India Dhamma Trust:

Triratna on the BBC World Service

On Mon, 18 April, 2016 - 12:45
vajratara's picture

Listen to this recent BBC radio documentary featuring our very own Maitriveer Nagarjuna! It is about why the Dalits, after generations of oppression, are converting to Buddhism. An interesting listen in that it highlights the problems of caste, which it calls apartheid, as well as the current difficulties the new Buddhists face as they leave the dominant Hindu culture. However, I think it presents conversion to Buddhism as a reaction against Hinduism and underplays the inspiration of following the Buddhist path itself. She says that Dr Ambedkar embraced Buddhism as a political move, when Dr Ambedkar talked of conversion as having both spiritual and material benefits for his people, and for himself as having purely spiritual benefits. He had a deep feeling for the spiritual life and a lifelong interest in Buddhism. As he said himself “Whatever good things I have in me or whatever have been the benefits of my education to society, I owe them to the religious feelings in me”. What is true is that Ambedkar did ‘open the lock on caste’. We have a unique opportunity to help people open a door to a different way of living, to transformation of self and society in the light of the Dhamma. What do you think of the programme?

BBC world service, ‘Heart and Soul: Converting out of Caste’ 17/4/16

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Centre Team's picture

Great to see this - now our lead story! :) 

abhayadevi's picture

Dr Ambedkar extolled liberty and equality, and those can be seen as both spiritual and political concepts - so I think the programme focuses well on issues of inequality. I was interested that more Dalits convert to Christianity than Buddhism, because it’s seen as being more modern - and presumably it cna’t be confused with being a sect of Hinduism.

Vidyamala's picture

Fascinating doc. But such a shame that Triratna gets only a small mention. We have so much to say about thiese issues. I was was also intrigued that so manydalits choose to convert to Christianity. Thanks for posting 

mokshini's picture

Very interesting, thanks for posting! 

Amalavajra's picture

Great to be getting this kind of exposure