Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 29.05.16

Fresh protests erupt at Hyderabad varsity – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Fresh-protests-erupt-at-Hyderabad-varsity/articleshow/52486055.cms

Minor gang rape survivor goes missing before first trial in Madhya Pradesh – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Bhopal/Minor-gang-rape-survivor-goes-missing-before-first-trial-in-Madhya-Pradesh/articleshow/52482694.cms

3-year-old rape survivor identifies rapist – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/3-year-old-rape-survivor-identifies-rapist/articleshow/52482159.cms

Family abandons diabetic daughter in Tikamgarh district – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Family-abandons-diabetic-daughter-in-Tikamgarh-district/articleshow/52486904.cms

Sewer man suffocates to death, contractor bookedThe Tribune

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/sewer-man-suffocates-to-death-contractor-booked/243721.html

Devadasi’ system continues to exist despite ban: Book – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/Devadasi-system-continues-to-exist-despite-ban-Book/articleshow/52487284.cms

Govt considers revising scholarship norms for SC students – The Business Standard

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/govt-considers-revising-scholarship-norms-for-sc-students-116052900145_1.html

RESERVATION IN PVT SECTORS DEMANDED – The Pioneer

http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/reservation-in-pvt-sectors-demanded.html

Marriage within clan: Dalit family forced out of village – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Chandigarh/Marriage-within-clan-Dalit-family-forced-out-of-village/articleshow/52485611.cms

Changing surname does not change caste of person: HCThe Tribune

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/changing-surname-does-not-change-caste-of-person-hc/243792.html

87-year-old monk on a journey with a message – DNA

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-the-monk-who-is-selling-his-pm-to-dalits-2217575

Please Watch:

International Conference on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Thoughts -Shri K S Ingole

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhCCQWRkafE

The Times Of India

 Fresh protests erupt at Hyderabad varsity

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Fresh-protests-erupt-at-Hyderabad-varsity/articleshow/52486055.cms

TNN | May 29, 2016, 05.44 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Fresh protests erupted at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on Saturday after security officials allegedly removed tents erected around dalit student Rohith Vemula’s memorial and the place where he had spent his last days before his suicide in January.

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (JAC) members said the officials removed tents besides “dishonouring” Babasaheb Ambedkar’s banner at 2am. This comes days after UoH vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile issued a notice on May 20 asking the JAC to remove unauthorised tents from the campus.

Angry students blocked the university’s main gate and shouted slogans against Podile amid heavy security. Later, the students tried to file a case against Podile and the security officials for curbing their right to hold democratic protests. They were told contents of their complaint would not allow registration of a case.

“A person (Podile) who has been known for copying and got selected after lobbying does not know the value of education and the importance of Ambedkar,” said Prashanth Dontha, a friend of Vemula, whose suicide had sparked protests against discrimination against dalits. “It is his casteist attitude that led to Rohith’s death.”

JAC members claimed protocol was not followed for removal of the tents and that security officials resorted to vandalism to forcefully remove banners, one of which had the Constitution’s Preamble.

“Though students witnessed the security staff pulling down the tents, the security-in charge later claimed they knew nothing about the theft of the tent and the loot of JAC material, including Babasaheb’s banners and flexes,” said JAC member Arpita Jaya. “The vice chancellor has insulted our protest and struggle for Rohith by taking this step.”

The Times Of India

Minor gang rape survivor goes missing before first trial in Madhya Pradesh

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Bhopal/Minor-gang-rape-survivor-goes-missing-before-first-trial-in-Madhya-Pradesh/articleshow/52482694.cms

Amarjeet Singh| TNN | May 28, 2016, 09.16 PM IST

BHOPAL: A 15-yr-old dalit girl who was gang raped by 12 people, has mysteriously gone missing just four days before the first trial in the case. Her ailing mother has requested director-general of police to rescue the girl after local police refused the act.

