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India

Buddhists Reject Religious Census

Updated: June 16, 2005 05:00 PM GMT
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Buddhist leaders have slammed the government for its recently released Census of Religions, which puts the number of Buddhists in the country at 8 million. They claim that the actual number of Buddhists in India is closer to 50 million. Population expert Ashish Bose studied the country´s Buddhist community on behalf of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). His findings suggest that its numbers have not changed over the past 10 years and have remained constant at 79.55 lakh (7,955,000) for over a decade. According to Buddhist leaders including the Dalai Lama´s representative in India, Tenzin Ngodupa, census takers deliberately registered many Buddhists as Hindus. NCM chairman Tarlochan Singh said he would ask the central government to appraise Buddhist leaders´ grievances and reconsider the accuracy of the census data.(AsiaNews)

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