ACN Staff Reporter
NAGPUR, DEC 25: More than five thousand Hindus from Other Backward Caste (OBC), Christians and Muslims converted to Buddhism before a vast gathering at Diksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Maharashtra on Monday. On 25th December 1927, Dr. B R Ambedkar burnt down the Manusmriti, the root causes of injustices and inequalities.
These people embraced the Buddhism in hope with escaping the rigidity of the ancient Hindu caste system and finding a life of dignity.
Most Venerable Bhadant Nagarjun Surai Sasaie, President of Akhil Bharatiya Bhikku Sangha and Venerable Bhadanta Dhamma Sharti administered “Panchashila” five precepts and other religious vows to the converts.
At a signal from the monk conducting the proceedings, the converts, some of them visibly emaciated or carrying babies in their arms, stood up, took off their shoes and with folded hands repeated Buddhist chants. Hindu scriptures separate people into Brahmin priests, warriors, farmers labourers, and those beyond definition - called “Dalits”.
Conversion is an extremely sensitive issue in India and Christians are often blamed for indulging in converting poor tribals and Hindus with inducements such as free schooling and health care.