Mass conversion of dalits to Buddhism

Newindpress, April 8 2006

GULBARGA, India -- A large number of dalits will embrace Buddhism on October 14, to mark the beginning of the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Dr B R Ambedkar.

Dalit leader and RPI national vice-president Shivaram Moga said dalits had no alternative but to embrace Buddhism as they continued to be exploited, oppressed and denied their rights in the country, despite the government taking various steps.

He pointed out that in several villages, even now dalits were supplied tea or coffee in separate cups in hotels and not allowed to enter temples. Besides, the upper caste people continue to oppress the community, he added.

Moga said as part of the celebrations, the International Buddhist Society in the district would organise several programmes.

He said the dalit organisations in the district would observe the 115th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar on April 14 as “Buddhism awareness day.”

Leaders of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, Dalit Panthers and Dalit Sena were also present at the press meet.