The historic programme is held every year on Dussehra but cancelled in view of Covid-19
Nagpur: The historic Dhammachakra Pravartan Din celebration will not be witnessed in Nagpur this year following Covid-19 outbreak. The programme is held every year on Ashok Vijaya Dashmi (Dussehra) and lakhs of Dr Ambedkar followers throng Deekshabhoomi to participate in it. This year, the programme was slated to be held on October 25 but has been cancelled in view of the coronavirus pandemic, informed Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti, the organising body of this mega event during a press conference held at Dr Ambedkar College on Tuesday.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had embraced Buddhism with thousands of followers on Ashok Vijaya Dashmi in 1956 at Deekshabhoomi. Amid this pandemic situation, all programmes have been cancelled on October 25 and people should stay home and offer Buddha Vandana and salutations to Dr Ambedkar, said Dr Sudhir Fulzele, Secretary of the Organising Committee during the press conference.
Lakhs of followers from all over the country visit Deekshabhoomi on the day to pay their respects to Dr Ambedkar every year. The district administration makes arrangements for their lodging in the city during this period. Similarly, Indian Railways also run special trains for the convenience of the followers. But, this year the event got cancelled to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court had recently rejected the plea of Dr Milind Jivane in which he had urged to celebrate the Dhamma Diksha Diwas on October 14 and Dhammachakra Pravartan Din programme from October 24 and 25 at Deekshabhoomi like every year. The petitioner gave the reference of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra and Shilanyas programme of Ram Mandir of Ayodhya in the court. After hearing the plea, the High Court stated that Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak Samiti is a private trust and allowing for mass gathering in such programmes is not permissible. Following the court’s order, the organising committee decided to cancel the event this year. Dr Fulzele also appealed to people not to make travel arrangements for coming to Deekshabhoomi as all programmes are cancelled this year. The rituals will be performed in a simple manner.
Followers will not be allowed inside the premises during the event. Those who are working for the event will have to maintain proper social distancing norms and use face masks and sanitizers. The event will Live stream on YouTube channel and local TV channels like UCN Buddha and Aawaz India will telecast the event. The Panchasheel Dhwajarohan will be held in presence of Committee members and Maanvandana will be performed by Samata Sainik Dal on October 24 at 9 am. Bheem Vandana and Buddha Vandana will be performed on October 25 at 8.30 am. A condolence event will also take place this year to pay tribute to all Covid victims on October 25.