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Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria Apologised Tactfully

Posted by worldamity on January 27, 2010

In response to an email by, the author of controversial book “THE POST-AMERICAN  WORLD” and the editor of Newsweek,  Fareed Zakaria apologized, but not whole heartily, for what he mentioned in page 154 of his book.

Fareed’s  response:

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to write to me. I understand that you were displeased by one section, particularly with my saying that “Buddha was Indian.” You rightly point out that the Buddha was born in Lumbini, in modern-day Nepal—not in India.

Please know that I meant no disrespect to Nepal, a country that I love. The Buddha was born and lived 2,500 years ago, in an age before modern-day boundaries were drawn and before the idea of a nation-state even existed. When I referred to the Buddha as “Indian” I meant it only in the geographic sense of the word, as a person hailing from the Indian subcontinent—not as a citizen of a particular state. I apologize if I offended you.

All best

Fareed Zakaria

Lots of patriots and faithfuls have played significant roles in varied ways to put pressure against the wrong information given by the renowned writer and journalist, Mr Fareed on Buddha’s birthplace, in his book. It is clear that he apologized tactfully via an email response , but not to the whole world through reliable and public media. We, therefore must persuade him to make his whole hearted apology listened and felt by the majority as he gave false information to countless people throughout the world. Interested persons could go in these links to give more pressure against the wrong information (if you have Facebook Account): Leave comment here or Here and  in the link of the book.

Some relevant links:

बुद्धबारे भारतको गलत प्रचार: रामदेब

रामदेब भन्छन भारत गलत भ्रम फैल्याइरहेछ

Nepalese scholars should flex their academic muscle.

जाकरियाको किताब जलाइयो

Buddha was born in Nepal, not in India


Buddha is Synonymous with Nepal

Basu’s Seriousness for the Sovereignty

39 Responses to “Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria Apologised Tactfully”

  1. Dear Fareed Zakaria,
    Although I have not red the book “THE POST-AMERICAN WORLD”, I was also deeply concerned the issue of your mistake about the birth place of Buddha. Anyway you have realized your mistake already that’s why I have some suggestions for you.

    1. Regarding this misleading information in your book, it is better to correct your wrong statement in the book as soon as possible.

    2. As we are humanbeing, there are possibilities of doing mistakes when carrying our work. In the begining, I was also thinking that you did that mistake purposefully. As this very national issue, it is better for you to have thorough understanding before publication. Therefore, that will not ruin your good image.

    3. In addition, it has already been published and distributed, therefore it is better for you to apologize with your correction.

    I hope, you will do a correction in your book as soon as possible. That will help you to establish your original status again.
    Thanking you very much.
    Hari Kumar Shrestha
    Taipei, Taiwan

  2. Renu said

    Mr. Zakaria,
    I think either you did this intentionally or you have no general knowledge. You are considered as renowned writer and journalist. So this wrong information will go all over the world. So you must apologize to the whole world not in diplomatic way and you must correct in the next issue.

  3. Amrit said

    Dear Fareed Zakaria,
    You must come to the press and apologize your mistake as well as you must correct your book.

  4. Sangita said

    Mr. Zakaria,
    If you really honest, why you have difficulty to apologize to the whole world? Show your honesty as the whole world knows that Buddha was born in Nepal and not in India.

  5. Bama said

    Mr. Zakaria,
    You are spoiling your prestige by yourself for India’s dirty politics. The whole world knows the reality and you trying to twist. Do not waste your time and intelligence in this dirty game.

  6. Rose Rana said

    Dear Zakaria,
    Think seriously about your unnecessary not prestigious work. Due to this you will be spoiled a lot. So do not be late to apologize in front of the whole world. That is good for you.

    Rose Rana, UK

  7. Greater Nepal said

    Must be genuine public apology from your side Mr. Zakaria. Don’t play tactfully. Do not think yourself so smart. Be straight forward and come with genuine public apology to the whole world. It is that simple and will only make you a courageous and great journalist.

  8. Sujan Neupane said

    a personal email will never change the misinformation made by your book so authur of the book should clarify the misinformation by making an authorised statement on the reliable international media.

