Hundreds of Dalits embrace Buddhism in Haryana

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

Jind, June 4 : Fed up with the discrimination and caste-based violence, hundreds of Dalit families converted to Buddhism on Monday in Haryana’s Jind district .

The en masse conversion of Dalits has come as a shocker for M L Khattar’s government in Haryana. Accusing the Khattar government of “not fulfilling its promises of providing security to the community”, Dalit members accused the Khattar government of not fulfilling its promises of providing security to the community, about 120 members of the Dalit community have converted to Buddhism in the Jind district of Haryana .

After holding a strike in Jind for 113 days, around 100 Dalits from the district converted to Buddhism as the state government didn’t fulfill their demands of the ordinance in SC/ST Protection Act, CBI investigation in Jhansa gang-rape case, among others.

The conversion happened after 113 days of protests by the members of the community against Haryana state government. The move is being dubbed as a big setback to Haryana government’s focus on reaching out to the Dalit community.

Dalits who embraced Bhddhism said “They felt led down by M L Khattar’s government in Haryana as it went back on its promises of providing security to the community.”

“Haryana Chief Minister had agreed to fulfill our demands on March 7. We gave an ultimatum on May 20 that we’ll convert if CM doesn’t fulfill our demands in a week. So we started the march towards Delhi on 27 May and converted to Buddhism at Ladakh Bhavan there on June 2,” Dinesh Khapad, Dalit leader said.

This is the second mass conversion in India, earlier around 300 Dalits from Gujarat’s Una town converted to Buddhism in April this year to protest against discrimination and caste-based violence.

Among those converted were persons who were assaulted in Una by cow vigilantes in July 2016, allegedly for skinning dead cattle.

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