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Una Dalit Family Shuns Hinduism, Adopts Buddhism

They shunned Hinduism as it "discriminates between people of the same faith on the basis of their caste and occupation".

Ahmedabad, Apr 29

  • A Dalit family, whose four members were allegedly flogged by cow vigilantes in Una tehsil of Gir Somnath district of Gujarat in 2016, converted to Buddhism on Sunday along with 300 members of the community.
  • The conversion ceremony was held on the eve of Buddha Jayanti at Mota Samadhiyala village in Gir Somnath district where the flogging incident had happened.
  • “We had informed the district collector on April 20 that we will convert to Buddhism on April 29, and sought the support of members of our community and others for the programme where hundreds of Dalits would embrace Buddhism,” Piyush Sarvaiya, a member of the Sarvaiya family whose four members were victims of the flogging incident, said.
  • Seven Dalits, including four members of the Sarvaiya family from Mota Samadhiyala, were paraded and flogged for allegedly skinning a dead cow in July, 2016. The incident had caused nationwide outrage after a video of the same went viral.
  • Hundreds of Dalits from their village as well as from adjoining villages participated in the mass conversion programme organised by Balubhai Sarvaiya, the head of the family, near the site of the incident in the village.
  • He said the family had announced that they would shun Hinduism as it “discriminates between people of the same faith on the basis of their caste and occupation”.
  • He said other victims of caste discrimination will also embrace Buddhism.
  • “There is no discrimination in Buddhism which teaches all to live equally and respect each other. This is the reason we had decided to convert to Buddhism,” Ramesh Sarvaiya, another member of the family said.
  • The family members alleged the Gujarat government did not fulfill the promises made to them in the wake of the Una flogging incident.
  • “They had promised us land and a fast-track court to deal with the case, but none of the promises have been fulfilled by the government,” Ramesh added.
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