  9. Binod Neupane said

    Dear Zakaria,

    It is well known simple matter that Lord Buddha born in Lumbini in Nepal. If renown writer does not have general knowledge about the history, geography ( ie world famous Mount. Everest and birth place of Buddha are situated in Nepal), he is a “Jhampus” or Rubbish writer/ Journalist. what we can expect from this sort of writer/ journalist?

  10. Dear Zakariya,
    A writer or a journalist cant make mistakes in historic facts that is already inscribed in world heritage list. iam sure that before writing this serious things you took so may references. n its hard to believe that u didnt know the fact. you r a well known writer n a journalist so i suggest u not to get involved in indian dirty design. pls come up with high moral !!1
    thank you

  11. Rupak Shrestha said

    Do not dare to do that in your next issue and you must apologize to the whole world as you did this intentionally and it seems you want to scape from real apology. Better to be honest if you would like to spend prestigious professional life.

  12. Zakaria,
    you played with our heart, with our country you must apologize for your those words. you must edit your book and publish again. come up with high moral. If not that will be your rubbish mistake.

  13. Puja Shrestha said

    Do not be so conservative, be bit broad minded Mr. Zakaria. You will loose a lot rather than to get something, don’t you know that?

  14. Dear Fareed Zakaria,

    You are a renowened Editor of world top magazine. The world community knows you. But, in my views, as you wrote over the Buddha in your book The Post American World has made you dim.

  15. Kamal Bharati said

    Dear Zakaria,
    This is great a mistake that you made on your book mentioning that Lord Buddha was born in India. In fact is that Buddha was born in Nepal. I would like to request you to ammend the wrong information as early as possible. Everybody does mistake in life but it is wise to correct it as it comes on notice. I hope you will act soon on this mater. This is better for you.

  16. Nagendra Upadhyaya said

    Mr. Zakaria,
    Why you are pretending that you do not know the reality that Buddha born in Nepal and not in India. The whole world knows this fact. In reality (with proof and FACTS) Buddha was born in NEPAL, please visit UNESCO PAGE : it says :
    Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha [Lumbini is in NEPAL]. Your dirty politics will ruin you a lot.

  17. Kamal Uprety said

    I dare you do not have any knowledge about Buddha and his birth place and do not have right to write where Buddha was born being in that post. I would like to request you to verify your claim about your book “The Post Amercican World”, in page no 154 you have mentioned BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA.

    Verify your writing from UNESCO PAGE : or ask your teacher. If your teacher like you then come to me for special tuition.

  18. Hum Bahadur Gurung said


    Shame on you!!! I was always great fan of your program specially your 360 program that you host in CNN.I always considered you one of the top world analyst and considered your views very important and effective. I considered your views towards Middle East, American politics and other world matter are excellent. But what a hell going on here? Your new book that says Buddha was born in India caught my eye. Buddha was born in Nepal not in India. Being one of the top reporters of the world whose reports are published both in CNN and Newsweek does not even considered doing some research about the birth place of Buddha while writing it in your book. What a shame!!!

  19. Hi Fareed !
    Are you misinformed or you want to misinform. This must be your intention so you must apologise to the whole world. That’s good for you.

  20. Dear Zakaria,
    If you are good man, you must stop selling and withdraw your book from the market once you didn’t make a correction. And as it is clear that this was your intention you must apologise to the whole world.

  21. Deepak said

    Dear Mr Zakaria,

    How dumb of a learned man not to realize, if the national boundaries did not exist at that time neither Nepal nor India existed. If you were referring him as a person belonging to a particular continent you would have been wiser to refer him as belonging to Asia rather than referring him as Indian.

    It would be wiser on your part to keep your deceptive apology to yourself and make necessary changes to reflect the truth mentioning Budhha was born in Nepal not India.

    Your origin being from the country of legendary Gandhi, you should be ashamed to preach false beliefs to people.

    Jaya Nepal

  22. Man Bahadur Thapa said

    Mr Zakaria,
    I wonder why and how you are able to continue your job with CNN and Newsweek either with this kind of knowledge or with your this kind of honesty. With this kind of lots of campaign against you, you must apologise to the whole world and resign from your jobs if you have morality.

