Saturday, December 26, 2009

Prof Arvind Jain in Guiness Book of World Records

P J Joychen

JAIPUR: A two-time Limca book record holder, Prof Arvind Jain of Bhilwara has now achieved a unique feat in the world of philately. His name will figure in the next edition of Guinness Book of World Records for the largest collection of stamps and other philatelic items issued in honour of Sir Rowland Hill, creator of the first postage stamp. He has got the confirmation letter for the same via email from Kaoru Ishikawa of Guinness World Records, London. He is the first-ever Indian philatelist to get this honour from the world's most authentic and prestigious record book.
The 52-year-old college professor has been collecting stamps and other philatelic items on more than 20 subjects and themes for the last 35 years. Since the past three years, a difficult and unusual theme has attracted him. He has left no stone unturned to include almost every postage stamp issued throughout the world in honour of Sir Rowland Hill (creator of the world's first ever postage stamp Penny Black' which was issued by UK on May 6, 1840). His efforts have fructified and he now owns the largest collection on this unique theme in the world.

He had to strive hard to create this unusual collection which is now systematically arranged on more than 240 sheets consisting of 870 philatelic items (593 unduplicated postage stamps, 105 miniature/souvenir sheets, 89 first-day covers, 36 special sheetlets and 47 other items -- booklets, post cards/maxim cards, imperforated stamps / MS, gutter pairs, deluxe souvenir sheets, etc). Starting from the very first stamp set of eight, issued in 1940 by Portugal, he has almost all the stamps in his collection issued around the world in honour of Sir Rowland Hill.
Earlier, Limca Book of Records had certified his efforts by including this collection in its 2008 and 2009 editions as the largest collection of stamps issued in honour of a person. He also got his name entered in the 2007 edition of the Limca book for the largest collection of stamps issued worldwide on the theme of Cricket.'

Various stamps of Prof Jain have so far been displayed at Jaipur, Jamnagar, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Chennai. His collection on cricket was specially displayed for 45 days at National Philatelic Museum, New Delhi from March 14 to April 27, 2007. He has won more than 30 medals in various state and national-level stamp exhibitions and he has been honored by India Post and Philatelic Society of Rajasthan for his achievements in the field of philately. Prof Jain has also penned down nearly 250 articles on various aspects of philately which have been published by leading newspapers and magazines in India.

Friday, December 25, 2009

JITO to Help Housewives, Enterprising Jains

Mumbai: Are you a small entrepreneur, or a housewife with savings under Rs1 lakh and belong to the Jain community? Here is good news for you. In the fourth annual global summit, organised by the Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) -- a two-day Financial Supermarket -- starting December 24, will cater to the community's young entrepreneurs.

"Our team comprises of CAs, financial advisors, bankers and lawyers. They will help the investors with their businesses and assist them to come out with an IPO for less than Rs25 crore. Housewives with savings under Rs1 lakh will be given opportunities to invest and earn more," said Hemant Shah, JITO president.

Prominent Jain businessmen, service providers and financial leaders will be participating in the meet. "We plan to help many Jains to corporatise their businesses," said Pratap Jain, CEO, JITO.

The meet will see financial advisors like State Bank of India, Bank of India, JM Financials Limited, Enam Securities Pvt Ltd, SBI Capital Market Limited, etc giving in-principle approval to all projects. "JITO will act as a platform for facilitating the projects," said Ganivarya Nay Padmasagarji Maharaj.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jain Friends is now Jains Today!

Jain Friends is now Jains Today!

We have changed the name of the most popular Jain Discussion Group Jain Friends to Jains Today.

Jain Friends was established in 2001 and it has about 2400 members worldwide. The change in name is because of there are some other groups and communities on net having the same name, and many members are confused about them.

The new address of the group is:
If you are not a member, please join by clicking on above link.

You can also join by sending a blank email to:

For posting a message to the group, use following email (Only members can post):

-Mahavir Sanglikar
0 962 372 5249

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Views On Conversion to Jainism

My Views On Conversion to Jainism

In reply of the renowned scholar Kancha Illaiah, Hem Raj Jain has suggested that oppressed classes may try Jainism. That is a good concept, and some great Jain Acharyas have already executed this idea. For instance, late Acharya Nanalalji Maharaj successfully initiated hundreds of thousands of people from Meghwal/ Balai (Bhangi) community into Jainism in Malawa region of North India. These neo-Jains are known as Dharmpals, and are staunch Jains.

Similarly, another great Jain Acharya converted about one lakh of butchers (Hindu Khatik) into Jainism. That was a great work, as the butchers were directly involved in killings of animals, and it was their occupation. They threw away this occupation and adopted other non-violent occupations. These people now are known as Veervals.

Acharya Vijay Indra Din Suri, who was born in a tribal community, converted about Half a Million tribals into Jainism in Gujarat. These converted tribal people are known as Kshatriy Parmar Jains.

In Eastern states of India like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar, there is a community known as Saraak, which was follower of Jainism in ancient and medieval times and was converted to Hinduism thereafter, is now again returning to their original religion, i.e. Jainism. Thanks to the missionary work of some great Jain monks and activists.

All the neo Jains I have mentioned above are following Jainism in right manner.

Now, my views about Hem Raj Jain’s article. Although his concept is right one, there are many flaws in his thinking. He has mentioned Jainism as a sect of Hinduism. That is not a right thing and this issue has been discussed for a lot of times. Then why he thinks so? Some of his views clearly indicate that he is a Saffron man, probably belonging to RSS. These people always want to keep oppressed people away from Hinduism. No matter if oppressed people adopt Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism, their only wish is that they should not get converted to Islam and Christianity.

These people always mention that Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are sects of Hinduism, but they never talk about the status of Vedic religion in Hinduism. Why they never say that Vedic religion is a sect of Hinduism? Their theory is: Jainism is a sect of Hinduism, Hinduism means Vedic Religion, and so Jainism is a sect of Vedic religion.

Hem Raj like to use the word ‘transformation’ instead of ‘conversion’. But he should know that both the words have the same meanings. By the way, why these people do not ‘transform’ the oppressed people to the Vedic religion instead of showing them the Buddhist or Jain way?

Hem Raj has mentioned that 85% of 1200 millions India are Hindus. It is the biggest fake statement in his article. Deduct 12% Muslims, 2.5% Christians, 2% Sikhs, 1% Jains, 1% Buddhists, 16% Dalits, 8% Tribals, and 1% others from 100 and the Hindus remain at 56.5%. This percentage too will decrease soon to make Hindus a minority religion as Kshatriyas, the main pillar of so-called Hinduism is awakened and many of them are going away from Hinduism.

-Mahavir Sanglikar
0 962 372 5249

Please read following articles on related subjects:

Recent Conversions to Jainism
Forced Hinduism

Monday, December 14, 2009

Forced Conversions to Hinduism

Hinduism is being forced on the followers of Non-Vedic religions like Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The people forcing it do not tell you to go to Hindu temples or perform rituals, but they just change your religious identity. They write your religion as Hindu wherever possible.

All this starts right from the admission of the pregnant woman to the maternity home. When the registration process goes on, the clerk writes her religion as Hindu, without asking her or her relatives accompanying her. For these clerks, if the woman is not a Muslim or Christian, then she is a Hindu. After the birth of the child, the doctor issues a birth certificate mentioning the child’s religion as a Hindu. For the parents, the religion is not important at that time as they are in heaven. They do not take pain even for reading it. But thereafter, whenever they see the birth certificate, they find that their child is converted to Hinduism.

Same thing happens in the school while the admission of the child. The parents do not know that here also their child is growing as a Hindu. They realise it only when the student gets a ‘School Leaving Certificate’ from the school. It mentions the religion of the student as Hindu-Sikh or Hindu-Punjabi in case of Sikhs, Hindu-Jain in case of Jains and Hindu-Buddhist in case of Buddhists. Sometimes it mentions just ‘Hindu’. So the School Leaving Certificate is actually Certificate of Religious Conversion to Hinduism.

The most stupid thing in these School Leaving Certificates is that there is no standardised format for it. One school mentions ‘Religion and caste’, other mentions ‘Race and religion’, another mentions ‘Race and caste’. Who knows about race? But many schools have a ‘Race’ column on the leaving certificate. It is there because it was there while British rule. Change is not acceptable.

Now let us speak about the census. On every tenth year, the Census Commission of India counts the people of India. The Census form mentions 7 religions namely Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Parsi. The followers of other religions are counted under ‘Other’ column. But while census, the data collectors do the same thing what the clerks in hospitals do. They do not ask religion at all. For them all those are Hindus if their name is not a Muslim or Christian name. This happens not just because of lack of knowledge. It is being done systematically by the Hindutwa minded people working as Census Data Collectors.

The population of Hindus in India is about 79%. It is because of the forced Hinduism. We can not know the actual population of Jains, Buddists, Sikhs in India. We can not know the actual population of Adivasis and Nomadic tribes, who are not Hindus but they are counted as Hindus.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Guard against religious majorityism, stresses Chidambaram

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) Two legal luminaries locked horns in the Rajya Sabha Thursday, with Home Minister P. Chidambaram cautioning against dividing the country's polity on religious lines and Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) countering that the minorities needed to be protected but not at the cost of the majority.

Chidambaram's remarks came at the fag end of his reply to a 10-hour discussion spread over two days on the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition and the government's action taken report (ATR) were in response to what Jaitley had said while participating in the discussion Wednesday.

"To divide polity on the basis of religion is dangerous," Chidambaram maintained, adding: "Please do not try to create a division on the lines of colour or religion."

"You can construct a majority on a political ideology, an idea, a theory, a principle. I can accept that. But if you construct a platform on religion, that cannot be accepted," the minister contended.

Jaitley replied that his argument was not of majorityism.

"India is secular. We must protect the minorities but not at the discrimination of the majority because of vote ban politics," he contended.

For good measure, Chidambaram prefaced his remarks by saying religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam, Zorastrianism and Sikhism had come to India between 6 BC and the 1490s.

