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Last updated: April 14, 2006

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Stories from 2005 and links to earlier stories

Sixteen Medics issued with warrants
Vazirganj (Gaya), July 13, 2005. (Dainik Jagran). Police station in charge Ravindra Ram has issued warrants against 16 so called 'shoulder-bag' medicos under case number 124/05. The warrants have been issued against 16 doctors identified by the local primary health centre. They practice in the local market and are going to be prosecuted quickly. There are dozens of such doctors in the block. There is an uproar amongst them. The action is being taken at the direction of the court.

Bodhgaya Temple not to be Delisted from Unesco Heritage listing
Melbourne, May 25 2005. There are a number of reports on the net, search in Google news lists under Bodh Gaya temple and you will find them. For instance there is one in The Telegraph Calcutta which sums up what was clearly a scare about it being delisted. It seems that part of the tension is related to whether there is uncontroled development going on around the temple compound and what the impact of the HUDCO master plan might be on the poorer inhabitants of Bodhgaya. It seems as well that reassurances by local officials that the existing village will not be demolished are not being completely believed by local people who organised a two day strike in apprehension about the possible demolition of their homes and businesses. There is a report of this strike organised by the Bodh Gaya Nagrik Manch (Bodh Gaya Citizens Front) from WebIndia123 on April 26th which mentions the conflicting problems of uncontroled development around the temple, and the fear of demolition of homes around the temple.

The people of the country do not know the meaning of the word Hindu: Prof. Ray
Bodhgaya, May 24th 2005, (Dainik Jagran). The people of our country do not know the meaning of the word Hindu. Up to now people believe that according to historians it derives from the word Sindhu. Because in Farsi the sound ‘s’ is lost. These things were said in a function organised by the Mahabodhi society on the occasion of the Buddha Jayanti by Prof. P. C. Ray.
Prof. Ray said that he had done his own researches on this topic. He said that in Farsi there are four ‘sa’ characters, such as the one in ‘Farsi’, but he denied that Hindu could be derived from Sindhu. According to him Hindu is a Buddhist word which is a short form of ‘Arhant’. He said that it means ‘Sadhu’ [pure/praiseworth or a holy man]. He who conquers his senses. He said to the meeting that he recommends that Buddhism should be the basic Religion [dharma] of India, but it has not been possible. [Report then continues with notes on other speakers at the meeting. Incidently, on linguisitic grounds it seems very unlikely indeed that you could derive Hindu from Arhant:- PGF]

Chief Secretary Order Action against Untouchability
Gaya, May 23rd 2005, (Dainik Jagran). Chief Secretary K. H. Subrahmanium has given orders to district officials to stop practices which are motivated by untouchability in the provision of midday school meals program. In his order he says that it has become known that separate classes (i.e. castes or jati) of children are being fed from different cooking pots, which is against the rules about the abolitition of untouchability. It is an offence under the Indian constitution to act in this way, but despite this complaints have been made about the midday meal program. He has ordered that these arrangements for separate cooking pots and utensils should be stopped immediately. [Maybe this story is related to the one below?, see also this article on boloji.com by Dr. Prasenjit Maiti]

Fight in khichri program, five arrested
Vazirganj, (Gaya), May 19 2005. (Dainik Jagran) In Kurkihar primary school in the Vazirganj district there was a fight during the preparation of khichri (rice and dal mixed up and cooked together) as part of a program to feed children. Due to which there is tension between the teachers and the villagers.
After the incident of fighting in the school the villagers have locked the gates of the school. Due to this the school has been closed for some days and a case has been registered at the local police station.
Five named accused have been arrested in relation to the case and sent to jail. Amongst them are Pramod Singh, Rekha Singh, Mithalesh Singh, Satyanarayan Singh and Vipin Singh.

Film Released About Samanvey Ashram in Bodhgaya
Melbourne May 16th, 2005. Madhu Sudan, a film maker from Bilaspur in India, has made a DVD and created a very interesting website about the Samanvey Ashram in Bodhgaya to find out more you can follow this link

‘Shoulder Bag’ Medicos exploit the Poor
Atari (Gaya), May 11, 2005 (Dainik Jagran). In three areas, Nimcak, Bathani and Mohra of Nimacak-Bathani district ‘Should-Bag-Mark’ medics are making money out of the poor and blackening the name of the medical profession. They are springing up in the area like mushrooms. It seems that in almost every village and market of the area they are running clinics. They have no degrees in medicine nor experience nor facilities. Despite this they do not hesitate to treat colds, fevers, deliver children and treat serious diseases. These medicos have no ongoing connection with their patients and just hang around in order to get money. (on Jhola Chap 'Shoulder-Bag-Mark' doctors, also called quacks, see also this article Understanding Poverty... by Barbera Parker and Valerie Kozel).