  23. Aashish Aacharya said

    “Thank you for taking the time out of your day to write to me.”

    Reply: We are born to talk ‘truth’ any moment, no thanks needed. However, we appreciate it.

    I understand that you were displeased by one section, particularly with my saying that “Buddha was Indian.” You rightly point out that the Buddha was born in Lumbini, in modern-day Nepal—not in India.

    Reply: “Modern-day” Nepal? Nepal has been where it is now since centuries. You do not even know where Buddha was born, let alone knowing the history of Nepal. So, it is kind of irony for you to say ‘Modern-Nepal’.

    Please know that I meant no disrespect to Nepal, a country that I love.

    Reply: “love”?? Okay !! Thank you !!

    The Buddha was born and lived 2,500 years ago, in an age before modern-day boundaries were drawn and before the idea of a nation-state even existed. When I referred to the Buddha as “Indian” I meant it only in the geographic sense of the word, as a person hailing from the Indian subcontinent—not as a citizen of a particular state. I apologize if I offended you.

    Reply: Nepal was always a sovereign state. India was freed from the English in 1947. How can ‘Indian’ be ‘geographic sense of word’ and moreover ‘2,500 years ago’??

    And, ‘WE’ are not still getting it why you did not correct the term and say in a very clear word again that “BUDDHA WAS BORN IN NEPAL, BUDDHA WAS A NEPALI, AND NEPAL WAS/IS/’WILL BE’, ALWAYS A SOVEREIGN NATION”???

    Aashish Aacharya

  24. Avishek said

    Hey, I am afraid the day will come – you will ask Buddha’s Nepalese citizenship as a proof because Indian trying to get the Buddha’s Indian citizenship….
    Come on! we don’t need explanation on everything…
    we can see the truth ..we can feel the truth……Your effort useless Zakaria, useless.

  25. Milan Rai said

    Hi Zakaria,
    Why you are playing this drama to ruin yourself as stupid. Doing mistake by pretending is very big crime, don’t you know that? Pretend here as well.

  26. Rajan Aryal said

    Hi Fareed,
    Are you sure you did not do this mistake intentionally. Mistake done unknowingly, not so bad, but mistake intentionally that is the worst. You do not know that? That is the worst crime. What you will get with this crime? You really spoiling your reputation for nothing.

  27. Manoj Thapa said

    There is one proverb – ”If you speak one mistake more than 100 times people take it as true”. Perhaps you have followed the same proverb. May be you thought that due to your bad intention, you could have positive impact for you and India, but due to your this mistake we Nepali are winning. Anyway it would be wise to correct your mistake as soon as possible.

  28. Pushpa Upreti said

    Do you know you are spiting yourself. The result after your book proved this. What you thinking yourself now?

  29. Pradip said

    Hi Fareed,

    Genuine public apology with at least a commitment for due correction in next edition of the book is very important. Only this will only make you a courageous and great journalist. Then only we truly know you actually do love Nepal.

  30. Prakash said

    Fareed Zakaria,
    You should study the history of Buddha and the Buddha faith. Don’t write book if you do not know things what you are writing. I feel sorry for you and this book need to be band to sell. Nepali government should file case against him on international court.

  31. BabaBom said

    The exact words of Fareed Zakaria on page 154 are: “The Buddha was an Indian, and Buddhism was founded in India, but there are virtually no Buddhists in the country today.” Note that there is no statement on his “being born in India”, and it is a note made in passing in the context of Hinduism and how it absorbed other religions in ancient India.

    The Buddha was born during the epoch of the Janapadas, during which most of the Indian subcontinent was split into small, rivaling kingdoms. The kingdom of Kapilavastu and the Shakya Janapada was annexed by the (brahmanic) king of Koshala during the Buddha’s own lifetime. Then, if you consider the Shakyas to have been “Nepal” and the Vedic kings as “India”, the fact is that Buddha was born in “Nepal”, and the place of his birth became “India” during his lifetime.

