Sunday, April 20, 2008
Dated : 28-12-2007.
From : All India Shwetamber Sthanakwasi Jain Conference(Regd.), New Delhi.
Shri Digamber Jain Sabha , Amritsar.
Shri Atmanand Jain Mahasabha Uttri Bharat, Punjab.
Shri Jain Shwetamber Terapanthi Samaj, Amritsar.
Shri Jain Mittar Mandal(Regd.), Amritsar.
S.S. Jain Sabha(Regd.), Civil Lines,Amritsar. Off: Sh.Puj Sohan Lal Jain Hall,
Hon'ble S. Prakash Singh Badal,
Chief Minister, Punjab,
Government of Punjab,
The Punjab & Haryana High Court on 17th Dec., 2007 declared the Notifications proclaiming The Sikh Educational Institutions run by the Shromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) in Punjab as "minority institutions" as void.
Jains being a religious minority community,we understand the feelings of our Sikh community. We feel that Sikhs feel apprehended, deprivation of their religious ,cultural & Educational Rights in the State of Punjab. Similarly, Jains which are still not granted Religious Minority Community status by the State Government feel likewise. We also came to know that the Punjab Government may move the Supreme Court against the order of the Division Bench said Advocate General S.Hardev Singh Matterwal.
Your Media Advisor, S. Harcharan Singh Bains said that the State would legally contest
the order in order to safeguard the interests of Minority Community in the light of the High Court Orders.
Hon'ble C.M. Sahib the feelings of Jains religious minority community should also be looked into in the same light and your good honourbeing theHead of the state, we expect justice from you as SGPC and your Government is seeking justice in regard to the decision of the High Court.
The fact is that right from 1871, when the decennial Census began, Sikhs & Jains have been recognized as religious communities at par with Hindus and Muslims. And in making of the Constitution, the Sikhs,the Buddhists, the Jains and the Parsis all received
attention and were recognised as minorities. A number of States like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Uttrakhand, Karnataka & Bihar have already declared Jains as Minotiry Community in their States.
It is interesting to note that Muslims, Christians,Buddhists and Parsis have a Minority Status in the State but why Jains are left – is a clear discrimination against the Jain Community.
The Constitution in Explanation to Article 25 recognizes the existence of the Jain religion
but brackets it with Buddhism and Sikhism for the limited purpose of one Section of the
Article which deals with a common social aspect. Considering that only 5 days after the
Promulgation of the Constitution , the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, through the letter of 31 January, 1950, signed by his Principal Private Secretary, Sh. A.V.Rai clarified the misunderstanding and assured a Jain Deputation that the Jains are a distinct religious
Most often Lord Mahavir is Mis-represented as Founder of Jainism in many History Books, Indian Tourism Sites(Like Incredible India) whereby he was Last Tirthankar who
revived Jainism which was Founded in This Era by Lord Rishabdev/Lord Adinath.
It is believed, Jainism is approximately 8.4 Million Years old religion or even more old than that in this cyclic period.(The papers confirming the Status of Jainism as quoted by Learned Scholars of India as well of the World are enclosed).
Jains have their own religious places to worship – Mandirs, Asthanaks & Idols of 24 Tirthankars are there. Jains have their own rituals and way to worship. Their identity is absolutely different. Marriages of Jains are mostly held within their own community. When Jains have a separate Identity in all respects, then why Punjab Government is not giving Minority Religious Status to Jains.
Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar forcefully argued for recognition of the absolute rights of
In the aforementioned context the following facts regarding the Jain minority religious
Right need to be noted.
i) The Jain demand for minority status is almost a century old, when in British India the Viceroy and Governor General of India, Lord Minto took a decision in Principle of giving representation to important minorities in the Central Legislature, Seth Manek Chand Hirachand, an eminent Jain leader from Mumbai and the then Acting President of the Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain Sabha made an appeal in 1909 to the Governor General for the inclusion of the Jain Community for representation in the Council. Seth Manekchand's petition was transferred to the Government of Bombay and the Secretary to the Government of Bombay stated in his reply dated 15th Oct.1909 as under:
ii) "I am directed to inform you that a number of seats have been reserved for representation of minorities by nomination and that in allotting them the claim of the important Jain Community will receive full consideration."
iii) In his speech on the 3rd Sept. 1949, Jawahar Lal Nehru said: 'No doubt India
has a vast majority of Hindus, but they could not forget in fact there are also minorities Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jains. If India were understood as Hindu Rashtra it meant that the minorities were not cent per cent citizens of the country.
iv) The Government of India Census counts Jains in India as a major religious
community right from the first census in British India in 1873.
v ) Jainism is mentioned as a religion along with Buddhism and Sikhism in Explanation II of the Article 25 of the Indian Constitution relating to Fundamental Right to religions freedom. On this issue Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, in his letter dated 31.01.1950 assured a Jain Deputation that they need not have any misgivings on this clear constitutional position.
