Discrepancies in Buddhist data

Statesman News Service, Nov 14, 2005

MALDA, India -- Buddhist population in the state has not been enumerated properly and the fact and figures are not accurate. Even its total population is less than the actual figure recorded in the census reports, said an official of the State Minority Commission.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the member of SMC for Buddhist community, Mr Kalyan Choudhuri, said that the minority community people have lot of problems and it is one of them. ?The trend to show very few number of Buddhists is unfortunate and a section is trying hard to engulf it existence here. No body cares to observe Buddha Purnima seriously but enjoy the holiday with other programmes which is the ?anti-path? of Gautam Buddha,? Mr Choudhuri said.

?We have also urged the Central government about the problem and asked them to take initiatives regarding the matter,? he said.

?How can the India government fix the date of Buddha Purnima for testing arms for war? Mr Choudhuri asked. A team of the State Minority Commission, completed their three-day programme yesterday in the district, visiting various historical places, interacting with the intellectuals, organisations, public representatives and the administration.

The chairman of the commission, Mr Syed Sazzad Zaheer Adnan, said: ?There is a bright prospect for the development of a tourist spot at Jagajjibanpur in Habibpur block area from where ruins of Pala Dynasty, followers of Buddhism have been found by the experts. More excavation and development of its infrastructure is imperative to focus it internationally,? Mr Adnan said.Mr Adnan added that though the Muslim women have been coming forward in the field of education now, they are facing many problems in the district where the marriage of minor girls is still very much prevalent.

Mr Syed Sazzad Zaheer Adnan also disclosed the limitations of the commission and said that the commission can only recommend for development of the community but can?t execute any plan which is coming through interactions.