Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jains visit Vatican for talks

The Vatican and the highest international institution of Jainism met for the second time Tuesday in Rome to discuss common ground, focusing particularly on the Jain principle of non-violence.

The meeting between a delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), led by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and 14 Jain delegates led by the deputy chairman of the London-based Institute of Jainology, Nemu Chandaria, took place at the Vatican.

According to a press release from the Pontifical Council, delegates looked for concrete areas of convergence as a basis of collaboration between the two religions. They focused on the principle of non-violence, comparing it to the Christian notion of ‘charity’, finding common ground for further collaboration while highlighting differences between the two principles.

In particular, Monsignor Andrew Thanya-anan Vissanu, under-secretary of PCID, said that while Jains extend the principle of non-violence and absolute respect for life to all living beings, including plants and animals, Christians maintain that man is at the centre of creation and thus is called to respect, protect but also use God’s gifts.

The meeting recognized the “cordial relations and cooperation that exist between both Christian and Jain communities in countries where they live their day-to-day lives in proximity” and stressed the need to strengthen ties at local level to “better contribute towards the common good of the entire society”.

Msgr Vissanu stressed that the Rome meeting was a “good starting point” to promote mutual understanding in a community where in some cases the distinction between Catholics and other Christian denominations is still unclear.

The first high level Jain-Catholic meeting took place in February 1995. Contact between the Vatican and the Jain community dates back to the first interfaith prayer meeting in Assisi, Italy, in 1986. Jain delegations also participated in other interfaith gatherings in Assisi in 2002 and last October.

On November 13 the Pontifical Council organized a seminar on Christian-Jain dialogue in collaboration with the Catholic Church in India and the World Fellowship of Religions at the Acharya Sushil Muni Ashram in Delhi.

The Jain delegation was due to meet Pope Benedict XVI Dec 7 during the pontiff’s weekly general audience.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Child Diksha Issue in High Court

MUMBAI: Right to childhood conflicts with right to religion, observed the
Bombay High Court on Monday while hearing petitions saying child diksha or renunciation is a practice integral to Jainism.

A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing a petition filed by Ashok Bagricha and others challenging the jurisdiction of the
Child Welfare Committee (CWC). In March 2004, a diksha ceremony in which an eight-year-old girl renounced the material world had created a furor among child rights activists. It was brought to the attention of the CWC by Childline, an NGO. In July 2006, the high court had directed the CWC to find whether she had taken diksha voluntarily or had been forced to do so. The CWC reported that the young girl needed care. Her parents challenged the CWC order in the HC, which granted a stay on it.

Bagricha's counsel Srihari Aney said, "The CWC passed the order without considering it is a practice of my religion.''

The judges asked who takes the decision for a child. Aney said it is not a hasty decision. A child sadhvi is brought to stay for two years with a senior who recommends whether she has to be taken into the fold or not. This further goes through a deliberation process before acceptance into the fold, he added.

"The court is concerned only with the legal point and not religious sentiments," said Justice Majmudar. "What if a child is not happy? If he is ill-treated in the mutt?" he asked. Aney said there is not a single such case of ill-treatment.

"They are well-supported by the community,'' he said. Justice Bhatkar said the right to childhood is covered under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution. "Whether right to childhood will conflict with right to religion (Freedom of Religion, Article 25)? This would include right to laugh, to cry, to play. There is a conflict," said Justice Bhatkar. Aney said the girl is now over 16 and "capable of entering the convent on her own".

The judges were told that the minimum age for diksha is eight. "Can a child also be taken from the maternity house immediately after he is born?'' asked Justice Majmudar. Aney said it is not that child diksha is rampant in the community. .

Aney urged the court to decide the issue once and for all. Adjourning the matter, the judges directed that affidavits be filed by two sects of Jainism, including those by experts on the issue.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christians and Jains Need to Join Hands Together: Cardinal Tauran

Christians and Jains need to join hands together to preserve and promote life with dignity and freedom, said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of Pontifical Council for inter-religious dialogue.

