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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Buddhist Council presents 22 point petition to District Magistrate
6 March 2002. The Gaya district unit of the The Indian Buddhist Great Council has presented a 22 point petition including a change in the act [which governs] the world famous Mahabodhi temple to the district officials and a copy each to the Central Government and and the State Government.
In the list of demands formulated by the Indian Buddhist Great Council are included: a separate legal code for Buddhists, the separation of Buddhists from Hindus, scrapping the constitutional re-evaluation comittee, issuing of Buddhist jati identity papers to Buddhists, the inclusion of only Buddhists on the Management Comittee of the Mahabodhi Temple, the formation of a body, like the WAQF body which looks after Muslim sacred sites, to administer Buddhist sacred sites, the abolition of entry fees to all Buddhist sites in India, the provision to Buddhists of facilities granted to minority communities, the announcement of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's birthday as a school Holiday and the anniversary of his death as a National holiday, the renaming of Dadar station [in Mumbai] as Chaitya station and the renaming of the Dadar to Amritsar Express as the Chaitya Express. The reintroduction of an image of Ashoka's pillar on Indian currency notes from which it has been withdrawn. The inclusion of Buddhist members on the minorities commission. The allotment to Buddhists of separate funerary facilities, the broadcasting of Buddhist teachings [vani] on Durdarshan [Indian State Television]. Amongst others who made these demands were included, Vishvanath, Thakur, Convener, Dilip Kumar, Deputy Convener, Niranjan Das, Rampravesh Thakur, etc.

Dainink Jagran, Gaya News, http://www.jagran.com/news/today/CT131.htm, accessed: 8 March 2002.

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