Associating Buddhism with violence is fashionable: Expert

Kolkata, Feb 19
Buddhism is increasingly being associated with violence and now emerging as a sensitive issue between India and China, a Buddhist studies expert has said.

"Buddhism is becoming a sensitive issue between India and China."

"There is a kind of fashion nowadays to show Buddhism is also related to violence," Claudio Cicuzza, faculty member and research advisor, School of Arts and Sciences, Webster University (Thailand Campus) told IANS here Wednesday.

Cicuzza, who has several books on Buddhism to his credit, pointed fingers at a section of scholars who tend to bring out the violence aspect.

"There are a lot of scholars, especially Western scholars who are giving a big stress on this. I don't accept this, " he said, referring to the attack on Muslims in Malaysia by Buddhist monks.

The expert was in the city as part of a delegation from the varsity to ink a deal with Calcutta University on collaborations related to Buddhist studies, south east Asian studies and foreign policy and international relations.

According to Cicuzza, Buddhism has a crucial role to play in linking Asian nations.

"Asia was the invention of the Western people but Buddhism made Asia... it was the real glue between India and other nations. It is important to reconnect and West Bengal has a big role to play in this," he stressed.

Concurring, Manikuntala Haldar from Calcutta University's Department of Pali, said the religion assumes significance in the area of human rights as well.

"The philosophy associated with Buddhism is relevant today and particularly in co-operation among nations in Asia from a human rights perspective too," Haldar told IANS.

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