Jai Bhim Network

Happy Constitution day to all of our friends!

2011.11.26. Categorized: Uncategorized   

We are grateful to our Indian Buddhist Brothers and Sisters who demonstrate today in the town of Parbhani for freedom of buddhist congregations in Hungary.

26 november 2011

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Church Law and the Future of Jai Bhim Network in Hungary

2011.09.09. Categorized: Uncategorized   

It’s almost been two years to my visit (23rd Sept to 20th Oct 2009) to the Sajókaza (Hungary) and since then I’ve been in constant contact with my friends - Anikó Szegedi, Derdák Tibor and Katlin Bodori - from Hungary. This article is in continuation to my previous articles - Babasaheb Ambedkar and ‘the Dalits of Europe’, Reclaiming Human Dignity: The Protest and Gypsy Stereotypes, Celebrating Dhamma Chakka Parivartan Diwas in Hungary, and Ambedkar in Hungary - which I wrote while staying at Sajókaza.

Few Updates from the Jai Bhim Network, Hungary

Since 2009, Jai Bhim Network has expanded its roots deep into the Hungarian society via opening new schools at Alsózsolca (about 60 students), Mágocs and Sáta (elementary school about 20km from Sajókaza) and Jai Bhim Network has purchased a new house (named White House) to teach Roma students and carry out various social functions. With the help of Bharat Wankhede (the guy who accompanied me on the visit) and The Corporate Body of the Buddha Education Foundation, Taipei (Taiwan) Jai Bhim Network has published a Buddhist Puja book – Telihold. Kubu (the guy I mentioned few times in my earlier articles) will graduate in Physics in few years. Benu (the guy whose speech on Roma rights at Heroes Square (Budapest) was simply amazing.) has joined job at Budapest and he is continuing his activities with Jai Bhim Network from Budapest. Katlin Bodori left for completing her master’s degree. Many new teachers are hired and few completed their tenure successfully – enriching Roma students’ lives and their own lives with wonderful experiences.

To fulfil their Buddha-Dhamma and Ambedkarite quest, in Nov-Dec 2010, Derdák Tibor and János Orsós visited India again (third time) and stayed at Bodh Gaya for few days and then took part in the Dalits demonstration for equal rights at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on 5th Dec 2010. Derdák Tibor and János Orsós come to Buddhist places in India as Muslims go to Mecca and Hindus go to Varanasi.

Derdák Tibor at Dalits Protest rally

Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Community

Few days ago while talking to Derdák Tibor (founder of Jai Bhim Network), I came to know about the recent church lawand while talking to Anikó Szegedi on Jan Lokpal Bill (I can bet that she understands this much better than many Indians!), she told me the complications of this church law and she asked me, “Do you think only Indian can act thoughtlessly?” Hungarian parliament can also do such blunders!

On the name of curbing the misuse of funds and to deal with tax frauds, Hungarian government passed (with 254 to 43 votes) a new law on July 12, 2011 – Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Community - famously known as church law in Hungary. According to this new law, religious organisations should have more than 1000 peoples’ base and religious organisation should be more than 20 years old to be able for getting funds from the state and other government agencies. According to the new law, in Hungary only 14 religious organisations out of 358 fulfil the criteria and excluded groups will automatically lose their registration status on January 1, 2012, thereby losing financial support, state subsidies and tax benefits from the government to run their social and charitable work. Lord Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”But so called government seems to disagree with Lord Jesus. I don’t understand why government is interfering with the freedom of religious practice? Church law seems not to curb the tax frauds but to curb religious freedom of citizens.

It’s really a shameful on the part of government to bring such a (unlawful) law and behave like rule in a democratic nation - Hungary. In Hungary, many Romas (Gypsies) depend upon the charitable work done by various churches and Jai Bhim Network. Losing their registration and lack of funds will further affect the poor Romas.

It’s to be noted that Hungary comes in European Union and Article -10 of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on Freedom of thought, conscience and religion and Article- 9 of European Convention on Human Rightsstates:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

It’s really strange to note that a country recently freed from the claws of communism passed such a discriminating law, which will hinder the religious freedom as stated in Hungarian constitution. It’s simply unethical to bar someone from practicing religion or belief of one’s choice. Church law to me is similar to the ‘Gujarat Religious Freedom Act’ and notably known as ‘Anti-Conversion Law’ introduced by the Gujarat (India) state government (infamous for persecuting religious minorities) in 2008.