Absconding Offender Arrested
Bodhgaya, May 10th 2005, (Dainik Jagran). Jagran reports that the absconding offender Bhuvaneshvar Yadav alias 'Kankatta' ('ear-chopper' or/and 'chopped-ear') was arrested by Bodhgaya Police in Moratal village. He is wanted in relation to a robbery in Harli village of the house of Suresh Singh. While robbing that house he shot and injured a man in an exchange of fire. The arrested has now been sent to jail.

Photographs of Bodhgaya
Melbourne, Monday April 11th, 2005. You can find some great photos of around the Bodhgaya area taken by Doeko Pinxt if you follow this link and then click on India. more

"Hand over Mahabodhi temple to Buddhists"
(EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE, Posted online: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 at 0151 hours IST)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 4: The NCM has asked the the Government to hand over the Mahabodhi temple at Gaya to Buddhists. The Commission passed a resolution making it somewhat mandatory for the governments in New Delhi and Bihar to consider the issue. more

MCCI abduct Two People
Dainik Jagran, March 23rd, Bankebazar Gaya. The banned Marxist organisation the MCCI have carried off by night on Sunday night Sanjay Sav and Rajesh Kumar from Vishnubigha village in the Imamganj precinct. The MCCI claims that both youths were associated with their opponents the RCC. The father in law's house of Sanjay Sav and Rajesh Kumar is in Vishnubigha village.The villagers to free the son-in-laws who came to visit their father in law contacted the MCCI. Up until Tuesday night the matter had not been reported to the police.Sanjay comes from Sevti village in Kothi precinct. Sources say that after both youths were abducted they were taken to a nearby jungle. Where it is reported both were beaten up badly.

Four Abscond, Accused Arrested
Dainik Jagran, March 22nd, Gaya. In the Kotwali precinct of Gaya during a special police operation four people who had been absconding were arrested. The 'Over Inspector' of Kotwali Police station, Virendra Singh, said that on the order of the station in charge, Karam Lal, the police station in charge arrested them in relation to case 23/05 on Monday.[names of the arrested men]. According to the SI Mr Singh, the men were extorting protection money from Ritish, a Medical shop owner on Tikari Road. [A typical recent Dainik Jagran Gaya story.]

BodhgayaNews - Now On New Server
March 22nd, 2005. Bodhgayanews is now on a new server. There will be a period of a few days now when sometimes you get pointed back to the old server, and sometimes you get to the new pages.

BodhgayaNews - Moving to New Server
March 14th, 2005. I have found a new server at a more affordable price and hope to be moving the site to it around now, there may be some missing links and the like for a while. But hopefully shortly a new and improved site will be available.

Bodhgaya News - To Close at this Web address
February 25, 2005. Sadly the time to pay the fee for hosting this site has come up again and I don't have the money to pay for it this year, so my ISP will close this account on the 14th March. I will be moving the site contents, hopefully, to another location shortly, and I hope finding a lower cost way to maintain the site at this web address.

Bodhgaya News Being Erratically Updated
August 13, 2004. Due to pressure of work commitments since last December I am not able to update this website regularly at the moment. That is to say the present contents will remain up for the moment but I am not adding new stories on a regular basis. Also I am adding more stories gradually gathered during the last few months, so although the lead story may not change there may be new stories I noticed further down the page.
Part of the reason for this is also that when I was in Bodhgaya last December I started wondering about the way that the local media contribute to and play a role in the events occuring in Bodhgaya and decided to take a step back for a while and consider this a bit more. There is excellent discussion of this issue in India's Newspaper Revolution by Robin Jeffrey (Hurst & Company, London, 2000). Another part of the reason is simply I am finding very depressing the stories of people squabbling over the temple and the accusations and counter-accusations made by the various parties.

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Bhiksu Rahul Starts Hunger Strike
Bodhgaya, 12 August, (Dainik Jagran). Ven. Rahul Sankrityayan the Secretary of the Vajrabodhi Society who was taken into police custody on Wednesday night has begun a hunger strike. more

Ven. Rahul in Police Custody
Bodhgaya, 11 August (Dainik Jagran). The Police took into custody on Wednesday night the Ven. Rahul Sankriyayan the secretary of the Vajrabodhi Society which runs in Bodhgaya. more

[See also story below of the 29th July]

Cases against Vimalasara Discharged
Melbourne, August 6, 2004. The Rev. Vimalasara (also spelled Wimalasara) who was the former Monk in charge of the Mahabodhi Society of India's Bodhgaya centre has been discharged from the main charges against him and the remaining case against him has been stayed, which is effectively also therefore dropped. The cases have been dropped I understand due to lack of evidence to frame the charges meaning that the Magistrate ruled that there were no charges to be answered. Read Vimalasara's Letter to the Home Affairs Ministry in this regard.

Arrest warrant against Buddhist shrine official
IANS, July 31, 2004 Patna, India -(Buddhist News Network) - A Bihar court has issued a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of a top official of the Mahabodhi temple, a world heritage site and one of the holiest Buddhist shrines, in Bodh Gaya, about 100 km south of here. The warrant against temple administration secretary Kalicharan Yadav was issued on a private complaint of cheating and criminal breach of trust filed by a hotelier. Full story.

