Friday, October 15, 2004

Hundreds of Dalits embrace Buddhism

PERAMBALUR, OCT. 14. Hundreds of Dalits from the Southern States today embraced Buddhism in the presence of monks from the Nagpur monastry, in Perambalur district.

Their ordination followed an administration of oath and `Boudh Dhamma Diksha' by Bhante Bodhi Dhamma, founder and national president, International Buddhist Youth Organisation (IBYO).

"Renouncing" Hinduism and Hindu Gods were among the oaths administered at the ceremony, organised by the Dr. Ambedkar Youth Front and the IBYO.

About 1,500 people took the final oath.

Over 50 people had their heads tonsured.

K. Kandasamy, State president of the Dr. Ambedkar Youth Front and K.B. Dhamma Sen, IBYO State secretary, said embracing Buddhism was their only solution from the sufferings and "subjugation" caused by "caste-ridden" Hinduism.

They assailed the Dravidian parties for blocking the rise of Dalit-centric political parties. During the daylong ceremony, groups of people came from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Pondicherry, and parts of Tamil Nadu, including Tuticorin, Vellore, Chennai, Tiruvannamalai and Ramanathapuram.

Elaborate security arrangements had been at and around the venue on the outskirts of the town.

Source: The Hindu, October 15, 2004

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