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Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Thursday, September 12, 2002
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August 2002 Stories

"To Talk of Protecting the Nation is dishonest unless we protect the Mother" Gaya, 31 August (Dainik Jagran). As long as we do not protect the cow, the Ganges, and mothers who give birth it is dishonest to talk of protecting the nation. Therefore along with protecting cows it is essential we protect the environment and national integrity. full story

Students Set to Strike at Magadh University
Bodhgaya, 26 August (Dainik Jagran). The communal picket by the workers at Magadh University today gained more strength when two separate student organisations announced campaigns. The Post Graduate Students today began a picket and the student Union continued its opposition to opening branches in Patna. Full story

Buddhist monks demanding control of Bodh Gaya temple seek UN intervention Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna (22 August A body of Buddhist monks fighting for control of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar has sought the intervention of the United Nations Organisation (UNO). Read full story at also read text of the Petition here.

Indian Buddhist monks body demands arrest of Sri Lankan monks Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna (21 August The Akhil Bharatiya Bhikshu Mahasangh, a powerful body of Indian Buddhist monks, demanded the immediate arrest of two Sri Lankan monks, who it alleged were 'involved' in the shifting of rare relics of Lord Buddha's disciples from Sanchi Stupa at Varanasi to Sri Lanka. ABBM general secretary Bhante Anand told that two Sri Lankan monks -- Bhante Wimasara Thero, Bangala Upattisa and their aide Rajpal Rana -- were the main 'conspirators'. Full story at

Dilemma over ancient Buddhist Manuscript Collection Melbourne, August 27, 2002. Not a story directly related to Bodhgaya but one illustrative of the complexity of the problems of preserving Buddhist Heritage. A substantial collection of priceless ancient Buddhist manuscripts has been slowly smuggled out of Afghanistan during the last decade or so. This now poses the ethical dilemma of how to deal with the material as to pay for it is in a sense to reward those who looted it, yet by smuggling it out the looters saved it from destruction by the Taliban. Read an excellent account of this story on The Art Newspaper.Com

Sri Lanka President Urges Prime Minister to Ensure Monk's Release Gaya, May 22, 2002 ( The Patna Daily reported that the President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga had asked the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to try and get the Sri Lankan monk Bhadant Wimalsara Thero released from prison. He said also said that "Thero was a victim of a well-orchestrated conspiracy hatched by the monastery administration against the Buddhist monks in Gaya." Story at PatnaDaily [I know this is a bit late but I just found it and its a different spin on the Vimalasara Story]

Maitreya Project To Move To Kushinagar
Melbourne, August 20, 2002. It is now clear that the Maitreya Project is almost certainly on the move to UP. The latest issue of the Full Moon Newsletter (Vol. II.2 - June / July 2002 ) contains a Progress Report by Peter Kedge, Director and CEO of the project in which he says that: "Maitreya Project has been offered a number of beautiful sites in the vicinity of Kushinagar" full story

Pakistani Flag Burnt With the Resolution for United India Gaya, 14 August (Dainik Jagran). Today in Gaya and Bodhgaya on the day of resolution for a united India the Bajrang Dal burned the Pakistani flag. The leaders of the Bajrang Dal said that in order to build a united India it was essential to remove Pakistan from the world map. full story

Eviction Notice to Bodhgaya Monastery Shopkeepers Bodhgaya, 14 August (Dainik Jagran). The Block Office has once more begun an attempt to free the international tourist site of Bodhgaya from encroachments. In this regard the block officer Ravi Bhusana has issued an eviction notice to about a dozen shopkeepers to vacate their premises by the 17th of August. All of these shopkeepers have been renting their shops for years which are constructed on the land of the Bodhgaya Monastery. full story

Bodhgaya Archeological Dig Hit by Corruption
Patna, 12 August. (The Times of India) The times of India reports that investigations are ongoing into corruption in the Bihar State Directorate for Archaeology and that no records for expenditure since 1998 are available. One of the results is that, "The conservation work of the famous archaeological site at Taradih in Bodh Gaya is pending for the last several years despite the allotment of Rs 20 lakh." full story on The Times of India website.

Farmers Breath a Sigh of Relief due to Heavy Rain Patna, 11 August (Dainik Jagran).
Due to heavy monsoon rain in almost all districts of the state farmers who had been fighting with the drought breathed a sigh of relief. From three hours of torrential rain the hope arose again in farmers of the possibility of a fair aid in farming work. full story

Soil Testing Centre Closed Five Years Due to Lack of Chemicals Gaya, 11 August (Dainik Jagran). Due to a lack of chemicals the only Soil Testing Centre in the District has been closed now since five years. Whilst the Government is spending lakhs of rupees on it without any reduction in costs. full story

Mayor of Bhagalpur and Gaya reserved for Women Patna, 8 August (Dainik Jagran).
The Gaya town Council has reserved the post of Mayor for a Scheduled cast Woman and the Bhagalpur Council to a woman of any community. The State Election Commission Secretary Mr Suman Kumar said that the reservation would be rotated according to the population. full story

Direct Flights from Gaya for Haj Pilgrims from September: Shahnaz. Kishanganj, 6 August, (Dainik Jagran). For the first time Haj pilgrims will be able to fly direct to Mecca-Medina and for only 12 thousand rupees. Formerly Haj Pilgrims flying from Mumbai or Delhi had to pay 35 thousand rupees. This news was given by the Central Urban Parks minister Saiyad Shahnavaj. full story (another Minister's speech which ends with some very tendentious claims about the BJP and the minorities)

Gaya to Offer Direct Flight to Jeddah for Hajj Pilgrims Patna: August 5, 2002 ( Much to the delight of many Hajj pilgrims in Bihar, the Gaya airport, that is now considered an international facility, will be adding a direct flight to Jeddah, according to the Minority Welfare minister Shakeel Ahmed Khan, who made the announcement on Sunday. full story (PatnaDaily is a great new Bihari site)

Bihar Bans Sale of Gutkha
Melbourne, 7 August. Bihar has joined other states and banned the sales of the mixture of pre-processed powdered tobacco, Betal (areca nut) and other ingredients in the form called gutkha or pan masala. I am not sure whether its the pan ingredients, or that fact that its mostly consumed as a form of chewing tobacco that makes it a health risk.
Story at (an excellent Indian Website)

Dainik Jagran Gaya News Down Again
Melbourne, 7 August. So far there has only been Gaya news on the Dainik Jagran one day in August, and that was only three stories. I think this might be due to the floods, the transport strike, or something else, but I doubt its due to a lack of events in Gaya. Incidently to find Bihar news a good technique is to use the News Search on the Advanced Page on Google.

Grievous Attack on Secretary of Magadh University Technical Cell
Bodhgaya, 3 August (Dainik Jagran). Yesterday unknown persons carried out a grievous attack on Lal Bahadur Singh the Membership Secretary of the Technical Cell of the Medical, Dental, Engineering Committee situated in the central office of Magadh University. full story

July 2002 Stories
June 2002 Stories
May 2002 Stories
April 2002 Stories
March 2002 Stories
Archived stories from 1998-2000

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Ambedkar Website
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Old Buddhist Shrines at Bodh-Gaya Inscriptions: B.M. Barua
Battling for the Buddha: William Dalrymple
Antioch Education Abroad
Mahabodhi Temple Page [at]
at Buddhanet
of Bodhgaya by Ven. S. Dhammika
of Gaya District

Other Sites:
Early Indian Census Reports

Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation

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Some of my sketches of India from the 70s and 80s

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.