"All these religions are Indian religions. Those who practice them are as Indian as any other Indian," he contended.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Opressed Castes May Try Jainism

Opressed castes may try Jainism
By: Hem Raj Jain

Kancha may try Jainism Ref: - Transformation and not conversion is the key. Dear Sir This refers to the professor of political science and so called dalit Kancha Ilaiah’s interview to a prominent newspaper regarding his latest book ”Post Hindu India” out of experience of the sects of Hinduism the oppressed castes are practicing and in which:-

(1)- Kancha rightly said that – “Hinduism is in a state of crises, facing a civil war within due to ‘varnashram’ system which keeps 750 million (of oppressed castes of dalits, tribals and backward classes) subjugated and humiliated, whereas other religions offer spiritual democracy, as opposed to the spiritual fascism of Hinduism”.

(2)- Kancha rightly laments that -“it is also said (in Hinduism) that God does not approve of working with hands, it is impure hence this way science and technology stagnated and its practitioners (these oppressed castes) got subdued”.

(3)- Kancha is also right when he says that – “in the hearts of these oppressed castes there is anger and hatred” obviously mainly due to political empowerment thanks to democracy with universal adult franchise.

(4)- But Kancha is wrong when he resent – “the allegation by so called upper caste Hindus that these oppressed castes are merit deficient”. The upper castes do not doubt the merit per-se of the oppressed castes but certainly question the mind-set of these oppressed castes towards reservations in government services (even demands in private services), education, legislatives etc. which has so damagingly made these oppressed castes uncompetitive which is so very harm full to the country which has 750 million uncompetitive citizens.

(5)- Kancha is trying to put the cart before horse when he says that – “Marriage out of one’s cast is prohibited”. Because once these oppressed castes gain respectability and become competitive then this barrier to inter caste marriage will automatically go away.

(6)- Kancha also unnecessarily laments about –“upper caste Hindus not eating with these oppressed castes”. Because presently in India people from upper castes by and large do not mind eating with these oppressed castes.

(7)- But Kancha is impractical in prescribing remedy to oppressed castes when he says that – “the oppressed castes will embrace other religions like Buddhism, Christianity or Islam”. Because:- (i)- Dalits have been trying to embrace Buddhism since pre-independence since the time of Dr. Ambedkar but it has been a big failure. (ii)- Islam and Christianity shall not try such mass scale conversion in view of “aggressive Hindu nationalism” which came into existence in eighties and which has seen the lives, liberties, safety & properties of thousands of Muslims and Christians (also in post Babri Mosque demolition era, Kandhmal Orissa etc ) being violated in the full presence of compromising Indian State. But fortunately, the situation is not that hopeless. Kancha and other well wishers of oppressed castes may try Jainism while keeping the following in view.

(8)- There are three types of Jains. One by birth second by diet and third by choice. Vegetarianism and non alcoholism is practiced by ‘vaishnav’ and other sects of Hinduism also but what makes Jains by choice different from such others is that they believe with integrity in leading a non violent life by giving monopoly of violence (physical coercion) to State and its rule of law. Therefore Jains by birth may remain without being Jains by diet or Jains by choice but these oppressed castes will have to be prepared, after embracing Jainism, to become Jains both by diet and choice. Because then only they shall be able to construct for themselves additional Jain temples all over India in cities and villages in which they shall go and shall gain immense respectability which they are so sincerely seeking.

(9)- Moreover while transforming to Jainism these oppressed castes should also be prepared to imbibe the traits of self discipline and sanctity because there is no priestly class in Jainism to enforce these traits in the followers of Jainism and Jains themselves perform all the rituals of worship etc in Jain temples and other religious places.

(10)- Every body realizes that unless reservation is granted to these oppressed castes they hardly have any chance of getting representation in government services and which will be damaging to their interests regarding their life, safety, liberty & properties especially of the dalits and tribals (because at least backward castes are mostly militants). Hence in the interest of maintaining competitiveness and justified representation in government services the oppressed castes should support policy of (say) 80 % reservation to all the citizens in government service only (and not in education or legislatives etc) on merit on proportion to numbers (categorized on any basis of caste, group religion, sect etc) including 33 % reservation to women in these reservations in government services, where ever they can work.
(11)- There are quite a number of Jains in India who, with the cooperation of fellow religionists and Jain Munis / saints, are prepared to bring about this peaceful, non – violent, practical and serious transformation (and not conversion) of these oppressed castes from other sects of Hinduism to Jainism sect of Hinduism.

(12)- In support of transformation v/s conversion theory it is sufficient to say that Hindus (including Sikhs) have one thing in common that they use the word “Aum” in their mantras and other religious couplets and it is also sufficient to give only one example that in the families of ‘Agrawals’ in India they still take brides from the families who practice vaishnav and Jain sects of Hinduism.

(13)- Here it is needless to mention that once these oppressed castes embrace Jainism, it will have tremendous welcome effect on the attitude of Hindus toward unfortunate prejudice against ‘working with hands’ and this will have immense beneficial effect on the advancement by Hindus (85 % of 1200 million India) of science and technology, the extremely important field, which too Kancha has so brilliantly identified.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Mysore, Dec. 7 (ACP & SH) -

Mythri Jain Milan, a branch of Bharatiya Jain Milan (BJM) had organised a Musical Evening at Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Hall (Senate Bhavan), Manasagangotri here last evening to raise funds for the flood victims.

The musical troupe led by noted Kannada music director and singer Gurukiran enthralled the large audience.

The programme began with Ajay Warior's rendering of Kana Kanadi Sharade... from the film Apthamithra.

The troupe was greeted by thunderous applause as its members came on stage. Even as Gurukiran sought to know his listeners' choice, the audience responded saying 'Bundle, Bundle ....'

He obliged by singing the number from Vishnu-starrer Ekadanta as his troupe members danced to the melody, with the audience too joining them.

Gurukiran earned a repeated round of applause when he announced the song's sequence was filmed in Mysore itself.

While Sunitha sang the number Umma Umma from the film Gulabi along with Gurukiran, a section of the youth from audience started dancing to the tune.

The troupe rendered songs like Kolle Nannanne... from the film Aramane and Maarikannu Horimyage... from 'A' .

Loud applause greeted singer Mayur when he came off the stage to come near the audience while singing Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu Shuruvaayithu... from Milana. Singer Chaithra also sang. Mimicry Dayanand's humour created waves of laughter. DCP Rajendra Prasad inaugurated the function. S.N. Padma Prasad, President, Mythri Jain Milan, felicitated the sponsors. N. Prasanna Kumar, Vice-President, Zone-8, BJM, H.P. Prasad, Secretary, Zone-8, BJM, Jinkalappa, Labour Commissioner and M.N. Nataraj, Co-ordinator, Nehru Yuva Kendra, were present. Arun Pandit, Secretary, compered.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wedding Invitation

Wedding Invitation

You are Heartily Invited to the wedding Ceremony of Jain activist and Jain Friends Member Rahul Naik (B.E., Software Engineer, Mrs. Jayshri and Mr. Subhash Naik of Darur, Belgavi) of Pune. He is going to marry with Ms. Sucheta (M.B.A.), daughter of Mrs.Usha and Mr. Shashikumar Magdum of Kolhapur.

Sunday, 13th December 2009
10:18 AM

Dhairyaprasad Sanskritik Bhavan
Circuit House Road
Tarabai Park, Kolhapur
Phones: 26517387, 26688137

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jain writers pioneers of Gujarati writing

Jain writers pioneers of Gujarati writing

By Ashish Vashi

AHMEDABAD: Gujarati language emerged out of Jain tradition. Jain saints and the tradition of writing pioneered the development of Gujarati language Twitter Facebook Share Email Print Save Comment and literature.

The first phase of Gujarati literature, generally claimed from the 12th century to the early 15th century, was dominated by Jain authors. The oldest ‘rasa’ poem of 1185 ‘Bharatesvara-bahubali Rasa’ was by Shalibhadra Sur, a Jain saint.

“Rasa, originally a folk dance which slowly acquired the features of dramatic presentation, was adopted by Jain authors in long narratives divided in short parts. The themes of the ‘rasas’ are legends associated with Jain saints. The period is dominated almost exclusively by the Jain poets,” wrote Sisir Kumar Das in ‘The History of Indian Literature 500-1399’, published by Sahitya Academy, Delhi. Another great influence on Gujarati language was Jain saint Hemchandracharya, whose writings are known as Gurjara Apabhramsa. The specimens of the Apabhramsa are to be found in the Prakrit grammar of Hemchandracharya (1088-1172), the great Jain monk. He lived during the reign of Siddhraj and Kumarpal, both kings of Solanki dynasty.

“In Hemchandracharya’s great work, we can spot the Gujarati writings very clearly. In many ways the Jain saints were pioneers for Gujarati language, ” says Kumarpal Desai, Jain scholar. Hemchandracharya also collected many ‘dohas’ in ‘apabhramsa’ as illustrations of different forms of poetry which are generally considered as part of the protohistory of Gujarati literature.
“The Jain tradition of writing helps a lot in formation of Gujarati language. They were pioneers,” says eminent writer of Gujarati language and Padma Shri Bholabhai Patel. “Even today, Jain granths have manuscripts of more than 1400 writers. All manuscripts are kept in protected ‘bhandars’ as these are great source of knowledge,” adds Desai.

Demand of Minority Status for Jains Worthy: RSS Chief

Demand of Minority Status for Jains Worthy: RSS Chief

“Jains are demanding minority status on national level. This demand is worth” This statement is not from any Jain leader, but from the RSS supreme Mohan Bhagwat!

In a function held at Godiji Parshwanath Mandir of Pune, Bhagwat said that Jains should get national minority status as soon as possible.

He was speaking on a question raised by Shripal Lalwani, a member of Arihant Jagruti Munch of Pune. The question was, “If Buddhists and Sikhs have got national minority status, why Jain community yet has not gotten it in spite of a long time demand?”

