Mangaluru, May 11, 2017: Speaking after inaugurating the programme marking the 1st Buddha Poornima organised by the Dakshina Kannada Jilla Baudha Maha Sabha in the city on May 10, Wednesday. Minister for Public Works, Ports, Inland and Water Transport H C Mahadevappa termed communalism and fundamentalism as a threat to the Constitution and democratic set up of the country. To overcome the forces of fundamentalism and communalism, one need to take the political path followed by Buddha, he added.
Buddha and Ambedkar had opined that communal forces would take a stand against human rights which, in turn, would work against the principles of egalitarianism. Buddha had believed in the principles of humanity, love and equality and had opposed dictatorship of any kind, said Mahadevappa.
The minister said that the people of Dakshina Kannada should not give scope for anti-democratic activities in the name of ‘moral policing’ but work towards fulfilling the aspirations of the Constitution, thereby upholding the principles of democracy. Terming Gauthama Buddha a great democrat, Mahadevappa said that Buddha had laid the foundation for a strong administrative setup by protecting the underprivileged from the hands of the haves.
“Wisdom and love are the pillars of Buddhism. During the time of Buddha, society was divided not on the lines of caste and religion but on the lines of profession. However, after the introduction of the Varnashrama system, society was divided on the lines of caste, creed and religion, which created further confusion,” he felt.
Mahadevappa said that Ambedkar, through his life principles and writings, strove to protect the rights of the underprivileged. “Ambedkar was a nationalist. As he could not bring in reforms in Hinduism by breaking the barriers of the caste system, he embraced Buddhism and propagated the principles of Buddhism across the country effectively. Like Buddha, Ambedkar too believed in equality and sustainable development,” the minister pointed.
In his introductory remarks, Maha Sabha treasurer M V Padmanabha appealed to the PWD minister to grant land for the Sabha to set up a Buddhist Vihara and an education centre in the district.
Dakshina Kannada Jilla Baudha Maha Sabha president Kanthappa Alangar presided over the programme. Mayor Kavitha Sanil, Khanthipala Bhantheji and Sivuli Bhanthejiravara of Maha Bodhi Society were present.
As a part of Buddha Poornima celebrations, Damma Deepa Yathre, a cultural procession was held from Light House Hill Road to Town Hall as seen in the pictures here.