Ahmedabad, Oct 12: The public flogging of four Dalit youths in Una town of Gujarat in July this year leading to the state-wide massive agitations including boycott of menial jobs by the Dalit community now seems to be reaching a conclusion. Reports coming from the state say several hundred Dalits have converted to Buddhism – the religion embraced by Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the tallest Dalit leader of the 20th century.
More than 200 members of the Dalit community embraced Buddhism at three programmes in three districts of Gujarat on Tuesday, says a report in The Indian Express. Many of them said the Una incident was main motivator.
“We were thinking of converting to Buddhism for the past six months. The Una incident cleared our doubts,” the English daily quoted Sangeeta Parmar (26) from New Naroda area of Ahmedabad, who was one of those who converted. Parmar converted to Buddhism along with her husband.
While most of them cited the assault of four Dalits by cow vigilantes in Una as the reason behind their conversion, some others cited superstition, inequality and caste-based discrimination in Hinduism also as a factor