It is respectfully submitted to your goodself that Jain Community feels aggrieved by denying them religious minority status in the State. The Jain Community has got its own ancient independent culture and religious heritage and is unquestionably a minority community. There is a feeling amongst Jains that this status is denied to them because they have not taken to the turbulent path of agitation. The Jains is a peaceful community having belief in Ahimsa.
We request Punjab Government should consider our request very seriously and grant us religious minority community status in Punjab immediately and respect the sentiments of Jains.
for All India Shwetamber Sthanakwasi for Shri Digamber Jain Sabha
Jain Conference(Regd.), New Delhi.
Amrit lal Jain
for Shri Atmanand Jain Mahasabha for Shri Jain Shwetamber Terapanthi Samaj
Uttri Bharat Punjab
Member Wor. Com.
for Shri Jain Mittar Mandal (Regd.) for S.S. Jain Sabha (Regd.)
Jain Member, Maharashtra State Minorities Commission
Chairman, Jain Minority Status Committee, Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha
54,Patil Estate, 278, Tardeo Road, Mumbai-400007
Tel: 23861068, Telefax: 23893030, Mobile: 9869055533
E-Mail: email@example.com , Website: www.globaljains.com
Today a news item has appeared in section of Media regarding Considering Jains as religious Minority.In my views if the Govt. can grant the benefits, from the taxes collected from this community ,to others Minorities ,whose population is more than a neighboring Country(may be due to their aggressiveness),why this peaceful jain community should lag behind we should aggressively demand a status as a religious Minority through out India.This is genuine case and we should not Forget our duties.we are a peaceful,industrious and community which is ignored and isolated(sidelined ) always.
we want all the benefits of being a religious minority .
kindly see this blog and express your views.
regards,Dr.Sandeep K Jain
New Delhi, April 20
The Jain community in the Capital is raising the pitch for minority status on par with the Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and Parsis, listed as notified minority groups under the Delhi Minorities Commission Act, 1999.
Members of the community say they want minority status primarily because they want to incorporate Jainism, the religion of the community, as a subject in Jain schools. The Capital and its adjoining areas have eight Jain schools.
They are not being able to teach Jainism to their children because most of the Jain schools in Delhi are partially funded by the government, which doesn’t allow the teaching of any particular religion at schools unless it is a minority community.
“The government is ignoring the community. We want minority status as enshrined (under Article 25) in the constitution, which empowers the government to accord minority status to six marginal ethno-religious groups, so that we can teach Jainism to our children in schools run by us. We don’t want reservations in jobs or in education,” Chakresh Jain, head of the Delhi Jain Samaj, told IANS.
Members of the Jain Samaj had assembled at Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s home on Saturday to celebrate Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain spiritualists. Mahavira was born 2,604 years ago in Vaishali (now in Bihar).
Chakresh Jain said children of the community here were losing touch with their traditional culture because they were not being taught Jainism in schools.
The community, comprising mostly businessmen, trace their lineage to Lord Adinath, a seer-king who preached non-violence, tolerance, vegetarianism and the importance of karma and literacy during the Vedic Age (2nd-6th century B.C.).
Members of Jain community in the Capital are jewellers by profession with the highest literacy rate. Till the middle of the last century, the community lived in the old walled city of the Capital.
According to official estimates, there are 480,000 Jains in Delhi. The Jain community is known for its social work and service in the sphere of education.
Underscoring the need for minority status, Chakresh Jain said Jains were included in the list of minorities in seven states across the country - Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal (which enacted a law to bring the community under the minority fold three weeks ago). According to 2001 Census, the Jain community forms .45 percent of the population.
“Delhi is one of the few states where the Jain community has not been granted minority status,” he said.
According to Jaipur-based Jain scholar Hukam Chand Bharill, “Jainism as a religion is older than Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam”. Bharill has authored 66 books on Jain spirituality and way of life.
“Sikhism, the dominant religion of Punjab, is barely 500-years-old whereas you will find mention of the Jain community in the Vedas. The ancient Indian scriptures acknowledge Rishab Dev, hailed as the first Jain guru,” the scholar told IANS, arguing in favour of minority status for the community in Delhi.
“One must not forget that Lord Mahavira’s grandfather, the ruler of Vaishali, propounded the concept of a republic (Loktantra),” Bharill said.
Bharill runs 400 Jain elementary night schools across the country (known as Vitrag Vigyan Pathshala), which churn out nearly 500 Jain scholars every year.
“We want to teach our children compassion, good behaviour, health and hygiene in school, according to Jain tradition. But we cannot do so because the government provides aid to most of our education institutions in the country. Minority status would solve the problem. But we will never teach our children to look down upon other religions,” he said.
The Jain community, who don’t like to be clubbed with Hindus, have their own temples, texts, religious mores, food habits and deities. Like Buddhism, the group is divided into two sects - the Shwetambar and Digambar folds.
“We do not believe in Jagatguru Shankaracharya, we have our own spiritual identity,” Chakresh Jain said. — IANS