While eight accused are behind bars, four are on the run. The girl was abducted, kept captive for two days and gang-raped by 12 people in Jabalpur between February 28 and March 1, last year. But it was after a year that police filed the charge-sheet and the first hearing was scheduled on May 31. 

“I suspect that four accused on the run have abducted my daughter ahead of the trial. They would call from different numbers and pressurize me for compromise and as I did not do that I suspect they have abducted her,” she said.

“She is missing since May 16 and it’s already 11 days. Since then I have been going to police stations, but to no avail. I first approached the local police station in charge; they registered a missing person report and then an FIR for kidnapping. I tried to contact senior officials in the district, but was not allowed. I have apprised the DGP. I have also approached the commission for protection of child rights and women commission,” she said.

“She would work at a local garment manufacturing unit and went to work on May 16, but when she did not return, we began looking for her. On May 17, I approached local police,” she said.

Senior superintendent of police, Jabalpur, Dr Asish said, “It is a serious issue and considering the gravity of the situation we have constituted a team to inquire into the matter. A hunt has been launched to find and rescue the girl. All aspects of the case, including alleged involvement of the absconding accused are being investigated.

The Times Of India

 3-year-old rape survivor identifies rapist

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/3-year-old-rape-survivor-identifies-rapist/articleshow/52482159.cms

Uday Rana| TNN | May 28, 2016, 08.29 PM IST

MEERUT: In what has been called the ‘Little Nirbhaya’ case in Meerut, a three-year-old girl has identified her rapist, whom the police have now arrested and sent to jail. The girl told cops that the man, an electrician, had abducted and raped her. Cops said that the accused was working at an under-construction house in Lohia Nagar when the incident took place on Thursday afternoon.

“We had detained two persons on the basis of suspicion and the girl identified one of them as the rapist. The 24-year-old electrician was taken to court on Saturday afternoon and sent to jail. We ordered a medical test to be conducted on him and a sample has been sent to a lab in Agra. Soon, we will have the report and the case will be solved,” said SK Rana, station officer at Civil Lines police station.

Superintendent of police (city) Om Prakash said that since the girl belongs to a Dalit family, the accused has also been booked under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Outraged over the horrific incident in the heart of the city, Meerut residents on Friday had taken out a huge candle-light march from Bachcha Park Crossing to the city’s Chaudhary Charan Singh Park demanding justice for ‘Little Nirbhaya’. Workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also took part in the march in solidarity with the residents.

“It is not like this has happened in a far-flung village or a forest somewhere. A child was raped in the heart of the city. Sanjay Nagar falls under Civil Lines police station, which caters to the VIP area as well. The fact that such an incident has taken place in such a high-security area is a blot on the law and order situation. This needs to stop. The December 2012 case, which was dubbed the ‘Nirbhaya’ rape case, shook the conscience of Delhi. This incident has shaken the conscience of the people of Meerut. That is why we are demanding justice for Little Nirbhaya,” said Manoj Hans, district secretary of AAP.

The Times Of India

 Family abandons diabetic daughter in Tikamgarh district

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Family-abandons-diabetic-daughter-in-Tikamgarh-district/articleshow/52486904.cms

Desh Deep| TNN | May 29, 2016, 09.00 AM IST

Bhopal: When the world was observing International Day of Action for Women’s Health on May 28, a 14-year-old girl was abandoned by her family in a remote village of Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh. Her fault: She suffers from diabetes. Parents of the girl, who belongs to scheduled caste community, work as labourers and the minor is eldest of four siblings.

As her family left her high and dry for the past few months, Arti Ahirwar, a student of Class 9, has been living in a small hut on the outskirts of Jawaharpura village in Palera block of Tikamgarh.

“My family was not treating me well and abandoned me as they thought I am suffering from a disease that could infect other family members”, she told doctors during a medical camp on May 18.

Dr Feroza Bano, a government doctor who had first spotted her in a similar medical camp last year told TOI, “Last year we diagnosed diabetes and told her parents to take care of her. This time I was again looking for her. Then I spotted a very weak and frail girl and realized she was Arti .I could not recognise her as she was in pathetic state of health .”

