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,

Jain Janjghar,

Haveli Zamadaran,


Hon'ble S. Prakash Singh Badal, .

Chief Minister, Punjab,

Government of Punjab,


Dear Sir,

Re:Recognition of Jain as Minority Community in 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

Minority community.

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

Religious Minorities.

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.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

for All India Shwetamber Sthanakwasi for Shri Digamber Jain Sabha

Jain Conference(Regd.), New Delhi.

Amrit lal Jain Vimal Jain

Secretary. President.

for Shri Atmanand Jain Mahasabha for Shri Jain Shwetamber Terapanthi Samaj

Uttri Bharat Punjab

Jitender Jain Moti Lal Begani

Member Wor. Com. President

for Shri Jain Mittar Mandal (Regd.) for S.S. Jain Sabha (Regd.)

Civil Lines

Surinder Jain Anil Jain

President Gen. Secretary

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