It gives us great pleasure in presenting the first issue of Buddhist Voice to you. This is perhaps the first experiment in India to publish an e-magazine dedicated to issues concerning Buddhist in India. Our main focus will be Socio-Economical and Political issues at large, besides religious issues of Buddhist world wide and special attention to issues related to Indian Buddhist.
India was once a Buddhist country and majority of the population today in India had their ancestors as Buddhist. Buddhism was prominent in business communities, who found it well suited to their needs and who increasingly established commercial links throughout then Mauryan Empire. Post 12th Century, the decline of Buddhism started on account of wasted interest of dominant caste and apart from a small community in Eastern Bengal in which it had survived from ancient times and Nepal, Buddhism was virtually extinct in India by the end of the 19th century. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism in 1956 has written a new chapter in Buddhist history. It is now about six decades since Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar reignited the minds of the downtrodden by adopting the Lord Buddha’s Dhamma in the land of Buddha. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had many options to choose while he was contemplating the renouncing of Hindu religion after he announced his firm decision in 1935. Very early in life, Dr Babasaheb had realized that if he has to bring his people to path of progress and up-lift their socio-economical status, the first and the most important step would be to come out of the shackles of Hindu religion. The entire Hindu religion is based on the caste system and the social status of a person is based on the caste in which he is born. Hindu is the only religion in the world which will not allow its follower to come up in life or achieve higher social / economical status if he is born in lower caste irrespective of his personal intelligence, willingness to work hard and his capabilities. Dr Babasaheb allowed over two decades time to the Hindus to change the social pattern and bring equality amongst all the Hindus but nothing changed in caste system neither Hindu leaders initiated any social reform process.
Post independence and conversion to Buddhism, though a political equality has been established in the country, the majority of Buddhist in India still face discriminations by the dominant caste people. Consistently, there has been no political representation to Buddhists in India and their socio-economical issues have still remained unsolved.
It will be our attempt to raise these issues in public forum and create awareness of present situations of Buddhist amongst the fellow citizens. It will also be an eye-opener to most of the educated Buddhist strata that today appears to have detached from the majority of Buddhist who are still struggling to meet the basic needs. The opening of economy by Indian Government appears to be widening the gap between the lower class, middle class and upper class. In addition to the discrimination due to caste in India, we have also started experiencing the class struggle in India.
It will be our attempt to provide the reading material which will help Buddhist to educate them to uplift economically and socially. From the next issue, we will be introducing our regular columns on Wealth Building, Self Employment and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with www.indianbusinessman.com besides columns on teaching of the Lord Buddha. We hope to be connected through this e-magazine which will be available to you without any cost and with a freedom to read on desk top and lap tops through our website www.buddhistvoice.com and also on your Tab, I-Pad, Kindle or Smart Phones through our e-pub, mobile and kindle versions. We also hope to connect entire India through this magazine, though uniting all Buddhist socially and politically will be our ultimate dream.
We certainly looking forward to have your co-operation and constant support in this journey we are starting today. Your suggestions for improving our content and presentation will be welcomed.