    Lumbini is some twenty kilometers off the Uttar Pradesh border. It’s doubtful the Buddha lived strictly on the “Nepal” side of the “border” during his years in Kapilavastu. In either case, we know he spent most of the rest of his life wandering across the plains of Ganga. The common name for the general geographic area comprising India, Nepal, Pakistan and the rest is “Indian subcontinent”.

    Since there are so many ambiguities involved, and since the author’s original note is made in passing, one wonders whether a molehill is being turned into a mountain with this issue. I understand issues of national pride and so on; Nepal is a beautiful country with lots to be proud of, but if you defend it beyond reason and in harsh terms, you will do little good to advance others’ fondness of the land and its people.

    History and politics aside, to seriously label the Buddha either a Nepali or an Indian is wrong in more ways than I can count. Anyone who is agitated in defending the Buddha’s national identity must have understood very little of what he meant to teach. If someone wants to disagree on how the Buddha himself felt about his national identity and affiliations, I’d like to hear the case in Sanskrit or Pali original.

    I have very literally walked the paths the Buddha took in his days between India and Nepal myself. I can assure you the dust on the roads and the essence of the existential experience are quite identical on both sides of the present-day Nepali border, and I don’t think there was much more of a difference for the Buddha. Anicca vata samkhara, uppada vaya dhammino.

  32. Givinda said

    You reminded me this saying, “I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don’t even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies.” –Chris Floyd

  33. Binaya Shrestha said

    As still you did not apologise, you must be coward and wise man always apologise for the mistake done.

  34. pushpa raj adhikari said

    Dear Fareed,
    One French man had quoted in his travel book about the differences among the people of the three countries, China, Nepal and India: Chinese bows and regrets, Nepali smiles and regrets, Indian boasts and rejects for the same kind of mistakes. You have proved you are not deferent.
    Had you done such mistake abt Muslim pilgrimages, Fatawa could have been issued.

  35. Surendra Sagar said

    Mr. Fareed,
    It is not just a matter of where buddha was born. The intensity of your text seems much manipulating( a very much indian quality). I met a man in sydney from india who was explaining to an Australian that Mt. Everest is in India. India doesn’t want anything better of his neighbouring countries. Many incidents have proven it. If you were really honest, why you didn’t mention in your text that Buddha was born in Kapilvastu, modern day Nepal?? We understand it as an vicious act of India to be “DADA” in south asian region. A modern day colonialist of this region, maybe inherited from their British Gurus.

  36. Sonam said

    Dear Mr Fareed Zakaria
    Well I have’t read your book, Today when I read all comments from differnt people I think you have done somethings great mistake regarding Buddha and Nepal’s boundaries.
    first if you want be Good Author you have to write truth. dont think again hole Asia is again Indian Subcontinets.Dont forget The Gorkhali Empire 1814 KUmaun Almora also cotrol by Gorkhali and by the early years of the 19th C The Gorkhali Rulers has succeeded in bring under their control the Himalayan region.
    I better suggest you read some book, Imperial Gorkah, Charles Allens New book, Max deegs new book.

    Kathamndu bashi

  37. Sajha said

    Buddha was born in Nepal and he was Mongoloid race

    So my friends if Indians try to spread another lies that Lord Buddha was born in India, read this articles and answer them, spitting at their face. I am sick and tired when not one, not two or three Indians but the India as a country itself claims that Buddha was born in India.

    563 BCE:
    Many people in the world consider Siddhartha Gautama as the greatest Guru in the world. Siddhartha Gautama before he became “Buddha” or the enlightened one was born in about 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal. He was born into King Suddhodana Gautama and his queen Mayadevi, rulers of the Shakya tribe of Kapilavastu region near Lumbini. The fact was that the life of Buddha was not a myth but reality comes from one of the inscriptions in the pillar erected by Indian King Asoka in 239 BCE. The inscriptions read “Here was the Enlightened One born”. Today the UNESCO has declared Kapilavastu, and Lumbini, as a World Heritage site. It is told that before Siddhartha Gautama was born, queen Maya had dreamt that a white elephant with six tusks carrying a lotus flower entered her womb. As was the Shakya tradition, when his mother Queen Maya became pregnant, she left Kapilvastu for her father’s kingdom to give birth. However, she gave birth on the way, at Lumbini, in a garden beneath a sal tree. On this journey, Queen Maya realized the birth was imminent, halted at Lumbini Park, lay down beneath a sandalwood tree and gave a birth. The child was given a name of Siddhartha, meaning “he who has achieved his goal”

