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Lord Ram was born in Nepal, Oli sparks a controversy

“Oli Ji should know that Nepal has also been a part of Aryavarta (India) in the past," UP Dy CM remarked. The Nepalese Foreign Ministry later clarified that the PM was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents.

KATHMANDU, July 14: Nepal's Prime Minister KP Oli has raised a controversy by stating that Lord Ram of Hindu mythology was born in Nepal. Speaking at an event on the birth anniversary of Nepalese poet Bhanubhakta at the Prime Minister’s residence here, he said Nepal “has become a victim of cultural encroachment and its history has been manipulated.”

Bhanubhakta was born in 1814 in Tanhu of western Nepal. He translated Valmiki’s Ramayan into Nepali language. He died in 1868.

“Although real Ayodhya lies at Thori, a city in the west of Birgunj, India has claimed that Lord Ram was born there. Due to these continuous claims even we have believed that deity Sita got married to Prince Ram of India. However, in reality, Ayodhya is a village lying west of Birgunj,” Oli said.

As Dasharath was the ruler of Nepal, it is natural that his son Ram was also born in Nepal, Oli said. Valmiki Ashram is also in Nepal and the holy place where King Dasharath had executed the rites to get the son is in Ridi, which is in Nepal, he added.

Reacting to Oli's statement, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said it shows his “mental bankruptcy”. “Oli Ji should know that Nepal has also been a part of Aryavarta (India) in the past,” he remarked.

Former Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai called Oli's thinking was unhealthy. "Mr KP Oli's words and deeds are pushing the limits," he said.

“As there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him, the PM was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents, to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization,” the Nepal Foreign Ministry clarified on Tuesday.

Currently under intra-party pressure to resign, Oli suspects India's hand in the demand. Indo-Nepal relations soured after the opening of Lipulekh pass- Dharchula road in Uttarakhand in May. Nepal claimed its territory was taken to build the road. Recently, Nepal brought up a constitutional amendment to claim Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh of Uttarakhand as its territory.

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