• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: One of the most sensitive and highly controversial issues in India at the moment is the position of low caste harijans (untouchables) in the predominantly Hindu country.In recent months thousands of untouchables in southern India have been converted to Islam.On Sunday (15 November) in New Delhi, more than 5,000 untouchables were converted to Buddhism at a simple mass ceremony.

  • Description

    NEW DELHI, INDIA (VISNEWS - (JAGDISH KAPOOR)

    SV Chanting procession (2 shots)
    GV Entrance to Ambedkar Bhavan
    GV People buying Buddhist books from vendors
    SV PULL BACK Pictures of Buddha
    GV Buddhist monks
    SV Buddha figure PAN DOWN TO picture
    SV Worshippers in crowd
    GV Buddhist monks chanting prayer
    GV ZOOM TO SV Crowd with folded hands
    SV Professor Joshi reciting oath with crowd repeating oath (4 shots)

    Background: INTRODUCTION: One of the most sensitive and highly controversial issues in India at the moment is the position of low caste harijans (untouchables) in the predominantly Hindu country.In recent months thousands of untouchables in southern India have been converted to Islam.On Sunday (15 November) in New Delhi, more than 5,000 untouchables were converted to Buddhism at a simple mass ceremony.

    SYNOPSIS: This chanting procession of men, women and children will concern upper chaste Hindus.There are 100 million untouchables in India and so far the conversion to Islam and now Buddhism has not amounted to a significant number.But the idea has caused considerable heart searching in the Hindu community.

    Literature on Buddhism and photographs of Buddhas were sold from roadside stalls.Although untouchability is officially banned in India and harijans are given constitutional guarantees in practice they continue to suffer daily humiliation.Discrimination persists, particularly at village level.The conversion of harijans to Islam caused shock waves in the Hindu community.As a result organised social mixing was ordered in some 5,000 Indian temples.

    The conversion wave had not spread significantly beyond the south so this rally in the north has caused considerable impact.The function was organised by the All India Buddhist Society to mark the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the conversion movement.Well-paid younger urban harijans are said to be behind the present upsurge for the rights of the caste.

    At the beginning of the ceremony the Buddhist monk conducted the prayers in Sanskrit.Later, the Secretary of the Buddhist Society, Professor Joshi administered the 22oaths of the faith to the untouchables and converted them to Buddhism.The untouchables, with folded hands, repeated the oaths.This latest batch of conversions is bound to fan the flames of controversy over the whole question.Throughout India countless newspaper articles on the issue have been published, stormy public meetings held and questions asked in Parliament.
    InitialsBB Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA3UXVQCWB1GDVT6X44Y6RIJTSO
    Media URN:
    VLVA3UXVQCWB1GDVT6X44Y6RIJTSO
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/11/1981
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:11:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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