Bhagwat’s statement given in front of public is very important as Hindutwa people, including some so-called Jains have been always opposed to the minority status of Jain community.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Parvati Jain International Award 2009 to Dr. Pradyumna Shah Singh

Vijayendra Nagar, Ludhiana, 1 November 2009, in the auspicious presence of the most senior Sadhvi Sudha Ji, worthy disciple of Sadhvi Swarn Kanta Ji, the 26th Lord Mahavira's Birth Kalyanak Centenary Committee presented the Pravartini Parvati Jain International Award of honor 2009 to Dr. Pradyumna Shah Singh. Dr Shah is Sr Lecturer in Jainism in the Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University Patiala. In the fully packed hall of Parshvanath Aradhna Kendra, in the gracious presence of Sadhvies Dr. Sadhvi Pravin Lata Ji, Sadhvi Prabha Ji and other Sadhvies, Shravakas and Shravikas, Madhur Bhasini Sadhvi Dr. Smriti Ji announced the name of Dr Shah for the above said prestigious award and introduced about the award and it's recipient. Addressing the audiences Sadhvi Smriti Ji told that before Dr Shah the award was given to noted scholars of the National and International repute from America, Germany and India. Addressing the audiences Sadhvi Smriti Ji told that Dr Shah guided three Sadhvi Jis in their research works and wrote many research papers on Jainism.

The Chairman of the award committee Shri Purushottam Jain and Convener Shri Ravinder Jain presented the award of honor on the stage. The most learned Sadhvi Swarn Kanta Ji had inspired them to establish an award on the name of Pravartini Parvati Ji. Her aim behind the award was to promote research and literary works in the field of Jainism. Pravartini Parvati Ji was the Jain Sadhvi who had written about the Jain religion in the Hindi language first time and participated for its promotion in open debates with other religious teachers.

n her fourth lineage Up-pravartini Sadhvi Swarn Kanta ji born in 26 January, 1929 in Lahore was the most learned Sadhvi who promoted the works of learning in Jainism and gave importance to education of the Sadhvies. She had inspired Shri Purushottam Jain and Shri Ravinder Jain, recipients of the many prestigious awards, to enrich the Jain Literature by writing and translating in local languages. Even today both brothers-in-faith are bearing the responsibilities which Sadhvi Swarn KantaJi had handed them over. In this occasion the Jain Samaj bestowed the designation of Shasan Sumeru to Sadhvi Sudha Ji and Madhur Bhasini, Pravachan Prabhvika to Dr Sadhvi Smriti Ji.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ratna Jain richest mayoral candidate

JAIPUR: Kota mayoral hopeful and Congress candidate Ratna Jain is believed to be the richest to contest for the post among those fighting in this category for the municipal corporations in the state.

With cash and property estimated at Rs 2.70 crore, 47-year-old Ratna Jain has landed property, a house-cum-nursing home and cash in about 18 separate accounts amounting to about Rs 12 lakh. Her landed property includes five agricultural plots besides three other plots in urban areas. Her wealth in gold and silver amounts to more than Rs 12 lakh.

In second place, though many rungs off her, is the BJP candidate Prasan Chand vying for the mayor's post for Jodhpur. Chand's wealth is estimated at Rs 1.09 crore. He has two plots of agricultural land estimated at Rs 11 lakh, a house worth Rs 50 lakhs, Rs 15 lakh worth of gold and the rest in stocks and mutual funds.

In the third place is Jaipur's Suman Sharma at Rs 1.07 crore contesting on a BJP ticket for the mayorship of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. Among her property is a house worth Rs 70 lakh in Malviya Nagar. The gold and silver with her and her family has been estimated at Rs 6.54 lakh. The rest of her wealth is invested in stocks and shares. Sharma has about Rs 6.08 lakh in cash with her.

On the debt front, Prasan Chand from Jodhpur tops the list with hiswife having taken a loan of Rs 41 lakh. He is followed by Congress candidate for the mayor's post from Jodhpur Rameshwar Dadheech with a debt of Rs 19 lakh.

In Jaipur Independent candidate for the mayoral post Charu Gupta's husband has taken a loan of Rs 13 lakh.

A candidate in contrast is Independent mayoral hopeful from Jodhpur Vijay Rao. Although the 27-year-old has three separate accounts in Bank of Baroda, SBBJ and SBI he does not have any money in them. He has two separate accounts in his wife's name and has a deposit of Rs 1,000 in one of them. Rao also doesn't have any land or house in his name.

Jain Acharya Gets Threat Mail : Persecution of Jains


Even as the CID (Crime) is investigating the incidents of road accident deaths of Jain monks and sadhvis, the main acharya at Palitana in Bhavnagar district and his disciple has received a threat mail, the second in a week’s time.

The first one, also addressed to acharya Abhaysurishveraji, was received last week, after the Jains demanded a probe into the deaths of saints killed in road accidents in the state.

A total of six saints have been killed in two different road accidents in the last week. The Jains have claimed that over 25 saints have been killed in the guise of these accidents in the past six months or so.

The Palitana police began investigations on Friday after a letter arrived through post, even as heavy police security cover has been set for the pilgrimage town.

Investigating Officer Inspector R L Rathva said: “The letter is written in Hindi addressing acharya Abhaysurishveraji and his disciple Mokshratna Vijay, the head saint at Vaav Dharmshala. The sender has asked Jains to stop their legal and media campaign against the Mandal or they will be killed.”

The fresh complaint has been registered by Mokshratna Vijay.

The letter states that Jain saints and the community are responsible for the deterioration of the world. “No matter where you go, be it Rajasthan, Maharashtra or Gujarat, you will not be safe. We will dig up your graves,” the threat mail signed in the name of one Kashan Prajapati said.

The letter further said that no inquiry by the Gujarat government can harm them.

In view of the threat mail, the police have deployed additional security around Vaav Dharmshala in Palitana — considered among the most important pilgrimage place for Jains.

Following the outrage by the Jains, state Home Minister Amit Shah has ordered a CID probe into these incidents.

Elsewhere in Surat, members of the Jain community took out a silent rally from Katargam Darwaja to Bahumali building outside the collector’s office at Nanpura today to protest against the accidental death of four Jain sadhvis and two Jain monks in North Gujarat.

Later they handed over a memorandum to the district collector demanding free and fair investigations and strict punishment to the accused.

The rally started around 11.00 am today.

People from 25 different Jain organisations in Surat took part in the rally carrying banners stating the deaths were not accidental, but were killings done intentionally.

The Jain community started protesting over the deaths after a speeding truck hit four sadhvis near Mehsana and two Jain monks were killed under similar circumstances a few days ago.

Samast Surat Jain Sangh member Navin Nagarsewak said:
“We have demanded a free and fair investigation into the deaths.

The accused should be found out and punished strictly. The police should also provide security to the Jain monks and sadhvis walking on the highways. The police should ensure that the state is safe and secure.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jain Scholar S. B. Vasantrajaiah is No More

Bangalore (Karnataka), Nov 17, 2009: A renowned Jain scholar Sri S.B.Vasantharajaiah passed away last night at Bangalore. He was not keeping in good health since the past few days and was hospitalised a couple of times.

Sri Vasantharajaiah, born in 1924 was a B.A. graduate who originated from Saligrama a village in the K.R.Nagar taluk of Mysore district had worked in the accounts department of the Government of Karnataka. He was a renowned Jain scholar and was known for his simplicity. Along with his literary knowledge he was also known for his organising skills and was instrumental in organising many Jain conferences and gatherings. He was instrumental in the formating of Sri Mahavira Mission in Bangalore during the late 60s and early 70s which played a pivotal role in shaping the Digambar Jain Samaj of Bangalore during the period. He was also instrumental in starting the 10 days Dashalakshana Parva discourses on a mass scale in Bangalore in 1976. This paved the way for the Digambar Jain samaj of Karnataka to follow suit and thus resulting in the celebration of Dahsalakshana parva in almost all the nooks and corners of Karnataka.

He was a recipient of the coveted 'Chavundaraya Award' given by the Kannada Sahitya Parishath the highest award given to a Jain scholar in Kannada literature for their life time contribution to Jainism. On his 80th birthday he was felicitaed with two felicitation volumes by the Jain samaj and his well wishers in a grand function held at Karnataka Jain Bhavan, Bangalore under the presence of His Holiness Swasti Sri Bhuvanakeerthi BHattarakha Swamiji of the Kanakagiri Jain Mutt.

Gurus Guru: He was a guru to Her Holiness Ganani Aryika 105 Sri Gyanmathi Mathaji as he had taught her Kannada during her visit to Karnataka.

Below is given a list of some of the works of Sri S.B.Vasantharajaiah:·
Ahimsa Jyothi Mahavira - A sketch on the life of Lord Mahavir based on the historical references of Lord Mahavira in Digambar and SWethambar Literature.·
Koppala Dinda Shravanabelagoladavarege - A book that gives out the details of around 40 to 45 Jain historical places from Koppala (a district in the Northern Karnataka that was once upon a time known a chief Jaina centre) to Shravanabelagola (a Jain town in the southern Karnataka) based on the inscriptional references.
Deergha Tapaswi Mahavira - A work that explains the 12 years long penance of Lord Mahavira with details of Lord Mahavira's vihar, Chaturmas, samavasarana and other important incidents.·
Chandanabala - a drama that explains the story of Chandanabala.·
Karnatakada Digambara Jina Mandiragalu - A book that gives out the details of about 700 Jain temples of Karnataka.·
Ashtapahuda - a translation of the Prakrit work of Acharya Sri Kundakunda in Kannada.· Dwadashanuprekshe - A translation into Kannada.·
NishkamaYogi - A novel describing the life of a middle class Digambar Jain families in the 20th century.· Saligrama Darshana - A book detailing out the details of the Jain temples in Saligrama and about the Jain samaj and other details.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jains Protest Jain Monk's Death

RAJKOT: Protesting the accidental deaths of four Jain sadhvis and two Jain monks in north Gujarat, thousands of members of the Jain community took out a silent rally in Rajkot and other parts of Saurashtra on Tuesday. Jains have demanded a thorough investigation of the deaths, which they claim were premeditated.

People wearing whilte face masks rode on more than 500 scooters in a rally that started from Chaudhary High School near Maniyar Derasar at 11 am and reached the collectorate where the community leaders handed over a memorandum to the collector.

The death of four Jain sadhvis who were mowed down by a speeding truck near Soneripura Patiya near Mehsana on November 9, followed by a similar accident in which two Jain monks died near Unjha on November 13, sparked off the protests across Gujarat.

Meanwhile, community leaders termed the accident as killing' and called for justice against the conspiracy' against the community in their memorandum.

A massive rally was also organised in Morbi and Dhoraji towns of Rajkot and Lalpur taluka of Jamnagar district, where thousands of Jain devotees walked up to the collecterate offices and handed over a memorandum, expressing anger and protest against the incident.

