Leaders converge for Dhamma Din

The Times of India, Oct 23, 2007

NAGPUR, India -- Expressing support that the reservation system would help uplift the backward classes, Bihar assembly speaker Udaynarayan Chaudhary said the facility should be extended to the judiciary, too.

Addressing a mammoth gathering of Buddhists on the occasion of 51st Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din at Deeksha Bhoomi to commemorate Dr Ambedkar’s embracing of Buddhism along with thousands of Dalits, Chaudhary announced that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was not averse to handing over of the sacred Mahabodhi Buddhist shrine of Bodhgaya to the followers of the religion.

He urged Buddhist monk Nagarjun Surei Sasai to take an initiative in this regard.

Orissa governor Murli Bhandare was the chief guest. In his address, Bhandare noted that Buddha’s greatest contribution to mankind was his principles of morality, compassion, non-violence, universal brotherhood, equality and dignity of life that are so essential for the peaceful and happy existence of humans.

"It was this concern for human dignity that guided Ambedkar to include in the Constitution’s preamble the pillars of freedom , brotherhood and equality of all citizens," he said.

Renewing his pledge to follow the path shown by Ambedkar, Union energy minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the architect of the Constitution had also handled power and irrigation portfolios and had a major role to play in planning the Hirakud dam and Damodar Valley project.