He was speaking at an inter-religious seminar in New Delhi on November 13 that highlighted the similarities between the two communities.

“Christians and Jains have many things in common. As Christians, we believe that life is very precious and the Jain religion too upholds the sanctity of life and urges its promotion and protection,” said the cardinal.
He said that “our vocation to promote respect for life, non-violence, peace and harmony in today’s world brings us together with the common bond of mutual affection for each other.’

The cardinal called on all the protagonists of politics, economic and social communications to do everything in their power to “promote a culture which respects human life.”

The seminar was part of the cardinal’s 10-day visit to the country during which he held deliberations with leaders of different faiths. He met with the Hindu delegation in Pune and the Sikhs in Amritsar.

Sadhvi Sadhna from the Jain community said that a person has to believe in his/her religious scriptures as no religion teaches hatred or non-violence.

“We have to shun violence, ego, hatred from within ourselves, only then we will be able to bring a change in the world,” she said.

She said that the world will not have to conduct such conferences to promote peace and harmony if “we bring a change in ourselves.’

Fr. Vincent Sekhar, associate professor of Philosophy, marked out areas where the two communities could “seek to do something jointly with their religious and other assets in mind.”

Some of the areas he specified were protection, preservation and promotion of life, work of the betterment of ecology and environment and preparing religious texts on major themes like family, social life, diversity and equality.

The seminar was organized by the pontifical council for inter-religious dialogue, Archdiocese of Delhi, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and world fellowship of religions.

Source: By Ritu Sharma

Monday, October 31, 2011

Launch of Jain Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University In Richmond, VA

Friends, Jai Jinendra

For several years, we have been working with Virginia Commonwealth University ( VCU) in Richmond, VA to introduce regular Jain Studies program at VCU. During the last 2 years, VCU has had offered lectures on Jainism, four ( 3 students and one Professor) went to International Summer School for Jain Studies in India this year, and last month, Dr. Shugan Jain from ISJS India delivered 2 lectures there to nearly 220 students.

VCU is a prestigious and the second largest university in the State of Virginia with 32,000 student.

With several negotiations and discussions between ISJS and JAINA, now the time has arrived to launch a regular Jain Studies program at VCU.

This will happen on Sunday, November 13, 2011 starting at 10.00am at a beautiful historic hall on VCU campus which has been specially reserved just for this meeting. This really is an excellent opportunity that we will be starting JAIN study program there.

Jain community of Richmond, VA and VCU are hosting this meeting. Several University officials and the Jain Sangh of Richmond, VA will be there to greet the Jain community.

All Jains are invited. Hope we will have a great presence.

Please make your plans and invite as many Jains ;especially from Washington D.C and Raleigh NC areas to participate in this event.

Kindly let us know that you will be coming.

Dr. Sulekh C. Jain

Past President JAINA

Houston, Texas ,USA

281 494 7656 ( home)

832 594 8005 ( cell)

Dr. Sushil Jain

President JAINA

Washington, D.C

703 208 1861 ( home)

240 277 3039 ( cell)

Dilip v. Shah

Past President JAINA

Philadelphia, PA

215 561 0581 ( home)

215 868 0381 ( cell)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moodbidri Thousand-pillar Basadi: Alarm over Crash of Ceiling Slab

Moodbidri, Mar 1: Is crass commercialism getting the better of our heritage? There is yet another sign of our history crumbling under the pressure of modernization.

This temple-town, known as Jain Kashi, draws hundreds of pilgrims from all over India and abroad every day. The Jain community woke up to an alarming story the other day.

A ceiling slab on the right hand side of the Bhairadevi mantap in the precincts of the famed, historical Thousand-pillar Basadi crashed to the ground on Saturday. Though the basadi is known so by its common name, its original name is Tribhuvana Tilaka Choodamani Chaityalaya, built, as the inscriptions therein say, between 1429 and 1462 AD. Over the centuries, it has stood the test of time and withstood all elements of nature like rain, sun, storm and lightning.

