(The Asian Independent)
– Vidya Bhushan Rawat
A native of village Saila Klan Distt, Hoshiarpur, Punjab Mr Harbans Virdee came to UK at the age of 15 along with his father. This was year 1966. His father worked in a foundry and he too helped him. Slowly, he started joining the Ambedkarite movement in the UK and dedicated him for the cause of strengthening Buddhism. He became treasurer of Bharatiya Buddhist council UK in 1973. In 1977 he founded Ambedkar Buddhist Association W. London (now Buddha Dhamma Association). He became President, Federation 0f Ambedkarite and Buddhist Originations UK in the year of Ambedkar birth century 1991-1994). Presently he is the International Coordinator for FABO. He has been travelling all over the world to unite the Ambedkarite Buddhist community and is witness to the wonderful work done by Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations, FABO, all over the world. In 1999 he constructed Sanghamitta Vihara, Satnampura, Phagwara, Punjab to flourish Buddhism. He has written about 12 books on Buddhism and Babasaheb’s mission mainly in Punjabi. In April 2008 he helped purchase land on the Main Road from Chennai to Pondicherry Kell Kaverpet, Teh, Panruti to construct Buddhist school and Vihara. He has also helped in purchasing land near to Jetvan, Shravasti. and constructed the first and only one Bhikkhuni training centre in India. He is completely devoted to the cause of Buddhism and Ambedkar mission .
In this conversation with Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Mr Harbans Virdee explained to him not only about Ambedkarite movement in UK but also how he got involved with it and what he found in it. He has seen many phases of the movement and focussed on cultural aspects particularly on Buddhism. He decided not to get engaged with politics and has helped in establishment of Buddha Viharas at many places.
We hope you will love this conversation and through it the history of Ambedkarite Buddhist movement in UK. We would be happy to receive your feed back and comments.
For listening the entire conversation kindly click the following link