"Monk In Charge Chases Cleaner and Beats him up"
Aj, Patna, Tuesday, 27 July 2004, page 3.(Gaya Office, 26th July). Aj newspaper reports that the Bodhipal, the Monk in Charge of the Bodhgaya Temple, for the Temple Management Committee (not the same as the Mahabodhi Society as in the above article) has shocked people by swearing at one of the temple cleaners, Ganesh Manjhi, and after striking him with his hands beating him with a broom. Ganesh Manjhi says that other monks tried to stop Bodhipal but he swore at them and told them to go away. Ganesh Manjhi said that the Monk in Charge had previously treated them rudely and had misbehaved with the wife of one of them. The temple cleaners have complained about this matter to the local MP Rajesth Kumar Manjhi, who has said the matter will be taken seriously and there will be an investigation. However, Bodhipal, the Monk in Charge of the Bodhgaya Temple, has said that the incident is made up.

Bodhgaya-Daltonganj Railway Line Proposal Approved: Minister
Sherghati, (Gaya), 20 July (Dainik Jagran). In order to increase tourism a new railway line from Bodhgaya to Daltonganj has been approved by the central government by the Rail Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. more

"Giant Buddha to rise in northern India"
July 15, 2004 Guardian Unlimited. The Guardian reports that plans for the giant Buddha statue which was originally going to be built in Bodhgaya are now progressing and the project is to be built in Kushinagar in UP... read the original story

Threat to Murder Buddhist Monk
Gaya, 29 June 2004, Hindustan, Patna Edition, p.3. Hindustan reports that Bhikshu Rahul Sankrityayan the Secretary of the Vajrabodhi Society has sent a letter appealing for protection to the District Magistrate. Prior to the this the European Organiser of the society Markus Wagner has sent faxes to the chief Minister of Bihar and the National Human Rights Commission and related officers asking for intervention in the matter of the Vajrabodhi school. In his letter to the District Magistrate Bhikshu Rahul Sankrityayan has accused some people of stealing from the school located in Mocharim village, and incidents of violence and demanding protection money, all with the aim of taking over the school. He also writes that apart from all this these people have threatened my life. Lots of the materials stored in a tent outside the school have been damaged and it is suspected that some have been stolen. Bhikshu Rahul Sankrityayan has appealed for the property and his life to be protected. It is notable that the Vajrabodhi school was providing free education to around 450 children and giving them food and clothing as well educating child monks. But after to theft, extortion rackets, and threats to Bhikshu Rahul Sankrityayan's life the school has been closed for the last six months.

Local Representatives Angry
29 May, Hindustan Times, Patna edition, page 6. Gaya. Local representatives have been angered by not being invited to a meeting chaired by the Tourist Minister on the implementation of the master plan for the development of Bodhgaya. The Head of Bodhgaya Town Panchayat Ramsevak Singh said that this was the first time that local representatives had not been invited to such a meeting. Ramsevak also said that it was a legal requirement to take into account the local representatives before implementing the master plan.

Archeological Survey Of India Enmeshed in Controversy: Restoration of the Mahabodhi Temple not completed after two years
(23 April 2004, Hindustan, Patna Edition, p.3.). Gaya. The Archeological Survey Of India is caught up in a controversy as the work of restoring the Mahabodhi Temple which was to take two years is not now complete after two and a half years says Hindustan. The article says the work started in February 2002 but even now it has not reached the top of the temple tower. During the last six months there has also been no work at all but the metal scaffolding all around the temple is a danger to pilgrims and tourists. Due to the International Buddhist Conference in February the scaffolding was taken down and restoration work stopped. After the conference The Archeological Survey Of India put the scaffolding up again but has not begun work again. A high level meeting under the leadership of State Tourism Minister Ramshankar Tiwari has strongly criticised the The Archeological Survey Of India for its manner of work while assessing the implementation of the master plan for Bodhgaya prepared after its listing as a World Heritage Site. Mr Yadav said that work which was to take two years is not now complete after two and a half years. The restoration work is also of a fairly poor standard and not officials of any expertise have been appointed to oversee it. Mr Yadav suggested a committee of experts should be formed to oversee the work. It is notable that the Archeological Survey Of India Research Laboratory (Lucknow) report says that the state of the Mahabodhi temple is fairly dangerous. In the Investigation Report it says that thousands of Bodhi tree seedlings are sprouting from the Temple structure and metal ties are exposed due to which water is seeping into it during rainy weather. It needs to be treated in time and six lakhs of rupees were allocated for removing the seedlings and the Archeological Survey Of India treated the structure with chemicals but it was not successful. Then the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee gave 38 lakhs of ruppees and the Archeological Survey Of India decided to do the whole job but now there is a question mark over its manner of working again.


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