And we thought the debate about where the Buddha was born was over. Not so for an Indian diplomat who recently visited Lumbini. Ashok Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy, told a gathering at Lumbini last week that "Siddhartha was born in Nepal, and the Buddha in India". Kumar's logic: Siddhartha attained Buddhahood in India, while he was physically born in Nepal. His thesis apparently didn't go down too well with those in the audience who took it as more example of Indian hegemony. Quipped one: "It's like saying Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in India, but Mahatma Gandhi was born in South Africa."
International conservation experts, based on excavation findings in Lumbini, have determined that the Buddha was born in Tilaurakot, Lumbini. Some Indian archaeologists, however, claim that he was born in Pipprahawa in India, about 600 yards south of the Nepal-India border and four miles from Tilaurakot.
Of course, Nepal and India in their current geopolitical configurations did not exist-two-and-a-half millennia ago, so it would seem this argument is an exercise in sophistry.