I think governments should not interfere on which religion one should follow and should work on planning and executing the projects that will get adequate drinking water, decent housings, and good education to the millions who are still deprived of these basic necessities. Also, rather than limiting religious freedom, governments should work on making people aware of their basic human rights, only then we can be proud of our country.

Future of Jai Bhim Network, Hungary

Jai Bhim Network is working among Romas (Gypsies) since 2007 for the social integration of Romas, running more than six schools (at Sajókaza, Ózd, Hegymeg, Alsózsolca, Sáta, and Mágocs etc) on the name of Dr Ambedkar High School and teaching illiterate Romas, providing education to the Romas of all age groups and organising various Buddhist events such as meditation camps and celebrating Dr Ambedkar’s Birthday and Dhamma Chakka Parivartan in Hungary. With the help of Jai Bhim Network Romas are able to stand against the daily whips of village life and Network has given millions hopes to these unprivileged Romas through education and social integration program, all such measures were ignored by governments and many others. Jai Bhim Network is working and drawing inspiration from many other Buddhist religious bodies from different countries and especially Dalits of India.

Now, after this new law, Jai Bhim Network has been robbed of its religious status and governments will stop funding for Jai Bhim Network’s activities such as running schools. Proposed law endangers the survival Hungary’s largest educational institution for Roma children - Dr. Ambedkar School. We can’t afford to turn our backs on such a successful initiative - to educated and give ‘Dalits of Europe’ a sense of pride. I would like if friends can write to human rights commissions and support the Jai Bhim Network in what-so-ever-manner to carry on its work of spreading Buddhism and Ambedkarite thoughts through its schools. Don’t deprive Romas from a chance of learning and starting a new life. Future of Jai Bhim Network will be uncertain without your support and participation, so please come forward and support. Please write to Derdák Tibor at derdak@ambedkar.hu

Also sign an online petition against church law at http://www.vallasszabadsag.atw.hu/ and spread the link with your friends. (On the petition Név means Name and Foglalkozás means Occupation)

P.S.: Credit to shape this article goes to Anikó Szegedi, who shared much information with me on the church law, and Derdák Tibor.

P.P.S.: In case you liked the above piece please click on Like button and share it with your friends!

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Dalit Theology

2011.07.15. Categorized: Uncategorized   

How Dalit Christians can combine Ambedkarism and Christian theology?

Dalit Liberation Theology: An interview with James Massey

Q: What role does Ambedkar play in the writings of Dalit Christian theologians?

More »

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Draft Religion Law Would Constitute the Most Oppressive Religion Law in the OSCE Region

On 10 June 2011, four Christian Democrat (KDNP) Members of the Parliament submitted a proposed draft law (the “Draft Law”) regarding “The Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and on the Status of Churches, Religions and Religious Communities”. On 14 June 2011, only four days after the Bill was introduced in Parliament, the Committee on Human Rights, Minority, Civil and Religious Affairs approved the proposed religious legislation and voted to send the draft law to the Parliamentary Assembly for discussion and passage. The Draft Law is now scheduled for a vote before the Parliament on 23 June 2011.

Passage of this legislation would represent a serious setback for religious freedom in Hungary. The legislation contravenes the standards of OSCE, European Union, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights and United Nations because it clearly discriminates against minority religious groups.

The Draft Law would create the most oppressive religion law and the most burdensome registration system in the entire OSCE region. The most egregious provisions in the law include the following:

First, the Draft Law’s tiered system of state recognition is completely inconsistent with fundamental human rights as it contravenes the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The draft law includes provisions that retroactively strip numerous targeted minority faiths of their religious entity status even though they have been registered as religious entities for many years. These retroactive provisions violate the Rule of Law and the right to religious freedom. The Draft Law would “de-register” targeted minority faiths that have been registered as religions in Hungary since the adoption of the 1990 Religion Law, while allowing favored religious organizations to maintain their registered religious status and enjoy all the rights and privileges that flow to religious organizations under the Bill.

Over a hundred religious organizations currently registered as such will be retroactively stripped of their status as religious communities and “de-registered” as religious organizations if these provisions become law.

