Buddhists Demand Control of Temple at Birthplace of Buddhism

February 18, 2004

Source: KeralaNext.com


On February 18, 2004 KeralaNext.com ran an Indo-Asian News Service article that reported, "Patna, Buddhist monks have reiterated their demand that the management of the Mahabodhi Temple, at Buddhism's birthplace in the Bihar town of Bodh Gaya, be handed over to them. 'The government should first hand over the management to us,' said a senior monk, Priya Pal. This time, the claim has come when a grand religious function is being organised Thursday. The function is likely to attract Buddhist experts, monks, top officials and other tourists. Called a 'dedication ceremony', the function is being held to celebrate the declaration of the area as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in June 2002, said tourism officials in Bihar. The 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi Temple is the 23rd site in India to be so declared. 'The ceremonial dedication is a futile exercise without necessary changes in the legal framework,' Pal said."