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Modi: Bodh Gaya to be developed into spiritual capital

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By NewsGram staff writer

Patna: PM Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that Bodh Gaya, which is considered the birthplace of Buddhism, would be developed as a spiritual capital of the Buddhist world. pm-modi-new_650x400_41436029978

“We want to develop Bodh Gaya as a spiritual capital of the Buddhist world,” Modi said that in the concluding ceremony of three-day international Buddhist conclave at Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from here.

“We are meeting in Bodh Gaya, a land that has distinctive place in history of mankind,” he said.

Modi said he was happy and blessed to visit Bodh Gaya. “I have the honour of visting Bodh Gaya after Pandit Nehru and Atal ji.”

He said Buddha gave to the world a complete system of morality, he was a great teacher of equality: “I would personally call India, ‘Buddhist India’,” he said Hinduism after Buddha’s advent became Hindu Buddhism or Buddhist Hinduism.

“I consider this Hindu Buddhist conference on conflict avoidance and environmental consciousness an important event I also echo PM Shinzo Abe of Japan who the other day highlighted the importance of tolerance. When radical elements try to force their ideologies on others then issues of conflict arise,” Modi said.

Earlier, soon after arriving at Gaya airport , Modi went straight to the 1,500-year-old Mahabodhi temple, where he offered prayers, Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee secretary N. Dorjee said.

After offering prayers, Modi circumambulated the Mahabodhi tree under which Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago.

Modi was received by Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and Food Minister Minister Shyam Razak at Gaya airport.

According to police officials, Bodh Gaya has been turned into a fortress and a 16-member Special Protection Group (SPG) team has been monitoring the security arrangements.

(with inouts from IANS)

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The Answer to The Impending Questions On Demonetization Are Here

While it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

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Indian Currency. Pixabay

Nearly all of the currency removed from circulation in a surprise 2016 attempt to root out illegal hoards of cash came back into the financial system, Resever Bank of India  has announced, indicating the move did little to slow the underground economy.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s currency decree, which was designed to destroy the value of billions of dollars in untaxed cash stockpiles, caused an economic slowdown and months of financial chaos for tens of millions of people or demonetization.

Modi announced in a November 2016 TV address that all 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes, then worth about $7.50 and $15, would be withdrawn immediately from circulation. The banned notes could be deposited into bank accounts but the government also said it would investigate deposits over 250,000 rupees, or about $3,700. The government eventually released new currency notes worth 500 and 2,000 rupees.

 

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An activist of Congress party hold the banned 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

 

In theory, the decree meant corrupt politicians and businesspeople would suddenly find themselves sitting on billions of dollars in worthless currency, known here as “black money.”

“A few people are spreading corruption for their own benefit,” Modi said in the surprise nighttime speech announcement of the order. “There is a time when you realize that you have to bring some change in society, and this is our time.”

But even as the decree caused turmoil for those in India who have always depended on cash — the poor and middle class, and millions of small traders — the rich found ways around the currency switch. In the months after the decree, businesspeople said that even large amounts of banned currency notes could be traded on the black market, though middlemen charged heavy fees.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with mayor, flickr

The reserve bank of India report said in its Wednesday report that 99.3 percent of the $217 billion in notes withdrawn from circulation had come back into the economy. Some officials had originally predicted that number could be as low as 60 percent.

Also Read: Diverse Gathering To Be Addressed This World BioFuel Day: PM Narendra Modi

“Frankly, I think demonetization was a mistake,” said Gurcharan Das, a writer and the former head of Proctor & Gamble in India. He said that while it did broaden the country’s tax base, it was a nightmare for the immense, cash-dependent informal economy.

“You can’t overnight change that in a country which is poor and illiterate. Therefore, for me it’s not only an economic failure but a moral failure as well,” Das said. (VOA)