NATIONAL

Claim on Buddha's birthplace to be examined

BHUBANESWAR NOV. 13. The Orissa Government will have the Utkal University of Culture examine a Kolkata scholar's claim that Kapileswar, near here, and not Kapilavastu in Nepal was the birthplace of the Buddha.

At a press conference here today, the State Culture Minister, Damodar Rout, said if the scholar, Satyakam Sengupta's claim was found true, then the State Government would ask the Centre to conduct excavations in and around Kapileswar.

Mr. Sengupta, who was also present, said several factors had led him to conclude that the Buddha was born in Kapileswar village. While an Asokan pillar found in the village said "Buddha was born here", a pillar found at Kapilavastu said "Buddha was here". Also, Buddha's teachings were in the Pali language, which was spoken in Orissa and not in Nepal.

According to him, there was also enough evidence to show that poet Jayadev, who composed the "Gitagovinda", was born in Kenduli village in the Prachi valley in Orissa and not in Kenduli in Birbhum district of West Bengal.