Dr Rajesh Kumar, medical officer Palera said, “She is suffering from juvenile diabetes type I. As her family stopped providing her medical care, her condition deteriorated. Because of foul smell emanating from the girl, the ignorant family persons abandoned her fearing she was suffering from some incurable deadly disease.”

He said that her medical treatment was started again and she was referred to district hospital of Tikamgarh.

For the past few months, her family would occasionally provide her food. And when they don’t do this, she would go around the village as beggar looking for food, said Sita Devi an elderly woman whom Arti calls dadi.

After repeated efforts when her family refused to accept her, Dr Feroza contacted Childline, an NGO, to look after the girl.

Arti is a bright student and expressed her desir to study. ” She requested us to admit her in some school as she wants to continue her studies”, Dr Rajesh said.

The Tribune

 Sewer man suffocates to death, contractor booked

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/sewer-man-suffocates-to-death-contractor-booked/243721.html

 Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 28

A 25-year-old sewer worker was asphyxiated while another was injured after they were trapped in a manhole near Behlana here this morning.

The local police have registered a case against RR Builder contractor Prithvi Raj Sharma and foreman Kishori Lal under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC. Lal has been arrested while the contractor is absconding.

According to the police, the incident happened at around 11.40 am. Jitender, a resident of Sector 25, became unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas in the sewer hole. Another worker, Ramesh, who entered the manhole, with a rope tied around his waist to save him, got injured. He was later pulled out by another worker using a rope in a similar way.

Meanwhile, the police, fire and emergency wing of the Municipal Corporation were informed about the incident. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

Meanwhile, the police shifted the duo to Government Medial College and Hospital, Sector 32, where Jitender was declared brought dead by the doctors on duty. Ramesh is under treatment at the hospital.

Jaspal Singh, Station House Officer, Sector 31 police station, said a case had been registered and they were trying to trace the contractor.

UT officials visit site

After the incident, senior officials of the UT Engineering Department also visited the site. Sources said a report in this regard had been prepared by the officials. 

Sewer men demand action against UT officials 

Sewer men  staged a protest at the roundabout of GMCH-32 on Saturday evening and demanded action against the contractor and senior officials of the UT Engineering Department. Traffic was also disrupted for nearly 15 minutes at the roundabout. They were demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased Jitender and adequate compensation for Ramesh, who is injured. 

MC gave relief to kin of 3 sewer men last year 

Last year, the MC had provided a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the three sewer men, who lost their lives during work on May 30 last year in Industrial Area, Phase II.

Six sewer men have died in last 5 years

In the last five years, six sewer men have died while cleaning the sewer lines. They include Prempal, Asrafi, Dhan Singh, Happy, Jaipal and Satbir.

The Times Of India

 Devadasi’ system continues to exist despite ban: Book

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/Devadasi-system-continues-to-exist-despite-ban-Book/articleshow/52487284.cms

PTI | May 29, 2016, 09.47 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram, May 29 () The banned ‘devadasi’ system, in which women are dedicated in local temples for the service of the deity and later allegedly forced into sex trade, still exists in many parts of India, according to a new book. “Visudha Papangalude India” (India:The Land of Holy Sins), a Malayalam book which will hit the bookstores soon, says many of the ‘devadasis’ are forced into flesh trade to earn their daily bread as they are denied a normal family life.

Journalist-turned-writer Arun Ezhuthachan unveils in the book, the plight and painful struggle of marginalised women, including ‘devadasis’, who are subjected to various kinds of exploitation in the name of rituals and religious practices. “We talk about various kinds of exploitation and harassment against women. But the problems of marginalised groups like devadasis are different,” Arun said. “It is really shocking to know that women are exploited in the name of centuries-old rituals and religious customs even now, in this 21st century. The painful saga of widows of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, who are destined to live as Lord Krishna’s beloved Radha, is also not different,” he said. The book, published by DC books, also throws light into the life and problems faced by sex workers in redlight areas in the country, including Kamathipura and Sonagachi. The interview with some of the widows of Vrindavan, who reach the temple town after being ostracised by their families and society, gives a grim picture about the life of marginalised women in the modern India. “As per law books, the devadasi system is not in practice anywhere in the country and it was banned by law in all states in different periods. But I met a number of young women who had been dedicated to deities in recent times in rural villages of states like Karnataka,” Arun, a reporter with Malayala Manorama daily, said.

