KATHMANDU, Nepal- There is no doubt that Lord Buddha, the propounder of Buddhism, was born in 623 B.C. in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the plains of southern Nepal. An inscription on a pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C. testifies to it. However, Nepalis and the followers Buddhism were stunned time and again by different sector people, even high profile ones, saying that Buddha was born in India.
In April this year, News24 Television aired a TV talk-show with a television presenter Rabi Lamichhane setting a new world record by hosting the show for more than 62 hours at a stretch. It was based on the theme ‘Buddha was born in Nepal’.
The show hoped to end recurring false claims about birthplace of the founder of Buddhism. But as it became evident last week it seemed to have failed in its mission.
On Sunday, September 08, 2013 the inaugural episode of India’s Zee TV’s magnum opus ‘Buddha’ was blocked by cable operators across Nepal for fears of hurting sentiments of millions of Nepalis. According to Cable Operators’ Association, the move as a way to prevent possible unrest in the country, which is predominantly Hindu but proud of its Buddhist heritage.
Though it is an acknowledged fact that Buddha was born at Lumbini in Nepal, as the channel mentioned on its website that “he is counted amongst the most important personalities to have been born in the recorded history of India”.
This is not the first time such false claims have been made about Buddha’s birthplace. Three years ago noted Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria raised a storm by mentioning in his book ‘The Post American World’ that Buddha was born in India.
The Indian government doesn’t make any claim on Buddha’s birth in India. But few history textbooks in India making such assertion on several occasions has led many in Nepal to believe that there could be an Indian design to usurp Buddha’s legacy from its smaller neighbor.
India’s denials don’t seem to have much effect when eminent and educated personalities make such false claims. On Monday Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit became the latest entrant to the list.
“India has been fortunate that he (Buddha) was born here,” Press Trust of India quoted her as stating while addressing the First Founding Members Conclave of International Buddhist Confederation in New Delhi.
Such falsehoods keep getting perpetrated despite UNESCO clearly stating “Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini located in the Terai plains of southern Nepal.”
“We are fed up granting them apology time and again. Now we need concrete commitment from Indian side that such mistake will not be repeated,” said a participant of the youth rally took out in protest of the same in on Saturday, adding that the Nepali government, too, needs to act tough on this sensitive matter.
“We are fed up granting them apology time and again. Now we need concrete commitment from Indian side that such mistake will not be repeated,” said a participant of the youth rally took out in protest of the same in on Saturday, adding that the Nepali government, too, needs to act tough on this sensitive matter. The participants were furious that the Indians always repeat the falsified information about the birthplace of Buddha and ask for apology thereby.
The central bank of Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.
It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India.