Saturday, October 07, 2006

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For the first time, the movement of conversion to Buddhism among the poorest and most oppressed people in India is moving out from its heartland in Maharashtra to include people across the country. In many ceremonies across India, tens, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of people will become Buddhists over the next few weeks. This started in Nagpur on Monday in ceremonies that included 1-2 million people (most already Buddhists and some new converts). The movement is now expanding dramatically to include other communities in Maharashtra, notably the Matungs – a second group of ex-‘untouchables’ – and the ‘criminal and nomadic tribes’.

Buddhism is also being adopted by groups in many other Indian states. On October 14th I will be in Hyderabad in Andra Pradesh, where up to 400,000 will meet and 100,000 will become Buddhists. On the same day and on other significant dates in the next two months there will be large ceremonies in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, and many other states, in which I think it is reasonable to say that millions of people will become Buddhists for the first time.

These events are so far unreported in the West and the mainstream Indian media. I have started this blog at to offer reliable news, information, personal observations and interviews with major players in this movement. Earlier in the blog are accounts of the Nagpur rally, and a meeting with the leader of the half-million members of criminal and nomadic tribes, who will be converting soon, an overview of Buddhism in India and the Ambedkarite movement, and much more.

In the next two weeks I will be joining a Dharma teaching tour around remote 'Untouchable' villages, attending a conversion for 3-400,000 in Hydrabad, visiting Tamil Nadu, where a large conversion movement is under way, and meeting Dalit Buddhist leaders in Nagpur, Pune and Bombay.

Here are some suggestions for you might help redress the lack of information:

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well.. it's like I said!