As they were not allowed to marry anybody or led a normal family life, many of them were forced to turn to flesh trade either in their own villages or in red light areas in cities, he said.

According to the book, as per official figures, as many as 46,000 former devadasis have been identified in Karnataka alone, adding, they are getting a meagre pension of Rs 500 per month.

The Business Standard

 Govt considers revising scholarship norms for SC students

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/govt-considers-revising-scholarship-norms-for-sc-students-116052900145_1.html

Move comes in backdrop of unearthing of corruption in implementation of centrally-sponsored ‘post-matric scholarship and freeship’

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi May 29, 2016 Last Updated at 11:48 IST

In order to prevent duplication of applications and bring in greater transparency, the government is mulling revising the existing scheme of post-matric scholarship forScheduled Caste students.

The move comes in the backdrop of unearthing of corruption in implementation of centrally-sponsored ‘post-matric scholarship and freeship’ in six most backward districts of Maharastra recently.

As per the revised guidelines, the uniqueness of the student will be ensured through the SSC Roll number and month and year of passing through ID of State Education Board or other Boards and making it mandatory for the beneficiaries to enroll with Aadhaar.

It also proposes seeding of Aadhaar with the bank accounts of beneficiaries, said a senior official from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Also strict time lines for submission and processing of the applications have been proposed.

For normal courses like BA, BSc, MA, MSc etc the last date for submission of applications by the institutions to the sanctioning authority should not go beyond August 31.

For professional courses, the last date should be November 30, according to the new guidelines proposed, the official said.

The guidelines also stress on institutional mapping so that only the institutions recognised by the appropriate body of the State and Centre will be eligible for the scheme.

“Also, there is a need to cap the number of beneficiaries. The system has to ensure that the number of beneficiaries enrolling in the courses at Post-Senior Secondary level at any time does not exceed the number that availed the PMS in the 12th standard,” the official said.

The scholarships enable SC students to pursue post-matric education including engineering and medical courses.
The scheme is implemented by the states, which receive 100 per cent central assistance from government of India.
Scholarships are paid to students whose parents’ income from all sources does not exceed Rs 2,50,000 per annum.

While the tuition fee of the candidates is reimbursed to the colleges, the scholarship is deposited in the students’ accounts.

The Pioneer

RESERVATION IN PVT SECTORS DEMANDED

http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/reservation-in-pvt-sectors-demanded.html

Sunday, 29 May 2016 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

Under the Odisha Dalit Adhikar Manch (ODAM) banner, social activists, intellectuals and supporters of reservation from across the State organised a meet here on Saturday.

Odisha has a major proportion of SC and ST population, said ODAM president Manas Jena. He also said there should be laws for reservation for the backward classes in the private sector jobs as it would help in the development of backward classes, SCs and STs.

The ODAM has demanded reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in private sector jobs and resolved to launch a campaign to bring pressure on the State Government from next month Jena added.

Attending as chief guest, former Chief Secretary Sahadev Sahoo said that with development SC, ST and OBC people and women, an overall development of the country would materialise. Many facilities are yet to reach some of them, he observed. Reservation in private sector jobs should be made, he added.

Even after 68 years of Independence, the State Government has not implemented the Constitutional rights of SC and ST people, resented Manch State coordinator Prashant Mallick.

Former IAS officer Kalyan Ray said, “We want that the private sector should realise the importance of the issues. They should give opportunity to the backward class people with reservation.” The reservation should not be limited in the Government sector only, he added. The speakers said that if reservations are made in private sector jobs then there will be no place for casteism in the society. 