Swasti Shri Bhattaraka Charukirti Panditacharyavarya Swamiji of the Moodbidri Jain Math convened a media meet on Monday to apprise the public of the situation and the damage.

The Bhairadevi mantap, got built in her name by queen Bhairadevi of Bhairanakote, Bhatkal in 1462, lies at the entrance of the basadi. A part of the ceiling slab came off two days ago. Besides, the monolithic pillar, called maanasthambha, has developed crack recently, perhaps caused by lightning.

The Swamiji said that excessive granite quarrying around Moodbidri, which involves blasting of rocks using explosives, as also a steep increase in the movement of heavy vehicles on the road beside the basadi had been playing havoc on the heritage structures.

The road-widening projects also had brought about hazards to various basadis like Kere basadi, Baikanatikari basadi, Padu basadi, Badagu basadi, Guru basadi and Vikrama Shetty basadi. While development was essential, conservation of heritage should be prioritized, he insisted.

The Swamiji also called for a ban on movement of heavy vehicles within a radius of a kilometre of town, immediate construction of a bypass, which has been long pending, a ban on quarrying within a radius of 10 kms and also a ban on bursting of 'kadani' crackers during festivals and occasions.

News Courtesy:

Moodbidri: Rs 35-crore Plan to Develop Thousand-pillar Basadi

Mangalore / Moodbidri, May 12: District tourism development committee president and deputy commissioner Subodh Yadav has announced that a comprehensive plan for the conservation and development of the renowned Tribhuvan Tilak Choodamani Chaityalaya, commonly known as the Thousand-pillar Basadi in the temple town of Moodbidri, has been submitted to the government.

The architectural marvel attracts hundreds of visitors not just from the Jain community, but others and foreigners as well.

A plan at an outlay of Rs 35,94,08,371 for improvements on the 15th century monument and the surroundings has been submitted to the director of the department of tourism and is now awaiting approval.

The plan covers laying of connecting roads between various of places of historical interest in town, a Mahaveer community hall, parking facility, renovation of monuments, improvements to water resources and natural tanks, renovation of buildings, erection of a map showing tourist hotspot for the benefit of tourists, facelift ot Jain Tirthankar statues, renovation of the palace of the Chowta rulers.

News Courtesy:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Newspaper agent’s son Lalit Jain bags 41st rank in IAS

Chandigarh: It was now or never for 28-year-old Lalit Jain, who, despite three unsuccessful UPSC attempts, did not lose patience. Braving the challenges of life, Lalit stood 41st in the country's most prestigious examination. It was a tough choice for this law graduate to make — dedicate precious years of his life to an uncertain destination.

Speaking to TOI, Lalit said being in his late twenties it was difficult to balance work and studies and this was his biggest challenge. ''At this age, my family expected me to earn my living and build a future. I used to sell newspapers with my father at the local bus stand in the morning and then go to court, where I was practising as a lawyer. In between all of that, I used to take out time for studies,'' he said.

Hungry for success, he used to carry books to the court and read them whenever he got time. ''I would sit in a corner and revise what I had studied the previous night,'' Lalit said, reminiscing about the tough days.

''It might sound cliched but I burned the midnight oil and got the success I had always dreamed of. Though we belong to a small family and are based in a rural area, my father provided me with good education from the best schools. Some of my classmates used to make fun of me, calling me a newspaper seller's son... but this motivated me to make my parents proud,'' Lalit said. Coupled with patience, he would dedicate at least 10 hours every day to studies.

Overjoyed at his son's success, Shashi Pal Jain said he could not believe that his hard work of over 40 years has paid off. ''I just had one dream... to see my son become an officer. I am the happiest father now,'' he smiled.

