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Published in the 1-15 December 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

65000 Dalits embrace Buddhism

Nagpur: On 22 October 65000 Dalits embraced Buddhism here. The same day, known as Dhrama Chakra Parivartan Day, Dr Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with lakhs Dalits in Nagpur. 

A special meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Japan-born Indian Bhikshu, Bhante Nag Arjun Sarai Sasayee, certificates were distributed among those who converted to Buddhism in the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, minister of state for non-conventional energy sources Vilas Matwawar said that in spite of religious differences, Dr Ambedkar helped in framing a Constitution which ensured the unity and integrity of the country. His followers will not allow any government to deviate from the original framework of the Constitution. He said that Deeksha Bhoomi is the place were Dr Ambedkar had embraced Buddhism 48 years ago and this is the place where Dalits and other backward classes and communities get encouragement.
He further said that the central and state governments would provide financial assistance for the improvement and beautification of Deeksha Bhoomi and for building other memorials. 

Deeksha Bhoomi is also the place where followers of Dr Ambedkar from different states of the country and from other countries meet together every year.

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