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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Buddhist Monks form Human Chain around Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya and begin sit down Demonstration

23, March, 2002. Gaya. In connection with changing the 1949 Temple Governance Act of the Mahabodhi Temple this evening approximately 200 monks of the All India Bhikshu Council formed a human chain and began a Sit Down Demonstration. Due to this no Devotee could reach the central Shrine Chamber or the Vajrasana under the Bodhi Tree. At the end of the evening nobody from the administration had come to the site of the demonstration and information that the Sit Down Demonstration is of unlimited duration was given. The Buddhist monks began the Sit Down Demonstration this evening in connection with the demands to change the 1949 Act, dissolve the present management committee, ban shoes and sandals in the temple, and to re-employ honorary Buddhists on the committee. Neo-Buddhists [Ambedkarite Buddhists] from Bihar and other states are participating in the Sit Down Demonstration. The leadership of the Sit Down Demonstration is being undertaken by Nagarujun Surei Sasai the National President of the All Indian Mahabodhi Temple Liberation Committee and Buddhist Monks Council.

It is notable that the three day General Council of the Bikhsu Sangha began in a hotel in Bodhgaya on the 22nd and today was the second day of the Council and there was further discussion of the demands. At around four pm all the monks came to the temple to perform circumabulation and have darshana. At the end of their final circumambulation all the monks sat down on where they were and formed a human chain around the shrine.Then the National President Surei Sasai announced that it was an indefinite length protest.

National secretary Bhante Anand said that in view of the attitude of the administration the monks had been forced to take action. He accused Lalu Prasad Yadav, the leader of the RAJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal), of seeing the income of the temple and playing politics with the issues.

Monks from UP, Southern India, Dehli, Kanpur, Madhya Pradesh, Harayana, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Bihar are taking part in the protest.

Related Links

Buddhist Monks form Human Chain around Mahabodhi Temple (Dainik Jagran Report in Hindi)

Monks gherao Gaya temple (Times Of India)

Site About Surei Sasai and the Mahabodhi Temple

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