Every Buddhist of EVERY Buddhist nation, EVERY World authority, EVERY court of law, EVERY university without ANY exception is unequivocal that Buddhism is NOT a branch of Hinduism.
Many Hindus including leaders from Vivekananda to PM Modi have expressed great admiration for Buddha calling Him the "Crown Jewel of India". However, this does not give the Hindutva extremists grounds to coopt, claim or colonize Buddha as a part of Hinduism.
“Buddha is the Crown Jewel of India ... Narendra Modi.
Show me who has soared so high above all (but Buddha)? History has produced but one such character - Vivekananda.
Lord Buddha is easily the most influential person in Asian history, some even opine world history. While the Jewel in the Crown of Indic civilization, He was every inch NOT a Hindu!
FACTS ABOUT BUDDHISM
While many Hindus do revere Buddha and see Him as the pinnacle of Indic civilization, certain Hindutva extremists and trads who DESPISE Buddha have been promoting fake propaganda that Buddha was "every inch a Hindu". The FACTS are that EVERY Buddhist of EVERY Buddhist nation, EVERY university, EVERY court of law, EVERY world organization without ANY exception, is unequivocal - that Buddhism is NOT a part of Hinduism.
Hindus used to follow the Vedas as the Supreme authority -- something Buddha openly rejected. Today most Hindus follow the Puranas and Shankaracharya -- both sources of which denigrate the Buddha in the most negative ways possible. Every reference to the Buddha in any Hindu text -- from the Ramayana to the Puranas -- depicts Buddha as a heretic and Buddhists as Untouchables. Dr. Ambedkar -- the foremost scholar and expert on casteism in Indian history -- did meticulous research to prove that the "Dalits and Untouchables of India were the original Buddhists that had been subjugated and enslaved by Brahmin Hindus". Even millennia ago, Patanjali documented that "Buddhists and Hindus were always separate - like the snake and the mongoose" and Ambedkar surmised "the history of India is nothing but the mortal conflict between Brahmanism and Buddhism". Therefore, it is offensive and outrageous for a Hindutva trad or extremist to claim "Buddha was a Hindu" or "Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism". Buddhism was never, is not, and will never be a branch of ANY other religion. It is wholly original and this is confirmed by ALL cardinal Buddhist sutras and commentaries. Indians, both Hindu and non-Hindu -- have a right to honor and venerate Lord Buddha -- but they have no grounds to co-opt, colonize, subordinate or subsume Buddhism as a "branch of Hinduism".
Furthermore, EVERY Buddhist sect in the world follows Cardinal Buddhist sutras with EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION. Buddhists DO NOT study the Vedas, Puranas or ANY Hindu text in ANY Buddhist temple ANYWHERE in the world. Similarly, Hindus do NOT study any Buddhist texts in ANY Hindu temple anywhere in the world. Both religions are a part of Indic civilization but are completely separate and have always been. No Buddhist sect and NO Buddhist nation will EVER identify as Hindu no matter what Hindutva propagandists claim. Narendra Modi himself echoed Vivekananda's words that "Buddha did NOT bow to the Vedas" and Puri Shankaracharya and S.N. Goenka signed a formal declaration that Buddha was not to be called a Hindu under any circumstances - a non-negotiable declaration that is also at the heart of Ambedkar's Movement -- to use Buddhism to emancipate Dalits from the Hindu caste system. All relationships have boundaries that must be respected. If you falsely claim your neighbour's property to be a part of your estate, they will ask you to leave. If you cunningly try to annex your colleague's company as a "branch of your own company", the deal with fall through. Buddhists are proud of our UNIQUE, SOVEREIGN religion and we will NEVER bow to the dominion of ANY other religion - be it Hindu or any other. We respect the boundaries of other religions, kindly respect our boundaries as well. That is the ONLY way we can foster any semblance of dialogue and potential cooperation.