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Mass conversion Dalits shift faith.

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Created on 11 June 2010

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Mumbai: In what could be one of the biggest mass conversions in the country, thousands of tribal and Dalit Hindus are to embrace the Buddhist faith at a huge gathering in Mumbai on Sunday. To mark the Golden jubilee of dalit icon Dr Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism, lakhs of followers will converge at Mumbai's Mahalaxmi racecourse on Sunday to give up their religion. The event will be presided over by the Dalai Lama. They want to embrace Buddhism because it is a free religion. it is open to all. It preaches non violence and is not divided on basis of caste, said Ramdas Athavle, leader, RPI. October 14, 1956 was a historic day when over 3 lakh dalits led by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar rejected Hinduism's caste divisions and embraced Buddhism. 50-years hence lakhs of Ambedkar followers will once again renounce the religion they were born to. The number of dignitaries who attended the pre Buddhism ceremony—a precursor of Sundays event, confirmed Dr Ambedkars iconic status. Even as Dalit leaders hope, that the resurgence of Buddhist conversions also converts into political mileage, Ambedkar followers try and remind others their leader's real appeal. This would be the first ever mass conversion where millions of people will change their religion without any promise of money, or political power, Narendra Jadhav, Vice Chancellor, Pune University said. With the number of dalit atrocities across the country on the rise, perhaps it's time for the religion they leave behind to reconsider its exclusionist philosophy. Jai Bhim. Be happy Siddhartha Chabukswar

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