Nagpur: The Second Capital City of Nagpur witnessed a historic event on Monday, December 25, 2015, when thousands of people from Hindu Other Backward Classes (OBC) and some of families from other religions converted to Buddhism at the holy Deekshabhoomi here.
In a programme organized by Sarvajanik Dhammadeeksha Parishad at Deekshabhoomi, a number of people from OBC communities such as Maratha, Teli, Charmakar, Matang, Lingayat, Dhangar, Kunbi etc from Konkan and Marathwada had gathered at the venue. Bouddha Dhamma Guru Bhadant Surai Sasai gave them Deeksha of Bouddha Dharma. After the ‘Vandana,’ 22 oaths propagated by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar were read over simultaneously.
Earlier, a big procession was taken out from Samvidhan Chowk (RBI Square) in the morning to Deekshabhoomi. The Deeksha programme began at 3 pm at the hands of Surai Sasai.
“If the Satyashodhak OBC Parishad is to be believed, the other backward classes have no respectable space in Hinduism. We were treated as Shudhras in spite of being in Hinduism for a long time. So, we felt that it is better to go back to our original religion — Buddhism. OBCs are Nagvanshi and so Buddhism is our real religion. We want to do our “Ghar Wapsi” by embracing Buddhism,” said Sandip Hanumant Upre, the Parishad’s President.
Stating that religion is for them and they are not for religion, Upre said: “Religion is like a home, where we all should be treated equally and respectfully. However, we were treated badly and in the religious texts too we were given bad names. There is no point staying in this home. Therefore, we had launched our ‘Ghar Wapsi’ mission in 2011. In 2016, five thousand other backward class people and even people from some castes embraced Buddhism. And many more will follow in future.”
Upre added that registration for this mass conversion has already started. The OBC people believed that the caste system would be abolished after Independence. “In reality, it is very rigid and there is no hope of that. We are mental slaves of this religion. The upper caste Hindus have kept this caste system alive and so we will always remain poor and deprived,” Upre said.
According to neo Buddhist people, Buddhism is one of the best religions in the world to follow. Here, you accept the things on the basis logic and arguments. You are allowed to think scientifically and if you are not convinced with any idea, then you can reject them.
Converted to Buddhism for happiness: Jaimini Kadu
“This change is not the phenomena of spur of a moment. Nobody forced us to do this. Around 5000 OBC people converted to Buddhism. These include a big number of Kunbis from Konkan. The conversion was necessary to get rid of psychological and intellectual slavery,” asserted Jaimini Kadu.