    According to astrologer’s prediction, Siddhartha would grow up to be either a great emperor, or that he would turn his back on privilege and power to become a great spiritual leader. Queen Maya died a week later and the tasked of looking after Siddhartha was given to Prajapati, sister of Maya. Because of the latter predicament, King Suddhodana grew troubled. One of the wise man had told King Suddhodana that “if the prince were to see four signs- a sick man, an old man, a corpse and an ascetic- then he would renounce the materialistic world. Therefore to protect his son from ever coming into contact with four signs, young Siddhartha grew up within the palace walls, having no contact with the outside world. He learns the skills and engaged in the pastimes of princes. King Suddhodana wishing for Siddhartha to be a great king shielded his son from religious teachings or knowledge of human suffering.

    At the age of about eight, Siddhartha Gautama started receiving his education. Thus at around this age, the young prince curiosity in life began to arouse. This was clearly mentioned by the fact that in some of his field trip to the countryside, he pondered about some question. He noted in the fields how all things live to feed another, how creatures are born only to nourish other orders of beings, how the peasant sweated in the fields and so on.

    The growing discontent in his life was further fuel one day when he ventured out with his charioteer Channa after finally persuading his father to let him go outside the palace walls to see the city. Though King Suddhodana had ordered the city streets cleared of anyone of human misery, Siddhartha met a dying old man at the side of the road. This was the first of four signs the young prince was destined to meet. He journeyed out into the city several times after his first sight and came across a sick man and a dead man. On his fourth and final sight, Siddhartha encountered a sage that would have the biggest influence on his life. “He is poor, for only rags cover him, and he is old and thin, like the other aged man we came across, yet there is no pain, no suffering in his face”. Though the sage appearance was in dire condition physically, but within him, the sage seems to have found the peace and purpose in life. This was the final convictions that Siddhartha Gautama led to his renunciation of his princely life and began his ascetic life seeking truth about life.

    While wandering throughout the northern India, seeking to understand the misery and sufferings of the human world, Siddhartha Gautama was joined by five other ascetics. One was Kondanna, the youngest of eight astrologers and fortune-tellers whom King Suddhodana had consulted when Prince Siddhartha was born. The place where Siddhartha Gautama got enlightenment or nirvana was in a village call Uruvela, in the state of Bihar, India. This place is now better known as Bodh-Gaya. It is believed that Siddhartha Gautama became Buddha mediating under the pipal tree. “Because it was under this tree that he was to find enlightenment, it is called the Bodhi-tree (Tree of Enlightenment) and is revered by Buddhists everywhere. Upon reaching nirvana, that is the state of being free from suffering, Siddhartha Guatama is now known as “Buddha” or the awaken one. Still others call him Shakyamuni (“sage of the Shakyas”). It is said that Buddha rested under the Bodhi-tree for seven days after reaching the Enlightenment.

    After he reached the nirvana or becoming Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama and his five disciples traveled around different Kingdoms in northern India teaching the doctrine of Buddhism. When Lord Buddha and his disciples came to the Kathmandu valley King Jitedasti, 7th King of Kirat dynasty was ruling Nepal. Though Kirats refused to follow his doctrine but still welcomed Lord Buddha and his disciples. Historical record and closely studied on city and town planning, layout and old buildings in the Kathmandu valley showed that Kirat were civilized people of ancient Nepal. Kirati people used brick-stone-metal-wood to build unique architectures like “Kailaskut Bhawan”. Kirat have 18 unique skills like brick, wood, metal, textile, farming, bamboo, building builder, livestock, fish farming, homeopathy, medicine, weaponry, pottery, carving, paper producing etc. that helped to build Nepal in early period. This was all discovered after extensive research and excavation of ancient sites and historical landmarks in Kathmandu valley by various scholars and historians. Sudarshan Raj Tiwari (The brick and the bull: an account of Handigaun, the ancient capital of Nepal, 2002) wrote that Kirati people used to have Law and Order, rules and regulation, government and justice systems. Tiwari and various scholars, historians and archeologist who studied on ancient Nepal concluded that the Kirat had the knowledge of 18 building trade groups, among these the art of brick building, water tanks, drainage system etc. that help to spur Kathmandu ahead.

