The All Bengal Buddhist Development Committee is scheduled to take out a “mega peace (silent) rally” from Darjeeling More to Airview More here on 1 April.

Organisers said the rally is meant to voice the demands pertaining to the Buddhist community at large.

The listed set of demands of the committee are nomination of two members from the Hills and the Terai to the West Bengal Minority Commission, immediate formation of a Buddhist development board for protection of Buddhist culture and education, the Central government ensuring the administrative board of Bodh Gaya to the Buddhists, ensuring regular running of trains for pilgrimage at Bodh Gaya, nomination of a representative in the national minority commission, a Buddhist university in the Terai-Hills, central Buddhist station be named as Buddhist special, expansion of railway lines from Gaya to Bodh Gaya station, preservation of Buddhist universities, preservation and renovation of ancient caves, installation of the statue of the Buddha at Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Station, a Buddhist academy in North Bengal, and inclusion of Pali- Tibetan languages in North Bengal University syllabus.

Committee general secretary Akash Lama said the rally is meant to unite the Buddhist community. “We are marching in a peace rally on 1 April to make our voices heard by the state and the central governments,” he said.

“One of our demands was met by the CM (Mamata Banerjee) last year to declare Buddha Jayanti a public holiday. It had been our demand since long, and we are very grateful to her,” Mr lama added.