Second, religious organizations that have been “de-registered” may not use the name “Church” and will also lose their status as a religious organization if they are not “re-registered” through burdensome Court proceedings. In addition, “re-registration” can only occur if a minority religious community meets onerous duration and population requirements showing that it has been organized in Hungary for at least 20 years and has at least 1,000 members. These requirements represent a transparent attempt to suppress minority religious freedom in complete contravention of European Human Rights Court decisions and UN and OSCE’s standards.

Third, the Bill includes a narrow definition of “religious activities” based on Judeo-Christian concepts that does not comport with the broad definition of religion embraced by the UN, OSCE and European Human Rights Court that is mandated under international human rights norms that Hungary is obliged to follow.

Moreover, the government’s recognition of certain religions through “lists” annexed to the Bill due to: 1) their historical presence in Hungary; 2) their serving a substantial “public benefit” in the opinion of the government; or 3) their connection to a “worldwide religious movement” is arbitrary and inherently discriminatory. No criteria are provided regarding why a religion was included in categories 2 and 3. Many religious minorities that serve the public benefit or are connected to worldwide religions were arbitrarily kept off the lists.

This exclusionary approach is inconsistent with the Human Rights Court’s application of a fundamental human rights policy of the European Community to religious freedom issues – “the need to secure true religious pluralism, an inherent feature of the notion of a democratic society”. It would frustrate this policy of “true religious pluralism” and result in arbitrariness and unfair discrimination to interpret religion narrowly to exclude new and minority faiths.

The definitional provisions in the Draft Law do not comport with these human rights standards and would result in the denial of religious registration to numerous religious groups that should qualify under the broad definition mandated by human rights law.

Fourth, the controversial provisions in the law retroactively stripping religious organizations of their rights, “de-registering” Churches so that they no longer enjoy the rights and privileges of religious organizations, requiring religious organizations to meet onerous membership and duration requirements uniformly found to contravene fundamental human rights by the Human Rights Court, the OSCE and the UN, and narrowly defining the term “religious activities” to exclude minority faiths cannot withstand human rights or legal scrutiny. Such provisions, if enacted into law, will inevitably be overturned in the Courts after extended, needless and costly litigation for the State.

The Draft Law contravenes European Union, Council of Europe, OSCE and UN standards. It has been rushed through the Committee without time for an adequate review and debate on its provisions. Passage of this legislation will represent a serious setback for religious freedom in Hungary.

Source: http://religionandpolicy.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6932&Itemid=327

About The Institute on Religion and Public Policy:

Having received two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy is one of the world’s most effective and well-respected advocates for freedom of religion and belief.

An international, inter-religious non-profit organization, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability, and democracy. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute recognizes that religious freedom is more than just a church-state issue. As such, the Institute engages every segment of society to protect humankind’s most basic fundamental right: freedom of religion and belief. The Institute’s programs reflect this multi-faceted approach, in national security, corporate social responsibility, interfaith dialogue and media engagement.

Religious discrimination and persecution are not new issues. They have been around as long as humanity. But combating them does require new ideas and innovative solutions. The Institute has developed creative and exciting methods of advancing fundamental rights, energizing new advocates and rolling back religious discrimination, persecution and tyranny.

Many religious freedom advocacy groups do an important service by highlighting individual cases of persecution, discrimination, imprisonment and abuse. The Institute, however, has a more overarching goal: To create and strengthen legal, business, academic, media and other systems within countries—and internationally—to protect religious freedom so such abuses do not occur.

The Institute on Religion and Public Policy does not accept funding of any type from religions, religious institutions, or government agencies of any kind, unless government funds are specifically earmarked solely for the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom.

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Dear Mr. János Lázár (Majority Leader)

2011.06.17. Categorized: Uncategorized   

Thousand-armed gipsy bodhisattvaThe bill Nr. 3503 “On religious freedom and the legal status of churches and religious communities” before the Hungarian Parliament since 10th of June 2011, deprives JaiBhim Network of its religious status.