In Jasdan, Ghanshyam Bharad, manager of Marutidham Gaushala, sent a letter to the state home minister, urging an independent inquiry into the incident and alleged conspiracy.

Champak Vora of Neminath Derasar, D M Gondaliya, vice-president of Dashashrimali Jain Sangh and members of Sambhavnathji Jain Derasar on Pani Darwaja Road also gave a joint memorandum to the Amreli district collector. The additional director general of police, CID (crime) VV Rabari has already been given the charge of investigating both the cases.

Jains threaten stir if no step taken


The state government has roped in CID (crime) to investigate the alleged scam of killing Jain holy men/women in the guise of road accidents, but the community leaders want results. The Jains have given an ultimatum till Wednesday to the Gujarat government to make headway in the investigation or they have they threatened to intensify the silent agitation.

Saurashtra on Tuesday saw a widespread protest by Jains in the form of silent marches and scooter rallies by the four Jain sub-sects: Derawasi, Sthanakwasi, Digambar and Rajchandra. The protests have been organised following the death of four sadhaks last week in two different road accidents, where the victims were mowed down by speeding four-wheelers.

The conspiracy theory arose after the son of one of the holy men killed in a road accident near Mehsana filed an affidavit in the court, claiming it to be a pre-planned murder and one of several in a series of such crimes.

The Anup Mandal has come under suspicion due to its alleged remarks that religious practices of Jain holy men have resulted in a drought-like scenario.

The ultimatum was given at the end of a Monday meeting at Palitana— the second most important pilgrimage seat located in Bhavnagar—that was chaired by Acharya Abhaydev Sursishverji.

The meeting was attended by over 25 acharyas and 800 priests, who emphasised that the priests, who walk from one place to another and do not use vehicles, must be given protection.

Sursishverji, who also received a threat mail, has said that the Jains will begin an intense agitation if the police do not make headway in the case by Wednesday.

At Rajkot, members of all the four sub-sects took out a silent scooter rally on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum to the collector. This was the second day of the protest.

“We strictly condemn such acts. Saints must be given protection from negative elements,” said Chandrakant Sheth, a Jain leader from Rajkot.

Similar protests rallies were organised at Morbi, Jamnagar and Amreli.

We'll take up arms if threats rise: Jain seer

Ahmedabad: Jain religious leaders have given the state government an ultimatum of 48 hours, demanding that the crime branch probe into the recent death of Jain monks in road mishaps yield concrete results. A Jain seer went so far as to say that Jain monks may have to carry scriptures in one hand, and arms in the other to defend themselves.

The religious leaders gave the ultimatum on Monday at Palitana where they had gathered for the 'gunanuvad sabha' (condolence meeting) for the monks who recently died in mysterious road mishaps. The Jain community blames the organisation, Anoop Mandal, for their deaths, alleging that the Mandal was committed to spreading hatred against the Jain community.

Around 25 acharyas of various Jain sects, more than 800 Jain monks and thousands of lay Jains attended the condolence meeting at Palitana. Acharya Abhaydevesuriswarji Maharaj Saheb, who recently received an anonymous letter threatening him with death, said he was deeply worried about the security of Jain monks.
"If necessary, Jainacharyas will have to carry shaastra (religious scripture) in one hand and shastra (weapon) in the other," he said. "Several Jain monks have died in road accidents in recent years. There seems to be some kind of conspiracy against Jain monks."

All acharyas present at Palitana agreed to Abhaydevesuriswarji Maharaj Saheb's suggestion that an ultimatum of 48 hours be served on the government, asking it to act fast in the accident cases. In Surat, too, Jains held a meeting to express concern over the threat to Jain sadhus.

Missing Jain Nun Found

AHMEDABAD: When Kiran Pandya got his sister's call from Mehsana, he could not believe his ears. Pandya, who had stormed the Jain fraternity in the city along with police, was shocked to know that his beloved sister, who had taken to Jainism and got diksha at the age of 9, shunned monk's life to marry to a youth from the community.

According to sources, Pandya was in the city for last three days, searching for his missing' sister. Talking to TOI on Tuesday, Pandya had raised questions about the safety and whereabouts of Mahasatiji Ojasvinibai, 28. "In the wake of strange incidents happening with sadhus and sadhvis of Jainism, I fear that she might have been abducted."

However, the twist came on Wednesday when she contacted him to reveal her location. "She had left a note while leaving the upashraya in Vasna informing that she was shunning monk's life by her will and was safe. This information was kept under wraps to protect the prestige of the institution. But, when allegations were levelled against us, we had to disclose the truth," said a member of Jain community.

The Jain sangh members told TOI that Ojasvinibai met Ashish Bhavsar, a youth from Viramgam while on Chaturmaas (four months of stay at one place for monks) at Mehsana. It was mutual attraction, according to duo, who decided to get married. As per plan, she left the upashraya and world of religion behind and donned the new identity of Archana.

The duo then went to Bali in Rajasthan for a civil marriage in front of marriage registrar.

The news did not go down well with her brother. "When Pandya went to Mehsana, he got enraged and attacked Bhavsar and alleged him of influencing to take a wrong decision. The matter went out of control and nearby police personnel had to rush to the spot. When police came to know that it was a matter of two adults having married with consent, they let them go and warned Pandya," said a police official.

Pramukhchand Shah, president of Dariapuri Sthanakvaasi Jain Sangh, told TOI that earlier sadhviji was warned of unacceptable practices' such as using mobile phone. "However, the restrictions were termed as harsh behaviour by her brothers. She had also given us a written apology. We just want to say that she has no grudge against the treatment she got or her life as a monk till she was in the city," he said.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CID to probe controversial deaths of Jain monks

Ahmedabad: Concerned about the increase in number of road accident deaths of Jain monks, the state police has assigned VV Rabari, additional director general of police, CID (crime) and railways to investigate such accidents that happened in the last three years in the state. Rabari said the move comes after the police department received several applications requesting them to look into the matter.

Rabari further said that police of all the districts have been asked to get the details of accidents involving Jain monks.He said usually each district has the details of such deaths but to find out how many of the victims were Jain monks will take some time.

Meanwhile, another complaint under the Cyber Crime Act is likely to be filed against the anti-Jain cult 'Anoop Mandal'.Jasmin Shah, a Jain social worker, who has filed several police complaints against the activities of the Mandal is planning to file one more complaint.

"The Mandal is propagating against the Jains in a very vicious manner on its website and through blogs. This is hurting the religious sentiments of Jains. I will be filing a police complaint against the Mandal on Monday under the Cyber Crime Act to ban the website."

Jains seek joint probe into deaths of Jain monks

Misbah Nayeem Quadri

Amedabad: The death of a number of Jain monks and sadhvis in mysterious road mishaps in the state recently continues to cause concern among Jains. Ashok Jain, a Supreme Court lawyer, suggested during a meeting of the Ahmedabad-based Bharat Jain Mahamandal that the police of the three states -- Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra-- should work together to nab the culprits.

The SC lawyer stated that suspects caught in any of the three states should be put to narco-analysis and a lie detection test. He said Indian law prescribes severe punishment for anyone found fanning religious hatred by any means, including websites. Prayer sessions were held at different places in the state for the peace of the soul of the Jain monks and sadhvis who were recently killed in road mishaps.

In Ahmedabad, more than 30 Jain organisations held prayer sessions for the deceased. Four Jain sadhvis died in a road accident near Soneri Patia village in Mahesana district on November 9. Five other sadhvis walking with the deceased escaped with injuries. Three days later, two Jain sadhus were hit by a jeep in Barmer district in Rajasthan.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Jain Monks killed in a road accident near Nakoda

In a tragic incident, two Jain monks - Shree Jambu Vijay Ji Maharaj Saben and Shri Namaskar Vijay Maharaj Sabeb, walking towards Jaisalmer were mowed down by a speeding Toyota Qualis car on Nakoda-Jaisalmer road in Rajasthan.

Police sources said Monks had set out for Jaisalmer after halt in Nakoda teerth. A Toyota Quallis crushed them while they were walking on the roadside.

According to sources Shri Dharmaghosh Vijay Ji Maharaj Saheb who was also in a group of monks was injured and hospitalized in critical condition.

This is second such tragic incident in just three days. On 10 November four Jain Sadhvis were killed in a road accident on Mehsana-Unjha highway.

Majority of Jain monks never use any type of vehicle in their life. They just walk barefoot. In last some years, accidents have killed and injured dozens of Jain monks on Highway side.

Salekh Chand Jain PIL in SC over MNS vandalism

NEW DELHI: A PIL petitioner on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking action against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislators indulging in violence against another MLA for taking oath in Hindi.

Petitioner Salekh Chand Jain had earlier filed a PIL against the violence indulged in by MNS activists against north Indians and the apex court had issued notice on that PIL to the Maharashtra government.

Mentioning its fresh application in the pending petition, advocate Sugriv Dubey sought an early hearing on the petition and the present application saying "if the streak of violence started by MNS MLAs goes unpunished, then the nation will be divided into several parts on the basis of languages".

Jain's PIL had accused MNS activists of killing two doctor brothers -- Ajay and Vijay -- for refusing to close their clinic and charged the police and Maharashtra administration of doing nothing to arrest the accused.

"The representatives of MNS are committing offences and are going scot free," the petitioner said and requested the court to direct the Maharashtra government to bring to book those who were indulging in violence inside and outside the assembly in the name of language.

Tamil Nadu Jains are from Mysore: Ham Pa Nagarajaiah

MYSORE (TOI): The Jains scattered across Tamil Nadu are originally from Mysore, senior writer Ham Pa Nagarajaiah said on Tuesday. Some of the manuscripts
published in TN recently have traced the origins of the community settled there to Mysore, which, he said, is being discussed in academic circles.

Speaking after inaugurating a day-long meet on Jainology hosted by the University of Mysore, Hampana stated: some 89 manuscripts have been published in TN recently of which 85 relate to Jains. According to one of the manuscripts, Jains travelled to Tamil Nadu from Mysore. The city was then known as Yermayanadu.

However, he said scholars are divided over the subject as one of the manuscripts state that the Jains in Tamil Nadu are from Orissa. Scholars are debating the issue, he said at the meet which is supported by Shravanabelagola-based National Prakrit Studies and Research Institute and Meeruts Shrutha Samvardana Sansthan.

