AHMEDABAD – Around 500 Dalits from various parts of Gujarat embraced Buddhism on Tuesday in three separate programmes held in Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Idar of Sabarkantha district on the occasion of Vijayadashami.
The first such function was held at Swastik Bungalows in Rakhiyal area of East Ahmedabad by the Gujarat Buddhist Academy. GBA Secretary Ramesh Banker said 148 Dalits gave up Hinduism and embraced Buddhism at the function, reported The Indian Express.
One of the 148 persons is Vandana Parmar from Amraiwadi area who is pursuing her masters in science. Vandana converted to Buddhism along with her parents and a brother. “We have been influenced by Buddhism and the ideology of Dr Ambedkar in the recent past. Buddhism and the Ambedkar ideology of equality and scientific temperament make sense to me and my family. And therefore, we have taken the ‘diksha’ today,” Vandana said.
“Our entire family used to be a staunch Hindu religious family. My father used to observe fast on Navratri. But, now we have stopped worshipping gods and goddesses. And my father does not observe fast. We will not celebrate Diwali too,” she added. “We have adopted this new lifestyle because it makes sense to us. But, we are not opposing anybody who is following the Hindu faith.”