Members of the Network seek out isolated villages in order to pray, teach and effect lifestyle changes. The members‘teaching is based on the 2500 year old precept of the Enlightened One: „I take responsibility for my own fate.“ Roma children who have grown up in deepest poverty go to university, illiterates learn to read and write, drunk parents become sober with the help of members of the Network. Buddhist Roma take up the fight against everyday scourges of village life such as electricity theft and truancy, and collect the accumulated rubbish around their homes and communities. The JaiBhim Network cooperates with the Maltese Charity Service, the Ecumenical Education Centre, the Kecskemét Piarists, the Quakers, the I Love Hungary Club, Kaldor College, the Calvinist Alpha College in the Netherlands, the European Buddhist Union as well as the largest group of socially disadvantaged people in the world, the Indian Dalits. Those familiar with Network member’s work understand its necessity.

Today, Hungary’s villages are rife with severe ethnic conflict. Aggressive hate groups and neo-nazi organisations terrorize whole villages such as Gyöngyöspata, Olaszliszka and Tatárszentgyörgy. Luckily, the JaiBhim Network has been able to demonstrate a faithful solution to this nihilist hopelessness through its education and social programme - Dr. Ambedkar School - in several communities including Sajókaza, Alsózsolca, Hegymeg, Ózd, Mágocs, Baksa, Hidas and Alsószentmárton. Our society cannot afford to turn its back on such successful initiatives!

The proposed law endangers the survival of what is probably Hungary’s largest educational institution for Roma children and youngsters - Dr. Ambedkar School - by depriving it of half its budget. Between 2007 and 2011 the Hungarian state provided the same support for this school as it did for other religious schools around the country. Till now, the state has devoted the same resources to the education of a student from a Roma slum as to the students of well known Christian schools in Debrecen, Pannonhalma and Budapest. Will Roma students now be worth just half as much as the children of the elite?

In section 8.§ (2) the proposed law states: The state will cooperate with religious institutions to achieve social goals.

Zoltán Balog, Secretary of State for Social Inclusion recently said: There are many fine examples of integration initiatives in this country, Sajókaza is one. The aim of his visit was to get an idea of how the institution works in its everyday life. He mentioned the outstanding practice of educating children and their parents together. He highlighted the fact that in the world of the Hungarian Romas it is not unusual to meet 35-year-old grandmothers ; Dr. Ambedkar School gives them a second chance. After raising their children they are encouraged to study and acquire a trade. It is doubly motivating when they are given the opportunity to study alongside their children, as mentioned by Mr. Balog. He added that it was important that several generations were able to work together to achieve these goals, and that women were given, and assumed, important roles.

We call on the esteemed Majority Leader to help Roma youngsters following in the footsteps of the Indian Dalits to practice their religious rights.

Download, print, sign, sent: H-3720 Sajókaza, Rákóczi F. u. 29. (Click here!)

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2453 (You will need this technical-number if you would like to offer one percentage of your tax to Our Inspiration.)

Our Inspiration 1st Part

Our Inspiration (1st Part)
Jai Bhim is a cheerful greeting. Ten million Indians greet each other in this manner. They're the Dalits who are a proud community. They inherited an extremely difficult life. Their parents and grandparents and untold generations before them were outcasts in society. Even today they still encounter prejudice and experience helplessness.
For more than a millenium their ancestors lived as outcasts. People had a horror of touching them. Others even avoided being in their proximity as their shadow was considered polluting. If they went to school they were seated separately, If they were able to obtain work they did the dirtiest and lowest paid jobs.

Our Inspiration 2nd Part

Our Inspiration (2nd Part)
With their greeting of Jai Bhim they remind each other of their own successful revolution in 1956 for their human rights. Their cause is sacred. It inspires us here in Hungary, as we also face segregation and prejudice today. We would like to know discrimination is a thing of the past.
The dalit's story is like a fairy tale.

Our Inspiration 3rd Part

Our Inspiration (3rd Part)
Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there lived a seventeen year old untouchable boy in a big family, His name was Bhim. He was the youngest child among 14 siblings. He surpassed all of them because of his brilliant mind. A wealthy maharaj acknowledged his poverty and bestowed a scholarship on him. Bhim was aware that Indian schools were being discriminatory and practiced segregation. Therefore, he tried his fortune in London and New York where he achieved university degrees. He received the title Dr. Ambedkar when he returned home to serve his people as a barrister.