    239 BCE:
    In around 239 BCE the Indian King Ashoka followed the footsteps of Lord Buddha and came to the Lumbini. He ordered the pillar to be built to commemorate his visit. King Ashoka then also came to the Kathmandu Valley with his daughter princess Charumati. At this time, King Sthunko was at the throne. He was the 14th King of Kirat dynasty. During his stay in the valley, King Ashok had built four stupas in four directions and one in the centre of Patan. He had arranged his daughter Charumati’s marriage with a local young prince named Devpal. This is one of the reasons on why Buddhism existed and flourished in Nepal though by 12th-13th century, Buddhism had ceased to exist almost completely in India, the very place where Lord Buddha gaining enlightenment had preached his doctrines before he died. On the other hand Kirat king were very tolerant of the new teaching s that was developing though Kiratis had their own indigenous religion (worshiping of Mother Nature, land and ancestors).

    In his teachings, the Buddha retained many elements of the vedic religious teachings of India of his time, including the concepts of samsara and karma. However, the Buddhist differed from the vedic teachings in a sense that Buddha opposed the animal sacrifices. In addition the Buddha taught that anyone regardless of caste who followed the Eightfold Path could achieve nirvana. And yes Buddha was not Hindu nor was he Brahmins. He was born into Shakya family, whom are Mongoloid in race. But because the Brahmins realize that Buddha would become major obstacles in spreading Hinduism, the Brahmins cleverly wrote that Buddha was incarnation of Hindu God, Vishnu. Remember how the Brahmins also spread the fictitious myth that the former Shah King of Nepal was incarnation of Vishnu.

    During his lifetime, the Buddha institutionalized his teachings by forming the sangha. It is written that the Buddha lived till nearly eighty years and died under the sal tree in Vaishali. It is also believed that the Lord Buddha died at the same day he was born. The last sermon before he died was quoted “decay is inherent in all component things; work out your salvation with diligence!”

    Temples of the Nepal valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2009
    Buddha: His Life and His Teaching By Walter H. Nelson, 2008
    Living Religion By Mary P. Fisher, 2007
    Encyclopaedia Of North-east India, Volume 1 By Col Ved Prakash, 2007
    The brick and the bull: an account of Handigaun, the ancient capital of Nepal
    By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2002
    Tribal and indigenous people of India By Rabindra Nath Pati and Jagannatha Dash, 2002
    Tribal roots of Hinduism By Shiv Kumar Tiwari, 2002
    The ancient settlements of the Kathmandu Valley By Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2001
    A Cultural History of the North-East India: [The Kiratas (Bodo etc.) By B. Chakravarti, 2000
    In The Kingdom Of The Gods By Desmond Doig, 1999
    Politics of Culture: A Study of Three Kirata Communities in the Eastern Himalayas By
    Tanka Bahadur Subba, 1999
    Ancient communities of the Himalaya By Dinesh Prasad Saklani, 1998
    Encyclopaedia of Indian tribes By Padma Shri S.S. Shash, 1994
    Social history of Nepal By Tulasi Rama Vaidya, Triratna Mānandhara, Shankar Lal Joshi, 1993
    The Kiratas in Ancient India By G.P Singh, 1990
    Kirata-jana-krti (The Indo-Mongoloids-The Contribution To The History And Culture Of India)
    By Suniti Kumar Chatterji, 1974
    Ancient Nepal By D. R. Regmi, 1969
    History of Nepal By Shew Shunker Singh, Gunanand and Daniel Wright, 1966
    Tribes in ancient India By Bimala Churn Law, 1943

  38. Kailas J Dangi said

    Mr. Fareed Zakaria, As you know, wrong creation/information doesn’t go long.Please correct the information as soon as possible.

  39. KS said

    Mr. Zakaria,
    If you speak truth, we will respect you.

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