Jainism brings peace
Speaking on Jainism, he said that it is all inclusive. According to Jain scriptures, peace and co-existence are primary, which has made areas where its influence is more, like the coastal region, peaceful. That is why Jain religion can be practiced cutting across time barriers, he stated. Referring to recent developments like the political imbroglio, violence in the high court, he said,"there is a need to preach Ahimsa mantra to them. They need darshan of Digambar seers."

Jain religious leader Gnanasagarji Maharaj graced the event. On the occasion, three V-Cs B S Sherigar (Kuvempu University), Geetha Bali (Women University) and V G Talawar (University of Mysore) were felicitated.

Talawar said the department that is operating out of Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies in Manasa Gangotri, the PG campus of the varsity, will get its own building in a year. The varsity has allocated Rs 50 lakh for the project and the head of the department of Jainology and Prakrit, Padma Shekar has prepared a Rs 1.30-crore project. The Jains should pitch in and help realize the dream, he added.

Mahavir Sanglikar

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

6th Jain History Conference at Solapur

6th Jain History Conference at Solapur

The 6th Conference of Maharashtra Jain Itihas Parishad will be held at Solapur on 5-7 February 2009.

Noted scholar of Indology Dr. Vidyadhar Joharapurkar is elected as the President of this conference.

Eminent scholars of Jainology, Indology and Ancient & Medieval History will read their research papers in this conference. A number of books will be published in this three days conference.

For more details about this conference and for participating in it, please call Mr. Shrenik Annadate on 0 986 750 8814

You may also contact him on following address:

Sumeru Prakashan
D-6, Rajhans, Tilak nagar
Dombivali East, Thane 421 201
Phone: 0251 2404149, 2400140

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rajendra Darda Becomes a Cabinet Minister of Maharashtra

Rajendra Darda Becomes a Cabinet Minister of Maharashtra

Rajendra Darda has been selected as a Cabinet Minister in the new cabinet of Maharashtra Government. He has got Industry and Self Employment Portfolio.

Mr. Darda is the only Jain in the new cabinet of 40 members. He was elected as a MLA from Aurangabad City. He belongs to Congress Party.

We congratulate him on his selection as a Cabinet Minister on behalf of Jain Friends and Jain Samachar.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

First V R Kothari Journalism Award Goes to Kumar Ketkar

First V R Kothari Journalism Award Goes to Kumar Ketkar

The first ever V R Kothari Journalism Award is announced. Noted Journalist and editor of the famous Marathi daily Loksatta will be the first recipient of this award.

V R Kothari was a prominent journalist and social reformer of 20th century. He started Prabhaat, a Marathi daily from Pune before independance of India. He started a crusade against all the wrong things happening in the name of religion, caste and traditions, through his newspaper and speeches.

V R Kothari wrote many books, including a book on French Revolution.

He suffered all the odds from the community, especially from the orthodox people.

Kumar Ketkar is also a journalist and social reformer of present day. He also has suffered from today’s orthodox people, but still he is fighting against all the wrong things taking place in the society.

To inform about this award, a delegation from Pune met Kumar Ketkar on 5th November and congratulated him. The delegation included Mr. Milind Phade (General Secretary of Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha), Mr. Arun Khore (Editor of Daily Prabhat), Dr. Ravsaheb Patil (Noted Marathi writer, speaker and journalist), Mahavir Sanglikar (Social reformer and writer) and Mr. Abhay Kothari.

Kumar Ketkar will receive this award on 22nd November of 2009, in a convention of Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha at Mumbai.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Cowardice of Publisher of Ahimsa Times

The Cowardice of Publisaher of Ahimsa Times

Few months ago, Sanaatan Prabhaat, a mouthpiece of Sanatan Sanstha which promotes Hindu terrorism, had published a news about a Jain nun Priti Sudha in which she had blessed the Sanatan volunteers for success in their cause. Regarding it, I had released a news “Jains Nun Supports Hindu Terrorism” which was published by many national dailies like Times of India and others.

Reading the news, the Jain nun gave a clarification that she never supported terrorism of any kind and the Sanatan people had used her for their cause.

Ahimsa Times, an online monthly magazine also had published the news “Jains Nun Supports Hindu Terrorism”. But some Sanaatan people approached the publisher of Ahimsa Times, and the publisher begged for forgiveness. The publisher apologized in a written statement for publishing the news. The statement was published in July 2009 issue of Ahimsa Times and also in Sanaatan Prabhaat. Ahimsa Times says:

“In December 2008, we had received from one of our readers, some information about Sanatan Sanstha, Goa, a voluntary service organization. Presuming that the same could be true, it was placed in the December issue of Ahimsa Times. We were informed about this erroneous information by the executives / members of Sanatan Sansthan and we realized the errors & omissions. Immediately the objected subject / contents were removed from the news letter. While deeply regretting and apologising for the inadvertent error, we assure every one that, we never had the intention to hurt anyone or judge any one. On the contrary, we feel that institution like Sanatan Sansthan are doing a great job for the nation as a whole and making us live with pride. We wish Sanatan Sansthan and all its constituents all the success in their endeavor to serve the cause of humanity” -- Ahimsa Times.

It is just cowardice of Ahimsa Times Publisher. Remember that, the Sanaatan people didn’t dare to approach me in spite of my living in Pune, a major center of their activities. Many Marathi newspapers, even small newspapers from pune have published a lot of articles against Sanaatan, but the Sanaatan never dared to approach them.

By apologizing, the publisher of Ahimsa Times has kneeled down in front of the terrorists, who themselves are cowards.

What can we expect from such Jains who have forgotten that cowards cannot be Jains.

Now I would like to see what stand Ahimsa Times takes on the anti-Jain book published by Sanaatans of Gujarat, in which the Sanatans have compared Jain women with prostitutes. Please see my next mail regarding the book. Until then, please have a look on my news release: “Jains Nun Supports Hindu Terrorism” at:

-Mahavir Sanglikar
Founder President, Jain Panther, Pune
91 962 372 5249, 927 309 3122

Monday, October 26, 2009

JITO Lanuches New Delhi Chapter

By Anubhav Goyal

New Delhi : The Jain community is reputed for their entrepreneurial skills and they have a prominent trade body called the Jain International Trade Organization (JITO). Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) is a worldwide body of Jain Businessmen, Industrialists, Knowledge workers and Professionals in various fields reflecting their glory of flawless business acumen. In order to expand its network and scale new heights JITO has today launched its Delhi Chapter. In Delhi, the body has prominent Jain Industrialists and Businessmen like Pradeep Jain, Chairman of Parsvnath Developers Limited as President of JITO Delhi and Mr. D K Jain, CMD of Luxor Writing Instruments Ltd as Vice President.

Commenting on the occasion, Pradeep Jain, President JITO Delhi, said “Delhi being the national capital is home to lot of prominent Jain industrialists. The Delhi chapter of JITO will act a platform to bring them together and explore new opportunities of trade. It will act as a stepping stone to unite and enhance integrity of Jains in Delhi.”

Commenting on the occasion, D. K. Jain, Vice-President JITO Delhi, said “I am confident that this development will do a world of good to the economy in general. This will bring the prominent Jain businessmen in one platform and collectively innovative ideas and business concept will be brewed. This I believe will be a major thrust in India’s growth trajectory in coming years.”

Commenting on the occasion, Hemant Jain, CMD, KCJ Polymers & Chemicals Limited said “I am sure that the Delhi Chapter of JITO will take forward the vision and mission of JITO main chapter and will be a harbinger of prosperity and success of Jain community”.

Commenting on the occasion, Lalit Nahata, CMD, Nahata Limited said, “All the Jain industrialists are extremely happy with this development. Due to busy work schedule it is impossible to meet in one platform in one given time. However, post this development, Jain businessmen in Delhi will be able meet and have meaningful dialogues to further enhance their businesses”.

Commenting on the occasion, Mahesh Jain of JG Group said, “Across the world it is observed that such communities help to grow business tremendously. I strongly believe that the Delhi chapter will be extremely beneficial to all Jain industrialists in Delhi and the main chapter of JITO will create many milestones in times to come.”

Commenting on the occasion, G. H. Singhvi, CMD, Hindustan Fibres Limited said, “Inauguration of Delhi chapter is a significant milestone for JITO. Delhi is the next business hub after Mumbai. Being the national capital, it is also the hub of bureaucracy. The launch of Delhi chapter will not only benefit the Jain businessmen residing in Delhi but also the JITO in general.”

The prestigious occasion was graced by Kamal Nath, Union Minister for Surface Transport, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister, Delhi. The ceremony was presided over by Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya”, Honorable Minister of State for Rural Development.

The launch of Delhi chapter of JITO, witnessed a social gathering of elite dignitaries from India and abroad along with some eminent personalities in social service to discuss the course of activities to be taken forward through the Delhi Chapter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Preserving Jain Manuscripts

By Mansi Choksi

More than 4,000 Jain manuscripts, some dating back to the ninth century BC, are being immortalised in a digitised encyclopaedia that will be thrown
open to the public early next year.

‘Jainpedia’ is the brainchild of the Institute of Jainology (IoJ), formed in 1983 mainly by the Jain diaspora in Britain. The collection of manuscripts include scriptures from British institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, Bodleian Library and Wellcome Trust.

“Many have beautifully illustrated folios on paper, cloth and palm leaves with a diverse range of subjects related to Jain beliefs, tradition and practices,’’ said Mehool Sanghrajka, IoJ’s director of education.

The manuscripts cover areas like hymns and prayers, accounts of the lives of the founders of Jainism, didactic literature, lexicography, poetics, philosophy, astrology, karma literature, texts on pilgrimage places and on daily rituals.

Most manuscripts have travelled with British officers posted in India who returned after Independence.

“While compiling these catalogues, the Institute realised that the collections were being used only by scholars and learned monks and nuns,’’ said Sanghrajka.

That’s when the institute decided to make the collection accessible to a wider audience. “This question of access was multi-faceted — physical contact with these manuscripts can be difficult as some are rare, many centuries old and fragile. Even if one could get to them, many are in languages that have not been spoken for a millennia and more. And, if one could perchance read the script, the contents are themselves difficult without an understanding of Jain philosophy, history and culture,’’ he says.