Our Inspiration 4th Part

Our Inspiration (4th Part)
Nevertheless, he was considered as an untouchable in accordance with the holy books of the Hindu religion. Therefore, he convened with his friends and publicly burned Manu's Laws, the Hindu holy script which bids the Hindu to hold the Untouchable in disdain. He became a human right fighter and his authority was constantly growing throughout the whole country. When India gained independence in 1947 he was nominated as law minister. He was entrusted with drafting the Constitution for the country. He wrote in it that discrimination is forbidden.

Our Inspiration 5th Part

Our Inspiration (5th Part)
In his old age the Dalit people addressed him with veneration as Dr. Babasaheb. He and his laws, however respected they were, he still stared frustratedly at the discrimination existing all over the country. He decided then to show the people a spiritual alternative. As our judgment is determined by our faith, he took an oath: "I was born a Hindu Untouchable. It was beyond my power to prevent that but I declare that it is within my power to refuse to live under ignoble and humiliating conditions. I solemnly assure you that I will not die a Hindu". He abjured hindu religion that had brought so much suffering and humiliation to the Untouchable people (today's Dalits).

Our Inspiration 6th Part

Our Inspiration (6th Part)
He studied thoroughly all the faiths of the world. He was seeking a religion which fitted together with reason, with modern science, and which declared liberty, fraternity and equality amongst people. He decided to follow the path of the Indian prince who lived 2500 years ago: he would be a follower of the Buddha. This was a decision of profound importance for the Dalits because the Buddha is venerated thoughout the world, and India is entitled to take pride in her great son. Dr. Ambedkar showed his astuteness: all of us can choose the way to be respected, we can change our fate for the better. Hundreds of thousands followed Ambedkar to the magnificent ceremony in Nagpur in October 1956. This was the rebirth of Buddhism in India. Babasaheb died six weeks later.

Our Inspiration 7th Part

Our Inspiration (7th Part)
Those who at that time embraced a new world view with him, they are today grandfathers and grandmothers. Their grandchildren are as numerous as the whole population of Hungary. They follow Ambedkar's example: they face even the biggest difficulties in all things - to study and to exercise their human rights.

All of the Parts in One

Our Inspiration

  • Chandrakirti: I like ur views on Bhim Jayanti... And i jst can say "Jai Bhim".....
  • Sunil Sagar: Jai Bhim Janos it's great seeing Dr. Ambedkar's follower in Hungary. The Emancipator, The god of Small. What Millions of god and goddess of Hindu's c
  • Ashwin Jangam: Struggle for liberation of Mulnivasis When freedom struggle of our country was going on, we were dual slaves. The Arya Brahmin
  • Ashwin Jangam: Jaibhim Abhinav Thank you Abhinav for putting up a superb photos of our ancestors to know our peop

Table of contents


    President: Janos Orsos

    H-3532 Miskolc, Tátra utca 2.

    H-3532 Miskolc, Tátra utca 2.

    Further field of activity places:
    H-3600 Ózd, Petőfi út 18-20.
    H-3659 Sáta, Kolozsvári út 5.

    +36-30-830-20-29, +36-30-866-32-04

    International Bank Account Number:
    IBAN HU52 1200 1008 0015 6776 0010 0009
    SWIFT Code: UBRTHUHB (Raiffeisen Bank)


Educate, agitate and organise! (Dr. Ambedkar)

Illustrious Day

We wish a Happy Nameday to all visitors called Áron!

Memorial Schedule

24 September: Pune Pact between Gandhi and Dr. Ambedkar in 1932

14 October: Conversion in Nagpur of Dr. Ambedkar and his Dalit followers in 1956: “Dhammadiksha” or “Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din”

28 November: The Day of Orientalists (Körösi Csoma Sándor started his mysterious Eastern journey in 1819.)

5 November - 14 December: The Lőrinc family in Sajógalgóc gave shelter to four Jewish youngsters who had escaped labour camp.

19 January: Martin Luther King Day

11 February: The Day of Freedom in Religion: In 1676 the dutch admiral Michael de Ruyter freed the Hungarian galley slave praechers: e.g. Túróczi Végh András from Fülek, Kálnai Péter from Putnok, Szalóczi Mihály from Zubogy

14 April: Birthday of Dr. Ambedkar

2 May: Birthday of the Buddha

2 August: The Day of Gypsies’ Holocaust in 1944

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