Santosh Das from the CPI(M), Prof Basant Kumar Mallick, ODAM adviser Madhusudan Yadav, Samajwadi Party State president Rabi Behera and writer Husain Rabi Gandhi also spoke, among others.

The Times Of India

 Marriage within clan: Dalit family forced out of village

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Chandigarh/Marriage-within-clan-Dalit-family-forced-out-of-village/articleshow/52485611.cms

Sukhbir Siwach| TNN | May 29, 2016, 03.07 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: A panchayat of dalits at a village in Haryana’s Karnal district has forced a family from the community to leave home after its son married a girl from the same gotra (caste clan).

The panchyat was called at Pyont village on May 19, and it asked the family to leave on the same day. The boy, Bunty Kumar alias Vikas (22), and the girl, Komal (18), tied the knot at a temple in Panchkula on May 12 and belong to the Dulgach gotra of Valmiki community.

On Saturday, Vikas’s father, Karam Singh, wrote to Haryana State Human Rights Commission and sought hep in the matter.

The villagers have accused the couple of violating social norms. At present, the couple is living in a protection home of the police.

Vikas recently passed Class X, while Komal has studied up to Class XII. They had been in a relationship for the past couple of months. Karam Singh told TOI that they had no objection to the marriage, but the girl’s family was opposing the couple’s plan from the start.

After Komal approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, it asked the police on May 18 to take suitable action in case of any threat to the two. 

Of the 4,000 families in the village, 100 are from the Valmiki community. According to the complaint to the commission, the panchayat on the same day reached Karam’s house and asked him to leave the village along with his three minor daughters. “They did not even allow me to take along articles from the home,” said Singh, a junior employee of the state public health department. “These days, I am hiding at one place or another along with my wife and daughters,” Karam added.

According to the panchayat’s resolution, which has been accessed by TOI, the family has been punished for the “anti-social act” of Vikas.

“By doing this marriage against social norms, Vikas has let the entire community down. Anyone who invites Karam Singh to his home will meet the same fate – expulsion from the village,” warned the panchayat. Karam alleged that the panchayat members also forced him to sign the resolution.

Karnal superintendent of police (SP) Pankaj Nain said the matter was not in their knowledge. “We will check the matter and will take action as per law,” Nain added.

The Tribune

 Changing surname does not change caste of person: HC

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/changing-surname-does-not-change-caste-of-person-hc/243792.html

 Mumbai, May 29

The Bombay High Court has provided relief to a medical graduate who was denied admission in a post-graduate course in the Scheduled Tribe category despite possessing valid caste certificate on the ground that he had changed his surname.

The petitioner contended that though he had a Caste Validity Certificate and belonged to Scheduled Tribe, his claim to post graduate admission was not being considered on the ground that he has changed his surname.

“If the surname is changed, that does not change caste of a person. It is specific contention of the petitioner that the change in his surname is duly notified in the Government Gazette,” observed the court.

“By way of ad-interim relief, we direct the respondents to consider the claim of petitioner from reserved category if the petitioner possesses validity certificate and a Government Notification notifying the change in his name,” the court said.

The vacation bench of justices Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi and BR Gavai, in their order on May 23, asked the government pleader to communicate the order passed by the high Court to the college authority concerned.

The petitioner, Shantunu Hari Bhardwaj, submitted that after completion of his MBBS Degree, he had sought admission to Post Graduate Course under the reserved quota for ST community. However, he was denied admission by the respondents arbitrarily and illegally.

The petitioner submitted that his caste and sub-caste is Hindu-Tokre Koli which falls under the category of Scheduled Tribes as per the Schedule annexed to Constitution of India.

It was contended that his original surname is ‘Sapkale’.

However, he and his brother have changed their surname from Sapkale to ‘Bhardwaj’ from the year 1999 by effect of an official publication in Maharashtra Government Gazette, dated May 20, 1999.

