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Dr Ambedkar's Legacy: Indian Buddhism in Contemporary Varanasi
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Culture and Gender studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the 1950’s the Dalit leader Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar managed to revive Buddhism in India as a protest against, what he considered to be, injustices towards low-caste people that were said to be caused by Hinduism. This study was done to investigate the presence of Ambedkar Buddhism in the holy city of Hinduism Varanasi. By interviewing people and field studies it was possible to see how Ambedkar Buddhism has been transferred to contemporary Varanasi, how the religion is being practices and whether it is a religious or political movement. The results that were found were that Ambedkar Buddhism has existed ever since 1956 when Ambedkar held mass conversions in Maharashtra and that the religion has been kept and transferred within families to today’s generations of Varanasi and also partially because of academics associated with Banaras Hindu University who have move to the city for work and studies. Ambedkar Buddhists practice their religion like most Buddhists with the exception of not having a tradition of monasticism. The movement is both religious and political as it was started as a protest against Hinduism, which is also both religious and political according to Ambedkar. The movement has prospered because it seems that Buddhism is a beneficial way for Dalits to gain power and success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Ambedkar Buddhism, Dalit, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Varanasi, History of Religions, 2011
National Category
History of Religions
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-9308Local ID: REL C-30OAI: diva2:483002
Subject / course
Religious Studies and Theology
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-03-09 Created: 2012-01-24 Last updated: 2012-04-12Bibliographically approved

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