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Bodhgaya News
Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Thursday, September 12, 2002
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July 2002 Stories

Al-Qaeda Supremo Osama Bin Laden alive and in Pakistan under the protection of Pakistan Secret Service ISI: Fernandez New Delhi 30 July. The Dainik Jagran lead story today ... or read an English version of the story at the Hindustan Times or at Reuters (the story is based on an interview with Channel 4 in the UK)

Investigation of FEMA case against Vimalasara begins Gaya, 28 July. (Dainik Jagran). The investigation has begun against the Ven. Vimalarsara, who is on remand in custody in regard to the law on Foreign Exchange (FEMA). An officer who arrived in Gaya today took into his possession various papers.full story

Appeal To End Animal Sacrifices At Manglagauri
Gaya, 25 July. (Dainik Jagran). The founder of the Annapurna Ashram which is an institution for the revival of Indian culture, Sanskrit language and the eternal Dharma has appealed for Animal Sacrifices at Manglagauri to be stopped. full story

Several Challenges Face New DSP
Gaya, 25 July. (Dainik Jagran). Siddheshwar Mandal was today appointed as City Deputy Superintendent of police. There will be considerable pressure on him to free the town from crime. Gaya inhabitants are talking about whether he will be able to solve in the future several contraversial crime incidents. full story

Lalu is playing politics while wearing a mask of "non-discrimination between religions"
Gaya, 21 July. (Dainik Jagran) The National General Secretary of the All India Buddhist Monks Association Ven. Anand has once more taken issue with the RAJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. Ven. Anand today said openly that Lalu Prasad Yadav was practicing politics whilst wearing the mask of "non-discrimination between religions." full story

Implementation of Standard Criteria for World Heritage Essential: Ven. Anand
Gaya, 20 July. (Dainik Jagran). All India Monks Association National General Secretary Ven. Anand has expressed pleasure over the inclusion of the Mahabodhi temple in the World Heritage Listing. He has written a letter to the District Magistrate Brajesh Mehotra stressing the need to fulfill the conditions for inclusion in the world heritage listing. Ven. Anand arrived two days ago for his residence and yesterday issued a press statement to this effect. full story

Was the Buddha a Buddhist?
Melbourne, 19 July. There is an article on the Buddhist Council of New South Wales website (from 1993) that poses this interesting question in a discussion about the then campaign to liberate the Mahabodhi temple.
I quote from part of the article. "The local leader of the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) geography Professor Lalan Singh from Bihar's Magadh University argues that there's no difference between Hindus and Buddhists and its the MAC leaders who want to create conflict. "We always said that Lord Buddha was the 10th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. So Buddhists and Hindus are both from the same sect" he said. This is a view supported by Dwarko Sundarani who was the secretary of the MMC for over 30 years. "Buddha was a Hindu. He lived as a Hindu, he died as a Hindu" he argues, thus adding that the joint MMC has worked well for 40 years. Prof Singh says that the Buddhists who are now in the MMC wants to get control of the shrine to stop the Hindus worshipping there. He also claims they want to make money out of tourism. He notes that there's increasing numbers of South-East Asian Buddhists now visiting Budhagaya. Ven Pragyaseel agrees that a lot of problems are due to money and potential tourist revenue. "Because the potential for tourism is good. So the Hindus want to get its hands on it (money)" he says." link to story
(Note: some Hindus hold that Buddha was the ninth incarnation of Vishnu, a famous instance of this is in the 12th century Gita Govinda by the Bengali Poet Jayadeva which describes the ten incarnations (dasavatara) of Vishnu, link to translation of this text)

Workers to Demonstrate against Disruption of Health Programmes
Gaya, 17 July, (Dainik Jagran). The Bihar Medical and Health Workers Union has announced their intention to demonstrate and perform satyagraha against the constant disruption to health services by the government under the name of Globalisation (vaishvikaran), liberalisation and privatisation. full story

Five Hundred Meditation Huts for Temple Compound?
Melbourne, 17 July. The Temple Management Committee website now has a page on which it describes a number of development schemes it wishes to undertake. These include: $250,000 US on temple restoration, $700,000 on five hundred meditation huts to be be built in the Meditation Garden part of the temple compound, and $2,500,000 US on the construction of an accommodation 'rest shed' for up to 5000 pilgrims at a time on the Kalacakra Maidan. link to page cached version

Offender Absconds, Officer Honoured
Gaya, 16 July, (Dainik Jagran). At the Crime Meeting it was announced that the in-charge of Cherki police station was to be honoured for recovering a stolen bicycle. full story

UNESCO site description of Bodhgaya online
Melbourne, 9 July. You can look at the UNESCO description of Bodhgaya at this URL also there is a detailed account of the criteria for listing on the site. See extract.

Bodhgaya Development Plan
Melbourne, 9 July. There are parts of what may be the Bodhgaya development plan on the Mahabodhi Temple Website these include this extract:
"MARKET COMPLEX : Buddhagaya is a town of international importance. The area around the temple complex is full of way - side shops. These encroachments block the smooth movement of the pilgrims and obstruct the view of the ‘Mahabodhi’ from outside. The shopkeepers also disturb the pilgrims. The encroachments need to be removed. New area should be developed as a modern shopping complex so that these encroachments do not come up again. This can be kept in mind while preparing the master plan for Buddhagaya township."
See www.mahabodhi.com and follow the link to Development Program and Projects to see some of the ideas currently being put forward. Many are admirable, some will have a negative impact on poor people such as street traders who it sounds like will be harassed and evicted from the temple area.

Letter to Government over safety of pilgrims and the Mahabodhi temple
Gaya, 6 July, (Dainik Jagran). The Police Superindent has sent a memo to the state head office over the safety of pilgrims to the Mahabodhi Temple. In which there are requests for several police 'O.P' vehicles, extra police force and officers. [Article also includes a clarification by the District Magistrate that there are "No plans to demolish Buildings within one kilometre of temple"] full report

World Heritage Site Reports
Melbourne, 7 July, Following the naming of Bodhgaya as a world heritage site there has been widespread coverage of this news. Most like the BBC are simply including it in a list of sites notified by UNESCO. The longest report in an English language news source was in Rediff.com from their correspondent Anand Sahay in Patna who reported the comments of local DM. But nobody has picked up much on the report in the Times of India of the nature of the development proposed for Bodhgaya. more

June 2002 Stories

May 2002 Stories

April 2002 Stories

March 2002 Stories

Archived stories from 1998-2000

Related Links

Hindi Dailies

Dainik Jagran

Prabhat Khabar

English Dailies

The Times of India

Hindustan Times

Link to Papers

Samachar

Monastery Sites
[alphabetical order]

Burmese Monastery

Mahabodhi Temple

Maitreya Project

Root Institute
(second url)

Shechen Monastery
[half way down the page]

Vietnamese Monastery

Other Sites

Ambedkar Website

Sasai Shurai Website

Old Buddhist Shrines at Bodh-Gaya Inscriptions: B.M. Barua

Battling for the Buddha: William Dalrymple

Antioch Education Abroad

Mahabodhi Temple Page [at www.stupa.org.nz]

Bodhgaya
at Buddhanet

History
of Bodhgaya by Ven. S. Dhammika

Map
of Gaya District

the-South-Asian

Other Sites I am involved in

Early Census of India Reports

Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation
[try searching for India in the Tung Wah Newspaper Index for a Chinese View of India]

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.