Monks plan stir for control of Mahabodhi temple

Himalayan News Service

Patna, May 11:

Buddhist monks are planning a campaign to press their demand that the management of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar be handed over to them. The proposed agitation follows the Bihar government move to turn down the Minority Commission recommendation to amend the Mahabodhi Temple Management Act to facilitate the transfer of the shrine management to an all-Buddhist body. Bhante Anand, president of the All India Mahabodhi Mahavihar Liberation Action Committee, said monks from India and abroad would meet in New Delhi next month to chalk out plans if the government failed to dissolve the existing committee.

“The government should hand over the management to us because the Mahabodhi Temple belongs to us,” said Anand. Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi has rejected the demand on grounds that any fundamental change in the temple management could create a controversy, which, in turn, could result in a communal problem. Buddhist monks have been complaining that Buddhists have been given little role in managing the affairs of the temple since 1949.

The temple is near the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment over 2,500 years ago.