Buddhism a religion of choice, why does this worry the BJP?

An event organised by the Jai Bheem Mission, founded by AAP minister, Rajendra Pal Gautam angers the BJP when just days ago, in Ahmedabad, the conversion of 140 persons to Buddhism went by unquestioned


A video Of Delhi Minister’s taking an oath at Buddhism event triggered a BJP vs AAP row on October 7 even when just two days ago, Ahmedabad saw the voluntary conversion of 140 people from various districts on October 5 (Dussehra Day) to Buddhism. These persons embraced Buddhism at a function in Majur Gam area near Kankaria lake in Ahmedabad city. The event was held on the occasion of Dussehra festival which Buddhists celebrate as Ashoka Vijayadashmi.

While the event in Gujarat was organised by the Gujarat Buddhist Academy and saw participation of people from districts like Ahmedabad, Panchmahals, Banaskantha, Vadodara, the Delhi event was organised by the Jai Bheem Mission – founded by the AAP minister.

The latest fall-out between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP came about after a video clip of AAP Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam at a public religious conversion event went viral. In the clip, thousands can be heard taking an oath stating that they have ‘no more faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and nor shall I worship them.’ The minister can also be heard taking this oath.

Ironically, this mass conversion event, on a day called the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din, is a yearly event marking Dr BR Ambedkar’s conversion to Lord Buddha’s faith in October 1956 along with hundreds of thousands of followers. Dr Ambedkar had then taken 22 vows, which included distancing himself from the worship of Hindu Gods that are now annually repeated during these mass conversion events.

Hence, here too, the AAP Minister, among a thousand others at the event, can be heard taking an oath, saying, “I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, nor shall I worship them”. Predictably, the BJP has condemned the participation of the AAP minister, calling it an insult to Hinduism and Buddhism. 

BJP Delhi chief Adesh Gupta has filed a police complaint ‘social media posts’ by Mr Gautam “provocative, exasperating, mischievous in nature”. 

“These social media posts are created with the obvious motive of inciting violence and promoting hatred against Hindutva and Hindu religion, which subsequently is motivated to provoke them,” his complaint said.



Other BJP leaders rallied being Mr Gupta to attack Mr Kejriwal and the AAP. “AAP ministers are attempting to incite riots. The minister should immediately be removed from the party. We’re submitting a complaint against him,” BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said.

The BJP’s Delhi unit tweeted the video, accusing the AAP minister of “spewing venom” against Hindus.”See how Kejriwal’s minister is spewing venom against Hindus. The anti-Hindu face of the electoral Hindu Kejriwal and AAP has come in front of everyone. The public will soon give a befitting reply to the anti-Hindu AAP. Shame on you, Kejriwal,” it tweeted.



Not to be outdone or silenced, Rajendra Pal Gautam, who is presently the Social Welfare Minister in the Delhi Cabinet, responded, reminding the BJP of constitutional rights. “BJP is anti-national. I have faith in Buddhism, why does anyone have trouble with it? Let them complain. The constitution gives us the freedom to follow any religion. BJP is afraid of AAP. They can only lodge fake cases against us,” he said.

Adesh Gupta took a dig at Arvind Kejriwal, questioning why he goes to temples during elections when his minister is “making people take an oath against Hindu Gods”.

“Once again the anti-Hindu face of AAP exposed.@ArvindKejriwal The ministers are making people take an oath that I will not believe in any Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh!

So what do you go to temples to show during elections?

Does Hinduism sting so much in AAP’s eyes? Why so much hate?” he tweeted in Hindi.



Firm on both his convictions and his stand, the AAP minister said he has faith in Buddhism and nobody can force him to follow a religion.

“Those who do caste based politics are traitors, they don’t have any other agenda. They think they have exclusive rights over a religion. They are asking why AAP workers go to temples. Well, those who have faith will go. I have faith in Buddhism, I will go there. No one can force me to follow a religion,” Mr Gautam added.

The Delhi event was organised by the Jai Bheem Mission – founded by Mr Gautam – where nearly 7000 people, mostly Dalits, embraced Buddhism. The event was also attended by the great-grandnephew of BR Ambedkar, Rajratna Ambedkar.




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