Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[ZESTCaste] 2,000 Dalits embrace Buddhism

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
2,000 Dalits embrace Buddhism

Staff Correspondent

Udupi: Nearly 2,000 Dalits embraced Buddhism at a function organised
by the Karnataka Baudha Maha Sabha, and Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha
Samiti (Ambedkar Vada) here on Tuesday.

The initiation of the Dalits into Buddhism took place under the
guidance of Buddhist monks Manorakhit Bhanteji, Lobsana, and Tenguru.
The initiation function was held as part of 2,600th birth anniversary
celebrations of Gautama Buddha.

The Dalits came in a procession from the Ambedkar Bhavan to Sri
Narayanaguru Sabha Bhavan, where the initiation function was held.

Chief convener of the Samiti Mavalli Shankar told presspersons that
Buddhism taught compassionate living. The teachings of Buddha kept
people away from bad desires. It was a known fact that priests
following the Vedic religion had driven out Buddhism from the country.
But the architect of Constitution B.R. Ambedkar was among those
responsible for the revival of Buddhism in the country, he said.

'Needless statement'

On the comment of Vishwesha Tirtha of Pejawar Math that Buddhism had
little to offer to Dalits, Mr. Shankar said he did not object to their
thoughts as they were free to express themselves in a democracy. The
swamiji should realize that by giving "Vaishnava Deekshe", the lot of
Dalits could not be improved. There had not been any change in the
lives of Dalits in 60 years after Independence. Hinduism stood on the
basic premise of caste. The heads of maths did not want to remove
casteism as they feared that this would destroy Hinduism. "If Pejawar
seer wants, let him embrace Buddhism, but we will not accept his
Deekshe", Mr. Shankar said.

President of Prajna Vedike Krishnappa, eminent persons T. Murugeshi,
Kantappa Alangar, Bellubbi Nandakur, office-bearers of the samiti
Rohitaksha, Byadarahalli Prakash, Sundar Master, Kempanna Kamble,
Ningaraj Mallady, and Hovappa Master were present.


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