It is indeed fascinating to learn about India's glorious past and how much South-east Asia's history has been shaped by the country (India's deep but forgotten roots in South-east Asia; Jan 13).
However, as a Buddhist, I disagree with the statement that "Buddhism was itself an artificially separated religion" and that "its concepts flew seamlessly from the earlier streams of thought enshrined in the Vedas".
It is true that the Buddha lived at a time when the brahmanical tradition (an early form of what we call Hinduism today) was the main religious belief.
The Buddha was aware of the Vedas and commented on it numerous times in the Pali Canon (the Buddhist scriptures).
However the Buddha's teachings were distinct from the Vedas and even contradict it on many occasions.
To give some examples, the Buddha spoke out against the Vedic ritual of animal sacrifices that were performed by the Brahmin priests during his time, saying those acts were of no spiritual value.
The Buddha also said that bathing in holy rivers would not purify oneself spiritually.
Buddhism is a product of Indian thought and all Indians should feel proud of this fact.
But while Buddhism may share common cultural and language roots with Hinduism, the Buddha's teachings are unique and distinct from that of the Vedas.
Tok Meng Haw