Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jains celebrate Bal Diksha victory

Ahmedabad: Following a sustained movement to prove Bal Diksha as a religious practice that has been performed for thousands of years, the Jain community has succeeded in keeping it away from the provision of the Juvenile Justice Act. The community is now planning to organise celebrations in various cities, including Ahmedabad and Surat.

The Shri Jain Shashanam Trust (SJST) had provided sustained legal and documentary support under the guidance of senior Jain monks.

"Bal Diksha has been opposed for many years and this agitation increased over the last 100. But it is a religious tradition and has continued for many centuries. Our great Diskhayug Pravartak Tapagchchhadhiraj Acharya Ramchandra Surishwarji Maharaj and Sagarsuri Maharaj had taken up the challenge of proving that Bal Diksha is a religious practice of Jains," said Anand Parikh, the Ahmedabad representative of SJST.

"Though Ramchandra Surishwarji Maharaj passed away 20 years ago, he started a great movement for Bal Diksha and created a momentum for it. Wherever he travelled, he inspired the Jain community through his lectures to come forward and work for the endeavour," he said.

Parikh further said that Kirtiyash Suri Maharaj Saheb, Ramchandra Surishwarji Maharaj's grand disciple, had taken over the mantle and continued the campaign.

"We have finally achieved our aim. The Union government has admitted that Bal Diksha is a centuries-old religious practice and has excluded it from the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Justice Act," he said.

The SJST conducted a celebration in Mumbai on June 7, and further a celebration will held in Ahmedabad within a week or two.

"Communities of senior Jain monks gathered at Madhavbaug in Mumbai last Sunday. In the presence of nearly 4,000 people, Acharya Kirtiyash Suri Maharaj Saheb was appreciated for his efforts for Bal Diksha. We are now planning to celebrate this victory in Ahmedabad. We will be decide the dates after contacting our spiritual leaders. It is likely to be scheduled in next 10-15 days," Parikh said.

The community had received official intimation about the exclusion of Bal Diksha from the venile Justice Act last April.

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