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Inaugural session of Bihar government sponsored Rs 36 Lakh’s Vikramshila Mahotsav 2020 turned to be a big gimmick today at Antichak village, the site of half-excavated Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara, the ancient world University.
Terming the Mahotsav as a recurring event of eyewash over a decade, experts blamed the government for indulging politic with Vikrsmshila. The government is blamed for not awaken from the slumber to recognize the tourism potentiality of this heritage across the globe. The experts also blamed the government’s inability to fix the priority for marketing of this heritage in term of tourism.
Ramvilash Paswan, the sitting RJD MLA from Pirpainty assembly constituency along with the dozens of his supporters and local villagers staged a dusk-to-dawn dharna at the main entrance of the protected half-excavated site of Vikrsmshila Buddha Mahavihara.
The RJD MLA who boycotted the inaugural session of three-day long Vikramshila Mahotsav 2020, busy in rising slogans against Nitish government for ignoring this precious heritage. “Nitish has been opposing the progress of Vikrsmshila in the pattern of Nalanda. His anti- Vikramshila attitude clearly reflects as the state government has delayed to complete the formalities of the land acquirement for the proposed central varsity here. Earlier on 2015 the central government announced for a proposed central varsity here to reestablish the lost glory of Vikramshila (the way Nalanda established a central varsity) and asked the state government for land. Despite local people are ready to give their lands for the proposed central varsity here, the state government deliberately delaying for completing the formalities,” Paswan lambasted. “I will put the entire episode on the floor during coming assembly session,” he said.
Anand Kumar, a native of Kanshri village alleged that the government spent Rs 36 lakh this time for the Mahotsav and some Mumbai based singers and dancers are invited to perform here. “Vikrsmshila was one of the most vibrant world’s University in ancient time and no academic activity has been included in the Mahotsav. What actual the government wants to give massage through the Mahotsav?” Kumar asked.
Local villagers alleged Nitish government for ignoring this historical site. “Earlier some ministers used to attain this Mahotsav mostly during its inaugural session but this time not a single person, either a minister or any bureaucrat from department concerned at state headquarters bothered to visit here,” was common complain on every lips.
Lina Sinha, member of Zila Parisad and an active BJP activist also blamed the government for ignoring such world heritage having maximum tourist potentiality. “You could easily realize the scale of government apathy while enjoying the bumpy drive to reach the half-excavated site of Vikramshila,” she pointed out. “I will meet the chief minister and requested him for considering the facts and also will urge him for adopt a proper marketing strategy for exploring the tourism potentiality of Vikramshila and its surroundings. She refers the classic example of Bodh Gaya : “ even some 18-20 year back only some flickering lamps were seen in the small kiosks ins and around Bodh Gaya and today you could have avail international flights from there. Vikramshila too has its significance among the Buddhists in the world mainly due to Dipanker Srighyan Atisha and if all the criteria for tourism would be fulfilled, Vikramshila would be overcrowded with tourists from different parts of the world,” she claimed.
Except heavy deployment of police forces, there was very low turnout during today’s inaugural function at the venue to of the Mahotsav while sizable mass was seen with the site of Dharna by RJD MLA. Veteran Congress leader and sitting MLA from Kahalgaon assembly seat Sadanand Singh who represents the area over more than last three decades, who participated at the inaugural session today, avoided media to answer his efforts for the revival of Vikramshila. JD-U MP from Bhagalpur Lok Sabha seat, Ajay Mandal, an old lieutenant of Nitish Kumar, who was chief guest in the function, didn’t deliver a single word for the revival of the lost glory of Vikramshila. In absence of senior officials, DDC, Bhagalpur, Sunil Kumar presided over the function.
The ruins of the ancient seat of learning, Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara, the medieval center devoted not only to the conservation and propagation of the non-violence concept and philosophy of Buddhism but pioneer of social reconciliation and universal brotherhoods, unfortunately synonyms apathy and negligence by part of the of government.
“We learnt how this Buddhist institution even after its complete destruction by the foreign invaders and subsequently faded away from public minds many decades ago (1200 century BC), has been nourishing the roots of Buddhism across the world. Today’s Buddhism virtually survives mainly due to Vikramshila which early moderated the ways for the followers of the school of Buddhism. Lamaism today survives in the world under the able guidance of Dalai Lama, has it’s root at Vikramshila . The rituals like Kalchakra followed by the Buddhists in different parts of the world, is also inherited from the ancient rituals of Vikramshila that earlier conducted by many eminent Buddhist icons like Dipanker Srigyan Atisa of Vikramshila,” said Julius Roger, a former student of ancient history at Cambridge University.
62 year Roger who recently on voyage from Kolkata to Allahabad on inland water ways of Ganga, visited the half-excavated ruins of Vikramshila and exclaimed the prolong apathy. “I don’t know why Indian government yet not include it India’s Buddha Circuit?” he asked curiously.
Rajiv Siddharth, the president of Press Club of Eastern Bihar (PCEB) also echoed Roger. “It’s really horrible to reach Vikramshila from Bhagalpur, the condition of the stretch of NH-80 and the approach roads to the half-excavated site is dangerous. Roads were repaired last time in 2016 when the than president of India, Pranav Mukherjee had visited the place. Secondly, there is no basic facility for the tourists at the site. Although Archaeological survey of India (ASI) has a camp office to protect the half-excavated site and also to ran a museum here but the ruins have started the process of destroying mainly due to absent of any proper conservation exercises,” Siddharth alleged.
PCEB on 2016 published a souvenir to gift the president of India, vividly projected a blue print for the revival of glory of this ancient seat of learning, but nothing happened due to the most insensitive government, alleged Anuj Shivlochan, a member of PCEB.
“History will never forgive such conspirators who dared to abuse one of the mighty Indian king, Dharmapala who gifted Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihar (783-820 AD). They indulged politics with the great Acharya of this institution, Dipanker Srighyan Atisha and many souls who earlier specified Buddhism’s simplest way, ie Sahajan, for the common mass for having their salvations,” lamented Lalan Kumar , a former student of history at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University.
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