Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a message of peace and harmony to the country and the world while visiting Varanasi on the occasion of Dev Deepawali. According to experts, Modi, who also visited Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon, will give a befitting reply to China’s expansionist and war-mongering.

Tej Pratap Singh, professor of the political department and an international affairs expert at Kashi Hindu University, said, “It is seen there is a rivalry between India and China over intellectualism. China argues that most of the followers of Buddhism live in China, so China has authority over Buddhism. India cannot have any right only because Buddha is born in India. According to the census, the number of believers of Buddhism is decreasing rather than increasing globally.”

“On the other hand, India believes Buddha was born in India from the time of his first preaching. There is also this cultural battle between India and China somewhere and there is also competition to lead Buddhism in both countries,” he added.

Experts feel Buddhism has become a kind of a weapon in the battle between India and China.

Dr K Siri Sumedha Thero, President at Jambudeep Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sarnath, said: “When the Prime Minister goes to the place of Buddha’s first sermon, the believers of Buddhism are bound to be happy. He took blessings at the site of Lord Buddha’s first sermon, this message will go all over the world.”

Late Hojo Sasaki from Japan, a Buddhist monk, had built the Japanese Buddhist temple in Sarnath in 1989. Its current chairman is 70-year-old Myojitsu Nagakubo, who is also a social worker.

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