Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that Ayodhya, the ancient city believed by millions of Hindus to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, is actually a small village near Kathmandu. Nepal PM Oli’s remarks claiming Lord Ram’s ancestry originated from Nepal and not Indian Ayodhya is another chapter in the rapidly deteriorating relations between the two countries. In doing so, Nepal’s PM has weakened India’s stance on the Babri Masjid demolition, and has added credibility to Pakistan’s narrative.
According to The Hindu, Oli also claimed that the Lord Ram was born in Thori in southern Nepal.
Nepal PM statement on Ayodhya
Speaking at an event on the birth anniversary of Nepalese poet Bhanubhakta at the Prime Minister’s residence in Kathmandu, Oli said that Nepal “has become a victim of cultural encroachment and its history has been manipulated”.
“Although the real Ayodhya lies at Thori in the west of Birgunj, India has claimed the Indian site as the birthplace of Lord Ram,” he said.
Real Ayodhya lies in Nepal, not in India. Lord Ram is Nepali not Indian: Nepali media quotes Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli (file pic) pic.twitter.com/k3CcN8jjGV
— ANI (@ANI) July 13, 2020
“We also believe that deity Sita got married to Prince Ram of India. Actually, Ayodhya is a village lying west of Birgunj,” he said, adding that the marriage between bride and bridegroom at such a distance was not possible at the time when there was no communication and transportation system.
“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,” Prime Minister Oli was quoted as saying by his press adviser Surya Thapa.
PM Oli’s claims as both the countries have been at loggerheads over a revised map which was passed Nepal’s upper house of parliament last month, including land controlled by India.
India, which controls the region – a slice of land including the Limpiyadhura, Lipulkeh and Kalapani areas to the west of Nepal – has rejected the map, saying it was not based on historical facts or evidence.
The last prince of Dogra dynasty and former minister Karan Singh condemned the statement of Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli, who claimed that “the birthplace of Bhagwan Ram is in Nepal”, and not in India’s Ayodhya.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the former Member Parliament said, “The bizarre statement by Prime Minister Oli that Sri Ram was in fact born in a village in East Nepal and that our Ayodhya is only an artificial concept created by India is indeed mind-boggling. This outrageous statement will have hurt the sentiments of a billion Hindus living not only in India and Nepal but around the world.”
Muslims and Hindus at conflict over Ayodhya
This Indian site which is claimed to be the birthplace of Ram is in fact where the Babri Mosque was, before it was demolished and a Hindu temple ordered to be built.
Pakistan in May condemned the commencement of construction of a Hindu temple at the site of the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, in neighboring India following a controversial ruling by the Indian Supreme Court in November.
The government of India’s Uttar Pradesh state announced the construction of the Ram temple at the site of the historic Babri Mosque which began in May.
“While the world is grappling with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the RSS-BJP combine in India is busy unabashedly advancing the ‘Hindutva’ agenda. The commencement of construction of a Mandir [temple] at the site of the historic Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on May 26 is another step in this direction and the government and people of Pakistan condemn it in the strongest terms,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
While 🌎 is grappling with unprecedented #COVID19, RSS-BJP combine is busy unabashedly advancing “Hindutva” agenda. The commencement of construction of a Mandir at the site of Babri Masjid is another step in this direction & Govt & people of 🇵🇰 condemn it in the strongest terms. pic.twitter.com/1V4iWW7tvi
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) May 27, 2020
The commencement of the temple’s construction, the statement said, was a sequel to the Indian top court’s “controversial” decision, which completely failed to uphold the demands of justice.
The Babri Mosque was demolished by hardline Hindu mobs in 1992. Prominent BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders like L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti are accused of criminal conspiracy leading to the demolition of the 16th century Babri mosque by kar sevaks in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
The Indian Supreme Court last November handed the site of the historic mosque to Hindus, for the construction of a Hindu temple at Babri Mosque site, following a prolonged legal battle.
The court also ruled that a “suitable” 20,234-square-meter (five-acre) plot of land would be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board either by the central government or provincial government to build a new mosque.
However, now that the PM of Nepal has explained how Lord Ram was actually Nepali and not born in India like it is claimed, the allotting of the land in Ayodhya to build his temple and demolish Babri Mosque seems unjustified.
News Desk with additional input from other sources