To make them more intelligible, the digitised images will be contextualized with commentaries from modern scholars, audio and video material and translations of the original texts apart from material for schools and young people.

Even Jain elders and members of Jain trusts in Mumbai have given ‘Jainpedia’ the thumbs-up. “The effort taken by the Jain community in Britain will reinforce our own efforts of reaching out to youngsters,’’ says Puspasen Panachand Zaveri, who is a trustee of many Jain trusts including Chadraprabhu Derasar.
Sanghrajka adds that independent research had shown that over 3 lakh people would benefit from the project.

“In particular, school children in England, where the institute has brought Jainism into the English National Curriculum will benefit.” A series of lectures is being planned by the institute to create awareness about the website in Mumbai.

7 Jain MLAs in Maharashtra Assembly

In the elections of Maharashtra Legislative assembly, 7 MLAs from Jain community were elected. Here is the list of the elected MLAs.

1. Chainsukh Sancheti from Malkapur constituency (BJP)
2. Rajendra Darda from Aurangabad East (Congress)
3. Prashant Bumb from Gangapur (Independent)
4. Omprakash Pokarna from Nanded South (Congress)
5. Mangal Prabhat Lodha from Malbar Hill (BJP)
6. Suresh Dada Jain from Jalgaon City (Shivsena)
7. Prakash Mehta from Ghatkopar (BJP)

There are 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly. So the percentage of Jain MLAs stands 2%+. This is much more than the percentage of Jains according to census in population of Maharashtra, which is 1.3%

Following Jain candidates failed to win the elections:

1. Prakash Awade from Ichalkaranji (Congress)
2. Rajesh Patni from Karanja (Shivsena)
3. Rajendra Pipada from Shirdi (Shivsena)
4. Rahul Pugliya from Ballarpur (Congress)
5. Rajkumar Bafna from Malbar Hill (Congress)
6. Bharat Parekh from Charkop (Congress)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jains should not be rivals in polls

Ashutosh Shukla

Mumbai: Jain sadhus want the community to exploit its collective strength in the state assembly elections. They have urged Jains not to contest against one another; instead,they should vote for the same candidate.

Community leaders claim that one in five voters in Mumbai and its suburbs is a Jain. According to their estimates, of around 98 lakh voters in 36 constituencies in the city, 18-19 lakh are Jains.

The sadhus' advice, which the community usually accepts, comes amid reports that two prominent Jains may be fielded by the Congress and the BJP from the posh Malabar Hill constituency.

The BJP is believed to be considering the names of sitting MLA Mangat Prabhat Lodha, a Marwari, and Shaina NC. Surendra Savai and Rajkumar Bafna, both Jains, are believed to be in the race for the Congress ticket.

At a meeting on September 12, community leaders decided that no two Jains should contest against one another.

Savai claims to have withdrawn from the race for the Congress ticket.

"Jains and Marwaris are from the same place -- Rajasthan. Marwaris have more or less the same culture as Jains, so we do not want two members of the community to fight against each other," said Ganivarya Nai Padmasagarji Maharaj, who is the force behind the "one community one voice" campaign.

Suryodayasagar Suriswar Maharaj, a sadhu, said: "For us, the party does not matter. One who favours non-violence and respects life will get our support."

Savai said: "I was sure of getting the Congress ticket, but withdrew after the Guruji's aadesh."

Savai, who is said to be close to the Deoras, could have ruined the chances of Lodha, community members say.

Lodha is considered part of the extended Jain family. He had defeated Sushil Kumar Shinde's son-in-law Raj Shroff in the 2004 assembly polls.

It's not clear whether Bafna has also withdrawn from the race for the Congress ticket.
The community leaders say of the 2.8 lakh voters in Malabar Hill, one lakh are Jains. Besides, 40,000 to 50,000 Gujarati-Marwari voters will also support a Jain candidate, Nai Padmasagarji Maharaj said.

"Borivili, Kandivili, Vile Parle, Mira Bhayander, Ghatkopar and Sion Koliwada have a sizeable Jain population, whose votes could influence results," he said, adding that the community votes could prove decisive in at least 16 assembly segments.

The Sadhus have also asked Jains in other parts of Maharashtra to not contest against one another. The Jain population in the state is pegged at around 42 lakh.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jain festival in Kumari district

Yogesh Kabirdoss

Chitaral Jain Temple in Kanyakumari district, where the Department
of Tourism intends to conduct the Jain Temple Tourism Festival–09
on September 6.

CHENNAI: In a bid to showcase Tamil Nadu’s unique Jain monuments that stand testimony to a cultural past that saw the religion propounded by Mahavira flourishing for several centuries in various parts of the State, the tourism department is organising a ‘Jain Temple Tourism Festival’ at a remote village called Chitharal in Kanyakumari district on Sunday.

An initiative of the State secretary of tourism, Dr V Irai Anbu, the festival is the first of its kind event in Tamil Nadu that will ultimately turn the various heritage Jain structures, hitherto unknown to tourists and visitors to the State, into places of tourist attraction and also a pilgrimage for followers of Jainism.

At Chitharal, situated near Marthandam, a huge cave with rock-cut sculptures of Jain Tirthankaras and attendant deities exemplify how Jainism has thrived and has spread close to the land’s end, 2000 years ago, and how much it has contributed to the religious and cultural heritage of the State.Though the cave, which have been carved in a hillock standing amidst a scenic landscape, was converted into a Bhagavathi Amman Temple around the 13th century, the Jain images have not been tampered with. The preserved relics will be the highlight of the festival, which will be marked by folk performances and cultural events.

The Department of Tourism has developed a pathway leading to the hillock, which is about 200 feet high, for the convenience of those visiting the cave that is likely to be added to the list of popular places of interest in the district.

Besides the Chitharal site, there are 13 other Jain monuments spread across the State from Kancheepuram to Kazhugumalai to Sittanavasal to Uthamapalayam. Each of these temple has a fascinating history to narrate. By popularising the heritage sites, the department of tourism expects the State’s profile as a tourist destination and also as a place for pilgrimage to undergo a sea change. That there is more than the historic temples, will draw more visitors to the places that have been hitherto neglected and not showcased appropriately.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jain Community to observe fast

Jalandhar Aug 29 In protest against the arrest of Sadhvi Chelna Devi for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, the Jain community of Punjab today announced that it would observe a fast tomorrow.

Vipin Jain, General Secretary of the Jain Temple in Jalandhar Cantonment, in a statement said Digambar Jain Sabha Punjab, a representative body of the community of the state, had decided that the community members would give up food for a day on Sunday.

Chelna Devi (50) delivered a religious discourse at the Jain Temple on late Thursday night during which she allegedly made comments against Maharishi Valmiki drawing the ire of the Valmiki community.

She was arrested under Section 3 of Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act.

Jain Sadhvi arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiments

Jalandhar: A Jain sadhvi was arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiments of a community after her comments sparked violent protests in Jalandhar cantonment area where a complete bandh was observed today.

50-year-old Chelna Devi was remanded to judicial custody by the court today which said the case was not under its jurisdiction after she sought bail.

Angry locals armed with sticks took to streets and damaged some vehicles against the alleged comments made by the sadhvi against Maharishi Valmiki during a sermon at a Jain temple late last night.

The protesters dispersed after senior police officials assured them of necessary action.

Chelna was last night booked under section 295 A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) (to outrage religious feelings) but today DSP Parminder Singh told the court that the police had also slapped Section 3 of Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act against her.

Jain Sadhvi's Remarks Creates Tension

Jalandhar, Aug 30 : Tension continued to prevail in the cantonment area of the city on the fourth day today even after the arrest of the Jain Sadhvi Chelna Didi of Jharkhand for her alleged derogatory remarks about Maharishi Valmiki during her discourse in the Digambar Jain Mandir on Thursday night which outraged the Valmiki community.

The activists of the Jain community made a futile attempt today for a complete bandh in the cantoment area. The police, however, did not allow the activists to use pressure tactics against the shopkeepers who opened their shops today.

The administration is worried over the religious procession (Shobha Yatra) to be taken out on September 3, when the week-long annual religious function of the Jain community in progress at the cantonment’s Digambar Jain Mandir will come to an end. In the procession, distinguished Jain Munis and prominent leaders of the Jain sect across the country are expected to participate.

In order to prevent any untoward incident and check violence the police have made elaborate security arrangements around the mandir.

The leaders of the Jain community have started parleys with the Valmiki leaders to resolve the matter.

Mr Sukhpal Jain, president of the mandir managing committee and Anup Jain said the community wanted to resolve the dispute so that the arrested Sadhvi could go to her home state without any legal complications. Meanwhile, the sermons restarted in the mandir today.

There are indications that leaders of the Valmiki organisations have softened their stand in view of the apology tendered on behalf of the Sadhvi, who was arrested on Friday last.

Jain Vishva Bharati Offers Degree Courses in Jainology

Nagaur, Rajasthan: Jain Vishva Bharati is the world’s first Jain University. The inspiring forces behind the establishment of Jain Vishva Bharati University (JVBU) were Gurudev Tulsi, Great seer, saint and scholar of modern era.

His holiness was the ninth Acharya, the supreme head of Jain Terapanth religious sect, comprising more than 700 monks and nuns, and millions of followers all over the country and abroad.

Transcending sectarian boundaries, he had been incessantly working during the last six decades for the welfare of mankind - eradicating social evils, reforming social customs, building up national character and educating the masses about the principles of non-violence Universal peace and brotherhood.

The institute JVBU was founded by Gurudev Tulsi in 1970. In 1991, Government of India notified Jain Vishva Bharati Institute as Deemed University under section 3 of University Grants Commission Act, 1956.

At present Acharya Mahaprajna (a great thinker, philosopher and writer, often described as walking encyclopedia of Jainology) is the Anushasta (The Preceptor) of JAIN VISHVA BHARATI University.

The institute is located at Ladnun, a small town in Nagaur District of Rajasthan, it is 380 kms. west of Delhi and 225 kms. north west of Jaipur. It is well served by deluxe and express bus services from Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Ahmadabad, Delhi and other cities. The nearest airports are Jaipur and Jodhpur.

