File photo: Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Patna: Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi on Thursday said he would convert to Buddhism if the Dalits continue to face insult, humiliation and torture due to the age-old caste system.
These days torture and suppression against Dalits are increasing across the country, including Bihar, and this is a matter of serious concern for the Dalits, Manjhi said.
"I am ready to follow path of Babasaheb Ambedkar and will convert to Buddhism, along with his followers," said Manjhi, coming from the Mushahar community that derives its name from the practice of eating rats after usually hunting for them in paddy fields.
In Bihar, Mushahars are still treated as untouchables and they are the most backward community among the Dalits.
Manjhi's HAM is part of the Grand Alliance of Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in Bihar.