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On 14 October 1956, Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution decided to quit Hinduism and take up Buddhism, along with close to 3,65,000 of his followers at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur. In May, 1936 Ambedkar addressed a huge gathering of Mahars in Mumbai, where he declared his ideas on conversion, and why he considered it to be the best route towards emancipation. He spent the next 20 years contemplating on which religion would suit his requirements best. He dismissed the idea of converting to Islam or Christianity, because of the foreignness attached to them. However, he chose Buddhism after a long-drawn-out process of contemplation on the religion, and in fact came out with his own version of the Buddhist Dhamma, where he modified those aspects of Buddhism which he considered as not aligning with the overall rationality, inherent of the religion. This new school of Buddhism was called Navayana (the new vehicle). In 2001, a large stupa was unveiled at Deekhabhoomi to commemorate the occasion.
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