The campus of JAIN VISHVA BHARATI, sponsoring body of JVBU, is spread over 1, 00, 600 sq. meters of area with trees on either side of the road and parks in the center.
Regular Courses:

Presently, JVBU offers regular, residential, two years post graduate degree courses and three year undergraduate courses commencing every year in the following disciplines:

1. M.A in Jainology and Comparative Religion & Philosophy
2. M.A in Prakrit and Jain Agama
3. M.A/ M.Sc. in Science of Living: Preksha Meditation, Yoga- Therapy
4. M.A in non-violence, Anuvrat, Peace Research
5. M.A in Social Work
6. A certificate course in “SCIENCE OF LIVING” and “PREKSHA

MEDITATION” of one month classroom teaching and two months correspondence is held every year during summer season.
Distance Learning Courses:

The University offers correspondence courses in the following disciplines:-

1. MA in Jainology and Comparative Religion & Philosophy. (Same syllabus as regular course)
2. BA with special emphasis on Jainology and allied Subjects: -
Syllabus covers Jainology and Prakrit as Major subjects and Sanskrit, Science of living, Non- violence and peace as electives.
Capsule Course for Foreigners:

On demand from various scholars of some foreign countries, JAIN VISHVA BHARATI INSTITUTE has planned a 21-day -residential capsule courses on ‘Doctrine and Application of Jainology, Non-Violence, Peace, Science of Living and Preksha Meditation’. Those desirous of attending the course may write to the Registrar, JVBU so that the detailed program could be sent to them individually as soon as possible.
Eligibility, Fee Structure and Admission Procedure

Post Graduate Courses: Applicants should be graduate in any discipline having secured at least 50% marks in aggregate (5% relaxation in case of ST/SC/OBC/Women).Candidates appearing in final year exams may also apply.

Undergraduate Courses: Applicants should have passed 10+2 or equivalent examination from any recognized University or board with minimum 50% of marks in aggregate(5%relaxation in case of SC/ST/OBC/Women).
Admission Test and Interviews:

Test and interviews followed by group discussion is held in the month of June - July every year.For Prospectus cum application form applicants may apply to the Registrar during April and May.The Entrance examination is based on objective General Knowledge and Hindi or English.

Facilities Available:

Central Library: The JVBU’s Central Library known as “Vardhman Granthagar” has over 40,000 books and over 5,000 rare manuscripts. A large number of journals and periodicals are regularly subscribed.

Computer Center: The institute has a well equipped Computer center. Regular students can selectively avail the facility.

Hostel: The institute has co-education. Hostel facility is available to those coming from outside the boys hostel is housed in “AMRITAYAN” an elegant spread out structure on Sadhna Marg .Women’s hostel is in “GAUTAM GYANSHALA” on sewabhavi Marg.

Yoga and Meditation Center: The above center is located in “Tulsi Adhyatma Needam” and offers theoretical and practical training to build spiritual cum scientific personality. There are 60 Meditation room here.

Ayurvedic dispensary: An Ayurvedic Pharmacy research and dispensary for the free treatment of patients is located at the JVBU campus where herbal medicines are also prepared.

Audio visual Center: There is an Audio visual educational center for recording lectures, sermons of holy saints and scholars, discussion and seminars known as “AMRITVANI”

Guest Houses: There are three guest houses for the accommodation of guests coming from outside they are “SATKAR” “SAGAR” and “SUMERU”.

Extension & Training wing: The institute has a separate training cell run in collaboration with Jeevan Vigyan Academy for providing exposure to “Science of Living” and “Preksha Meditation” and provides training to teachers, students, administrators, Police personnel and all those who are interested in it.

Research/Project wing: This research wing focuses on study and research in oriental learning particularly in Jainology under the able guidance of its Anusastha. The critical edition of all Jain Agamas has been prepared in Hindi and English.

Career Prospects:

After successful completion of M.A or M.Sc. degree a student may opt for further Ph.D. degree in the institute with attractive fellowships.

The subject of ‘Science of Living, Preksha Meditation, and Yoga Therapy’ is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Jeevan Vigyan Academy has various centers, and there is a demand for resource persons for teaching in these centers.

Those qualified in this subject can also become counselors in hospitals, medical institutions, social welfare organization and consultants in industrial houses or may run their own training center or practice as a consultant in the area of Preksha Meditation and Yoga. With the inclusion of Science of Living as a subject in value- education in schools run by Govt. of Rajasthan and Govt. of Delhi, the students may find employment opportunity in such schools.

The subject of ‘Non-Violence, Anuvrat, and Peace Research’ is highly relevant in modern society riddled with Tensions, conflicts, agitation and terrorism. Those qualified in this subject may be usefully employed by non- governmental institutions engaged in rural upliftment, Environmental promotion, value-education, conflict resolution, crime prevention etc.

They can also serve as moral and spiritual guides in international organizations working for social equality, social justice and world peace.

Subjects of ‘Jainology and comparative Religion &Philosophy’ and Prakrit &Jain Agama are all included in NET and SLET examination conducted by UGC and state govt. A student may get job in schools, colleges, Universities especially meant for Oriental studies all over the world.

The subject of ‘Social work’ can offer remedial and rehabilitate services to avert sufferings of individuals, groups and communities on account of exploitation, injustice and deprivation, which can bring social change and development in the society.

The profession has successfully established its utility in handling practical problems as rural development, tribal welfare, development of SC/ST/OBC, women welfare, sex and child abuse, poverty and unemployment, conflict resolution, slum improvement, labor welfare and marriage counseling.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prominent Jains to be listed | Suggest Persons

Prominent Jains to be listed Suggest Persons

Jain Friends, the renowned social organization is going to publish short biographies of major Jain personalities. The list includes Jains from various fields of life who have done some extra ordinary work.

The biographies of selected Jains will be published on a specially created website. The website will be search engine friendly and will be listed in all major search engines including Google, Yahoo and MSN. Anybody from any corner of the world will find information, photographs and contact details of any person listed on the website through search engines.

Although we have collected lot of information, we herewith request you to suggest some Jain persons for inclusion. There is no restriction in which fields they are working, the only eligibility is that they are doing or have done some great or different work.

Required details:

Name of the person
Date of Birth and Birth Place
Educational Qualification (Please write in which school and university he/she studied)
Family Background
Achievements in detail
Awards won
Institutions and organizations in which he/ she is an office-bearer
Hobbies and Interests
Two different close up photographs
Full Contact Details (Complete Postal Address with PIN/ ZIP code; Phone, Cell Phone and Fax Numbers, Email address, Website Name and URL if any)

Please write us at:

If you want to send any printed material, please send it to: (NO Curriers, only by Registered/ Speed Post or in person)

Jain Friends (PJ)
Post Box No. 58
Jagannath Complex, 199 Mumbai-Pune Rd
Chinchwad East, Pune 411019
MH India

Please feel free to ask any question regarding this project.

Sincerely Yours,

-Mahavir Sanglikar
Cell Phones: 91 927 309 3122, 91 962 372 5249

Please note:
Some of the categories under which the Prominent Jains will be listed: (This is not complete list. Each category has many subcategories)

Education: Vice-Chancellors, Professors, Speakers
Animal Rights and Vegetarianism

Entertainment: Actors and actresses, Music Composers, Musicians, Directors, Producers, Singers, Dancers, Mimicry artists, Magicians, Stage Performers etc.
Social Activities: Social Workers, Social Organizers, Disaster Managers,
Government and Politics: Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Councils and Assemblies
Administration: IAS, IPS and other Government Officers
Science and Technology: Scientists and Researchers
Literature: Writers, Poets, Novelists
Media: Publishers, Editors, TV Journalists, Reporters
Jainism: Researchers, Indologists,
Sports: Sportspersons
Business and Industry: Business Persons, Industrialists, Entrepreneurs, CEOs
Any person who appears in media

Gujaratis in Malysia fast during Paryushan

Malacca (Malaysia): For Gujarati Jains here, the Paryushan fast has coincided with that of holy Ramadan being observed by the majority Muslim population. Fasting is common among the two communities, and so is the goal of self-purification.

Gujaratis have a special link with Malaysia as it is believed that Gujarati missionaries introduced Islam to Malaysia prior to the establishment of the Malacca Sultanate in 1402, according to Joshua Project website that researches and compiles information about communities globally.
While everyone knows that Aug 22 was the first day of Ramadan, few in Malaysia know that the children of another community and faith have also been fasting, The Star newspaper said Wednesday.

Unlike Muslims, who go without food and water from dawn to dusk for a month, Gujarati children survive only on boiled water without any food for between three and eight days.
The newspaper correspondent visited the home of carpet dealer Nishrint Shangani, 44, on "a joyous occasion" Tuesday.

Shangani held a colourful traditional ceremony at his home in Bandar Hilir to mark the end of the fasting for his 11-year-old son Depak.

Gujaratis, who are strict vegetarians, observe the Paryushan fast as a purification rite and a period to seek forgiveness.

Websites about Gujaratis in Malaysia list the community by their religions, castes, sub-castes and their location back in Gujarat.

They also list Hindu and Jain temples, where priests are in charge and the activity is funded and overseen by the community.

A Jain temple was opened in Malacca in 2001 amid fanfare and community participation in the presence of Gurudev Jinchandraji Maharaj (Bandhu Triputi).

Attending it were the Gujarati communities not only from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor but also from Singapore and all over Malaysia including Penang, Ipoh, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan states.

"The Gujaratis of Malaysia are mainly adherents of Jainism and Hinduism with a small minority of Muslims," the Joshua Project website says of the 3,000-plus community of mostly traders.
"Gujarati traders from Cambay also frequently visited the port of Malacca but did not settle there. Only in the late 19th century did the Gujaratis, who are mostly businessmen in textile trade, travel to Malacca to settle. This new community grew as more Gujaratis came after World War II," the website records.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giant Statue of Jain Teerthankar

BHUBANESWAR: After seven years and countless strokes on chisel by dozens of sculptors, statue of a Jain Tirthankar, which is claimed to be the biggest ever granite monolithic sculpture carved from Orissa, would be ready by the end of this year.

Master sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo, under whose supervision the gigantic work was undertaken, said final touches were being given to the main idol measuring 13 feet high and 12 ft wide while the structure of umbrella-like serpent hoods over the deity would be completed within next few months.

“Simultaneously we will perform polishing work and revisit the process to ensure that all minor mistakes are rectified. We will fit the three pieces into a complete statue whose height will be 23 ft before dismantling it for easy transportation,” Mr. Sahoo, a Padamshree awardee, said.