The petitioner submitted that after the said official change in his surname as ‘Bhardwaj’, he had applied to the Education Officer for changing his surname from Sapkale to ‘Bhardwaj’ by an application dated August 29, 1999.

The Education Officer by his order dated January 20, 2000, changed his surname from Sapkale to Bhardwaj in all school records.

The petitioner submitted that he had passed MBBS course in December, 2014 from Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Deemed University at Loni in Ahmednagar district. In the said certificate as well as mark list, his surname appears as ‘Bhardwaj’.

He said that after passing his MBBS degree course, he had applied for admission to Post Graduate Course with the State Common Entrance Test Cell in accordance with the admission rules for the course in 2016.

The petitioner said he had appeared for Common Entrance Test and secured 167 marks out of 300. In the Hall Ticket and Mark List for the exam, his surname appeared as ‘Bhardwaj’.

In the selection list for admission to the PG Course for 2016, his name appeared with ‘Bhardwaj’ surname and he was directed to take admission in the course at Dr Punjabrao Bauchand Deshmuk Memorial Medical College, Amravati.

The petitioner informed the court that he had completed all the formalities required for his admission to PG Course as per the select list, however, the college authorities denied him admission in a letter dated April 20, 2016, on the ground that his name appearing in Caste Validity Certificate is different from what had appeared in the select list.

Being aggrieved, he moved the Bombay High Court which has now directed the college authorities to consider his claim for admission. — PTI

DNA

 87-year-old monk on a journey with a message

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-the-monk-who-is-selling-his-pm-to-dalits-2217575

 The Dhamma Chetna Yatra will conclude in October

 BJP hopes to reach out to lakhs of Dalit followers of Buddhism in UP through the Dhamma Chetna Yatra

An 87-year-old monk is on a journey through the Bodh viharas of Uttar Pradesh with a message for the Dalit followers of Buddhism to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dhamma Viriyo, the Akhil Bharatiya Sangha Nayak of the Bharatiya Bhikku Maha Sangha, is telling the people that while BSP supremo Mayawati refused to give him time, Modi went out of his way to honour him at Mhow, the birth place of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. Traveling in a bus, which has Modi’s images on it, Viriyo is his devoted emissary describing the Prime Minister as the messiah for the poor.

Accompanied by around 50 Bhikkus (Buddhist monastics), he holds between ten to 60 meetings in a district, reaching out to nearly 5000-7000 people each day. At the BJP headquarters, detailed reports of the Dhamma Chetna Yatra are received on a daily basis.

BJP leaders deny the party’s involvement in the programme, being held under the banner of the Akhil Bhikku Sangha. However, eight meetings were held between party leaders and Viriyo before the yatra was flagged off in April at Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, by home minister Rajnath Singh, according to sources.

“BJP workers welcome anyone who is working for manav kalyan (wellbeing of people). We have a lot of respect for Dr Viriyo,” said BJP general secretary Arun Singh.

During his yatra, which ends in October, Viriyo is likely to cross around 1400-1500 Bodh Viharas, which fall in the midst of Dalit-dominated areas. According to sources, there are nearly 40-50 lakh followers of Buddhism, most of whom are Dalits and some are OBCs like Mauryas, in the state. The yatra is expected to cover Purvanchal, the OBC-dominated politically crucial region in UP.

The BJP is trying to wean away the Dalit vote from Mayawati and targeting the non-Yadav OBC vote in UP. Several Dalits and other backward caste people in the state have adopted Buddhism, freeing themselves from the clutches of caste-based discrimination like untouchability. Dalit icons like Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, Mayawati’s mentor, have shown the way. While Ambedkar converted to Buddhism, Kanshi Ram died just a week before he was to convert to the religion from Hinduism. Mauryan emperor Ashoka had converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war.

The home minister, while flagging off the yatra, promised a statue of Buddha taller than the ones in Bamiyan in Afghanistan if BJP came to power in UP. Modi has invoked Buddhism in foreign policy, particularly in East Asia, and indicated his regard for it as a religion propagating peace.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

 

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