‘Buddhavanam is nearing completion’

The teachings and legacy of Gautam Buddha were in the spotlight on Saturday as a two-day ‘Seminar on Buddhist Archaeology’ got under way in the city.

“Caste, religion and discrimination are holding back India. Smaller nations are progressing; densely populated China is progressing. But we are still way behind in development,” said Minister for Culture and Archaeology V. Srinivas Goud while inaugurating the day’s proceedings.

“We have forgotten the teachings of Buddha about equality. Unless we realise that all humans are equal and people have that understanding, we will not progress,” said Mr. Goud. “We have a continuous history of Buddhism in Telangana which arrived in the region when Buddha was alive. We are now creating a Buddhism circuit which will be an international draw,” informed the Minister.

A Buddhist theme park is coming up on the banks of the Krishna river called Buddhavanam. Spread over 279 acres, the park is nearing completion, he added.

“People in Telangana followed Buddhism during the lifetime of Buddha. We have a number of sites which are being explored and documented now. The teachings of Buddha are more relevant now than ever before,” said Director, Heritage, A. Dinakar Babu.

In his keynote address, former Director General of Archaeological Survey of India, Gautam Sengupta stressed on laying greater importance on archaeological evidence rather than textual evidence.

One of the speakers at the seminar was Sufi Mostafizur Rahman who spoke about the findings at the Wari-Bateshwar area in Bangladesh, about 70 km from Dhaka. “Earlier historians used to think Buddhism arrived in the area, which is now Bangladesh, in the 6th Century BC. But our findings prove that it arrived much before that,” said Mr. Rahman.

Two Pakistani scholars Muhammad Ashraf Khan and Kiran Shahid Siddiqui were expected to present papers but could not make it to the seminar due to visa issues, said organisers.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 4:53:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/buddhavanam-is-nearing-completion/article29993191.ece

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