Union Minister for Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy on Saturday said Lord Buddha was the greatest social and intellectual liberator of mankind.

He was speaking at the two-day Second Buddhist International Conference here. Initiated by the newly nominated Rajya Sabha member Bhalchandra Mungekar and organised by the Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Social and Economic Change, the conference is being attended by over 1,200 delegates.

Thai Buddhist monk Phra Ajhan Withoon Ajarsupoh inaugurated the conference. Maharashtra Dairy Development Minister Nitin Raut, the former Union Minister and local MP, Vilas Muttemwar, and the former MP, Ramdas Athawale, were chief guests.

Describing Lord Buddha as the most revered philosopher, Mr. Reddy equated him with Socrates, Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad. Buddha was a symbol of rationalism and humanism. He was the first intellectual democrat and great believer in moderation.

“In today's relevance, Buddhism might have gone from India but the Buddha remains in our hearts.”

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