A Jain monk had assigned Mr. Sahoo the task to erect the statue which would finally be transported to Surat in Gujarat.

The statue depicts the Tirthankar seated with legs crossed in front, the toes of one foot resting close upon the knee of the other, and the right hand lying over the left in the lap.

The symbols of lotus flower have been carved on palms. The idol will have seven serpent hoods unfurling as umbrella.

Although on the face of it the work looked like any other creation of a sculptor, Mr. Sahoo said there was history behind creating such a mammoth idol.

At first it was a challenging task to discover a huge piece of granite stone from Mayurbhanj district. “My son and several of my students spent months in Adipur and Sialiuthani village near Khiching temple to lay hand on the huge piece of stone which weighed above 400 tonnes,” he said.

Villagers were compensated for their crop damage and special permission was secured from National Highway authority to transport the giant stone to the craft shed here, Mr. Sahoo said.
“Since I did not have expertise in creating Jain idols, I had to go through numerous Jain literatures and study the iconography. It was not enough. Not to take chances, we initially built hundreds of small Jain sculpture to see where we were going wrong,” the master craftsman recounted.

Precautions were taken during knocking off large portions of unwanted stone and striking chisels accurately. Any miscalculation could have injured sculptors’ hand and most importantly damaging the stone.

Jains send notice over N-submarine name

Ashutosh Shukla

Mumbai: Five days after India's first indigenous nuclear submarine was inaugurated, a member of the Jain community has sent a legal notice to the Centre. The notice, addressed to the chief secretary of Union of India on July 27, is sent by Mumbai-based Ashok Bhikamchand Jain.

Ashok Jain said, "The word 'Arihant' reflects all the beliefs of the Jain dharma. It is highly revered and indicates a win over anger, lust, greed, and violence. Non-violence is the essence of our religion and submarine stands for everything it is not." The notice, sent by advocate Mahendra Jain says, "My client takes strong objection to the naming and calls upon you to reconsider the naming for the sake of Jain religion."

The community has decided to put up handbills signed by five senior most monks in every Jain temple. It requests Jains to write to the PM and defence minister. "We have sent requests to the Centre. If the issue is not resolved peacefully however, we will support community members who will move court on it," said Suryodayasagar Suriswarji Maharaj, the senior most monk in Mumbai based in Aadeswar Temple, Walkeshwar.

Marwari jains combat female feticide


KATHMANDU, Aug 3: Marwari followers of Jainism in Nepal have started a fight against sex-selective abortion after finding that the practice is on steady rise in their community.

Jain marwaris are working to launch various awareness programs against the practice.

“In the first phase, we will be holding rallies in different cities urging parents to not abort their female fetuses,” says Usha Naulakha, president of Jain Shwetamber Terapanth Mahila Mandal, an organization of Jain women that held an interaction program recently with lawmakers, doctors and intellectuals on the ways to eliminate sex-selective abortion.

According to Naulakha, the Mandal will be visiting cities like Biratnagar, Birgunj and Nepalgunj. “Our primary focus is Jain community in Kathmandu,” says Naulakha. “We, however, want to go beyond the capital and our community in the long run as this practice is not confined to one particular region or religion.”

The Mandal has already launched two programs that aim to prevent female feticides apart from encouraging morality in society. “Under the first program, we reach out to girl students in different schools and educate them about female feticide as they are future mothers,” says Sharada Pragya,a Jainism preacher. The second program is focused on sensitizing parents.

The Mandal has already launched two programs that aim to prevent female feticides apart from encouraging morality in society. “Under the first program, we reach out to girl students in different schools and educate them about female feticide as they are future mothers,” says Sharada Pragya,a Jainism preacher. The second program is focused on sensitizing parents.

According to Lalwani, the average age of marriage for males in Marwari community has gone up to 27 years from 22. “The number of females is falling compared to males in the community,” he says. It has apparently caused anxiety among prospective bridegrooms. “Parents will be unable to find brides for their sons in the days to come if the trend of female feticide is not stopped right away,” says Lalwani.

According to Lalwani, the average age of marriage for males in Marwari community has gone up to 27 years from 22. “The number of females is falling compared to males in the community,” he says. It has apparently caused anxiety among prospective bridegrooms. “Parents will be unable to find brides for their sons in the days to come if the trend of female feticide is not stopped right away,” says Lalwani.

Pragya says scores of women talking to her confessed to having aborted female fetuses. “Women cannot hide the crimes they commit for long and confess it while talking to me after some years,” says Pragya. According to her, most of the women abort female fetuses under pressure from their husbands or sons and mothers-in-law while a few do it on their own.

Having observed a whole lot of women making confession, Pragya has now come to believe that female feticide is rampant particularly in Madhes. “Female feticide has resulted in gender imbalance in a number of states in India,” she says. “Our situation is similar to that of India as we share common culture and faiths.”

Having observed a whole lot of women making confession, Pragya has now come to believe that female feticide is rampant particularly in Madhes. “Female feticide has resulted in gender imbalance in a number of states in India,” she says. “Our situation is similar to that of India as we share common culture and faiths.”

As in India, dowry system and male preference are the two main reasons that cause female feticide. In societies largely dominated by Hindus, sons are considered as incomes whereas daughters as expenses. “This deep-rooted thought is the main problem,” says she.

Although there has been no survey on gender-selective abortion so far, the gender ratio of Nepal is somewhat ominous. According to the 2001 census, the gender ratio is 99.8 males per 100 females. This ratio was 99.5 males per 100 females according to the 1991 census. “The gender ratio is imbalanced in Madhes than in pahad (hills),” says sociologist Dilli Ram Dahal. “It would be pretty interesting to carry out a thorough research on this.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bihar promotes Jain circuit

Bihar promotes Jain circuit
Kumar Manish

AHMEDABAD: Pilgrimage tourism always tops the Jain mind. No wonder the Bihar government has come up with a Jain circuit to woo the community in the state.

It was in Bihar that Jainism, which has millions of followers today, was first propagated, according to officials. The chief proponent of Jain religion and 24th tirthankar, Lord Mahavir, was born near Patna, capital of Bihar.

The most revered Jain pilgrim spot in Bihar is Jalmandir Temple complex at Pawapuri. Says officer in department of tourism, Bihar government, Tapan Kumar Sinha, "Bihar Tourism has designed the religious circuit in a holistic manner. There are more than seven important places in Bihar which are famous for Jain temples and are of historical significance to Jains."

The prominent Jain spots are Vasokund, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Mahavir, Rajgir, Kundalpur, Lachhaur Nalanda, Pawapuri, among others.

"We have been promoting religious tourism in a big way in Gujarat. In the last two days of the travel and tourism fair, we're getting good response from the Gujarati community. We have introduced special package tours for Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs," says Sinha.

This is the first time Bihar Tourism has prominently displayed their tourist destinations with this attractive religious circuit, says visitor Nitin Dalal. "Gujarat has highest concentration of Jain community and the places included in the circuit are of historical importance to it," he adds.

Says another visitor Dinesh Patel, "I'm curious about the tourist destinations in Bihar and places of religious importance there. The state is still to be explored in terms of tourism."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arihant launched at Visakhapatnam

NEW DELHI, 26 JULY: As the nation today paid homage to the soldiers who a decade ago beat back Pakistani intruders in Kargil, it also inducted its first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine, taking the first visible step towards creating the sea leg of its nuclear triad. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh however said that the country has no aggressive designs, though it would take all measures to safeguard itself.

The Prime Minister, who with defence minister AK Antony spent almost the entire Sunday with the armed forces, laid a floral wreath at the memorial to the unknown soldier in India Gate in New Delhi in the morning, while in Drass, Kargil, families of many of the slain soldiers gathered at the invitation of the armed forces to observe the 10th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas.

It was in the summer of 1999 that India and Pakistan almost came to the edge of having a fourth full-scale war as they faced-off in the snow-capped mountains of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir. An estimated 530 Indian soldiers were killed in two months of fighting before the Pakistanis were pushed back across the international border.

Wreaths were laid at the War Memorial amid a flypast by Mig 21 Bison aircraft and showering of petals by Chetak helicopters, as the relatives got an account of the bravey of their loved ones from the personnel of the forces, colleagues and friends.

The finale of the two-day ceremony was a musical show by military bands drawn from all over the country followed by a spectacular illumination of Tiger Hill and Tololing, two of the peaks recaptured from the Pakistani intruders after savage fighting.

While the ceremony at India Gate was attended by the defence minister, Mr AK Antony, he and the Army chief Gen. Deepak Kumar gave the ceremony in Drass a miss.

A contingent of tri-services guards presented the salute and buglers sounded the last post as Dr Singh laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. A two-minute silence was observed for those killed in the 60-day war. “I join the entire nation in paying homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war. They sacrificed their lives in defence of Indian unity and integrity,” the PM wrote in the visitor's book.

Later the PM headed to Vishakhapatnam where his wife Mrs Gursharan Kaur broke a coconut and offered a prayer at the launch of the country’s first indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine, INS Arihant, putting the country in an elite club that includes the USA, Russia, China, France and Britain.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the Navy had a major role to play in re-adjusting “our military preparedness”.

The launch of the 6,000-tonne, 110-metre long and 11-metre wide nuclear-powered submarine that can carry nearly 100 sailors comes 25 years after the project was initiated when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

In a clear message to Pakistan, the Prime Minister asserted that India did “not have any aggressive designs nor do we seek to threaten anyone. We seek an external environment in our region, and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and the protection of our value systems.”

Congratulating the personnel associated with the submarine, he said this was “a reflection of the immense technical expertise that exists in our country and the strength of our research and development organisations.” Dr Singh said the deep sea strategic capability was necessary in view of the increasing relevance of the sea in the country’s security scenario.

The dockyard where the submarine was housed was flooded before the vessel could be tugged out. Officials said it would take two years of sea trials before the vessel is commissioned into the navy. The steel for the submarine was cut in 1998.

Defence minister Mr AK Antony said the “present situation in our neighbourhood” demanded greater acquisition of strategic assets. Though neither the PM nor Mr Antony named China, the launch of INS Arihant was a clear message since China has the biggest navy in Asia.

Latest Jain News