Buddhist Leaders Claim Census Count for Buddhists to be "Grossly Understated"

June 9, 2005

Source: The Indian Express


On June 9, 2005 The Indian Express reported, "Buddhist leaders, including Tenzin Ngodupa, a representative of exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama, today rejected government’s claim that India has only 80 lakh Buddhists and said these figures, projected in the recently-released Census of Religions were 'grossly understated.' The Buddhist leaders were interacting with the census report during their interaction with population expert Dr Ashish Bose. Bose, who had analysed the census report for each religious community for the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), said the number of Buddhists had remained constant at 79.55 lakh for over a decade. The community constitutes about 0.8 per cent of India’s population. The leaders alleged that census enumerators were 'biased' against the community and deliberately 'showed lakhs of Buddhists as Hindus.' The leaders claimed that their actual number was nearly five crore."