Responding to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s remark that Gautam Buddha was one of the two great Indians for people around the world, Nepal’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying that historical and archaeological evidence shows the founder of Buddhism was born in Nepalese territory.
A statement issued by the Nepal foreign ministry’s spokesperson said: “It is a well-established and undeniable fact proven by historical and archaeological evidences that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal. Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism, is one of the UNESCO world heritage site.”
It also noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during a visit to Nepal in 2014, acknowledged, “Nepal is the country where apostle of peace in the world, Buddha, was born”.
While addressing an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday, 6 August, EAM Jaishankar said Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi are the two “greatest Indians” who are cherished by people across the world.
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On Sunday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava clarified that Jaishankar’s comments referred to the shared Buddhist heritage of India and Nepal. He said Jaishankar’s remarks “at the CII event referred to our shared Buddhist heritage. There is no doubt that Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal.”