Since I remember, I have been a regular visitor to Nagpur on the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s great conversion to Buddhism. Deekshabhoomi has been a great source of inspiration for millions and it will continue to inspire people for ages. A few years back one of my Buddhist friends from abroad remarked that the place is like the Buddhist Mecca seeing the millions of people coming to pay their homage to Babasaheb Ambedkar. Here I met since last 10 years wonderful followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar from all different parts of India. It is the place to meet up old friends once in a year. Nowhere so many books are sold in just a couple of days. This place is truly unique.
The streets in Nagpur teem with people coming from all over. The visitors to Deekshabhoomi come from every corner of the country now. They speak different languages but they are united by their common love for their ideal, Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Like many millions, the day changed the life of Dhammachari Lokamitra who happened to be here at Deekshabhoomi 40 years ago and stayed back in India to work with the Buddhist movement inspired by the vision of peaceful social transformation through Buddhism.
Since then, he set up many projects and one of the remarkable projects that he developed is Nagaloka. One of his life’s missions has been to bring in Buddhists from all over the world to witness the great revival of Buddhism in India. Like many years, this year saw a great monk from South Korea, Sunim Seok, the two times president of Jogye Order visiting Nagpur with Professor Lee and sister Park.
Dr. You, the long-standing friend of Ambedkarite Buddhists came with 15 Buddhists from Taiwan, China, and USA. Dr. You, the great Buddhist scholar and internationally active engaged Buddhist, has done a lot to support Buddhist movement in India. The guests made wonderful speeches amidst the roaring chants of “Jai Bhim”.
Over 140 Ambedkarites from Gujarat embraced Buddhism at Nagaloka today and one of the fresh Buddhists remarked that she is freed from the inhuman shackles of Hinduism and Buddhism gives equal freedom to women.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that the wheel of the Dhamma set in motion by Babasaheb Ambedkar gets more speed every passing year. One can witness it by being in Nagpur on this great day.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale