians the world remembers’.
Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and India’s Ministry of External Affairs have issued official responses regarding the recent controversial statement made by the Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Gautam Buddha.
The Indian minister, while addressing an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry as part of its “India@75 Summit” on Saturday, had said that Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi were the two greatest Indians the world remembers.
In response to Jaishankar’s remarks, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Sunday, saying that the birthplace of Buddha “remains beyond doubt and controversy and thus cannot be a subject of debate”.
“It is a well-established and undeniable fact proven by historical and archaeological evidence that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal,” read the statement. “Lumbini, the Birthplace of Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism, is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.”
The statement also pointed out Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the parliament, during his official visit to Nepal in 2014, where he had acknowledged Nepal as the birthplace of Buddha.
After India’s external affairs minister was dragged into controversy over his Buddha remarks, Anurag Shrivastava, the official spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, issued a statement saying that the minister’s remarks referred to the shared Buddhist heritage [between Nepal and India].
“There is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal,” read the brief statement posted on the official website of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.