Lalit wants to join the IAS and serve the country. ''I wish to change the image of Indian bureaucracy,'' he added.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mahavir Ahimsa award to Dr. Sudarshan

Mysore, Apr. 17 (HT&DM)- Padma Shri Dr. H. Sudarshan, Hon. Secretary, Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra who has also won the Right Livelihood award was conferred the Mahavir Ahimsa award by the Mahavir Seva Samsthan during the Bhagavan Mahavir Jayanti celebrations held at M.L. Vardhamanaiah Memorial Hall on Chadragupta Road in city yesterday.

Kanakagiri Jain Mutt`s Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji, who spoke after conferring the award, said Mahatma Gandhiji, who was influenced by Mahavir`s preachings, imbibed his principles and advocated non-violence throughout his life. The followers of Jainism are in the forefront of implementing Mahavir`s messages, he added.

Forest Minister C.H. Vijayashankar who also spoke, observed that Mahaveer`s messages were a model to Jain Community and called upon the people to imbibe Mahaveer`s principles for the survival of mankind.

Digambar Jain Samaj President S.N. Prakash Babu, M.A. Sudhir, Madan Kumar Babu and others were present.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mahavir Jayanti Celebrated in Bangalore

BANGALORE: Messages of non-violence and virtue reverberated in the air even as the city was painted in riotous colours marking Mahaveer Jayanti.

The 2610th birth anniversary of the last Tirthankara saw thousands take part in celebrations across the city. Organized by various Jain organizations, colourful processions, meetings and religious discourses marked the day. Speakers lauded the "Ahimsa Paramo Dharma" (the principles of non-violence and virtue) taught by Bhagwan Mahaveer and its relevance in the present day scenario.

The day began with the idol of Mahaveer being given a ceremonial bath followed by several rituals. Later, Maha Mastakabhisheka of Lord Mahaveer and special puja were held. Religious discourses and cultural activities were held throughout the day.

Speaking at a function in Freedom Park organized by the Jain Youth Association in Gandhinagar, chief minister B S Yeddyurappa lauded the contribution of Jain poets to Kannada literature.

"For ages, Jainism has been an integral part of Indian ethos. The rituals, teachings and religious roots of Jainism have assimilated into Indian culture. Through truth, non-violence, celibacy and rigorous achievement, Lord Mahaveer has been a trend-setter. The contributions by Janna, Pampa and Ponna to Kannada literature will remain forever. Mahatma Gandhi has proven that we can win with non-violence," Yeddyurappa said.


Union minister of state for railways K H Muniyappa promised to rename either the Mysore-Jaipur train or Bangalore-Jodhpur train as Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Express. The Jain community members requested the CM to name the Metro railway station near Mysore Bank Circle after Lord Mahaveer.


Also known as the World Peace Day, the celebrations began with a peace march organized by Jain Yuva Sanghatan. The procession which was flagged off at Town Hall made its way through the narrow lanes of Nagarthpet, Chickpet via BVK Iyengar road to Freedom Park where thousands had gathered to spread the words of Mahaveer __ non-violence and peace.

There were multiple tableaus enacting various scenes from the Jain Mythology, life of Mahaveer. Mahaveer Janam Kalyanak was celebrated by the abhishek of the idol of Lord Mahaveer.

Sree Mahaveer Sangha organized a programme at Vimanapura, Old Airport Road. A procession of Lord Mahaveer Jain with 108 mangala kalasa was taken out on the morning followed by a religious function and later culminated with a cultural programme depicting the life story of Lord Mahaveer.

A book titled `Karnataka Digambar Jain Mandirs' was released on at a programme organized by the Karnataka Jain Association. It was followed by discourse of Jain teachings.

The Khandelwal Digamber Jain Samaj, Wilson Garden, held its festivities at the Digambar Jain Temple. A massive rally with all grandeur and royal decoration marked the celebrations.

Friday, April 15, 2011

President, Vice President, Prime Minister Greet on Mahavir Jayanti


President of India’s Greetings on the Occasion of Mahavir Jayanti

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in her message on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, which is being celebrated tomorrow has said: -

“On the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all my fellow citizens.
May Lord Mahavir’s noble teachings inspire us to strive for love, peace and harmony and work for the unity and progress of our country”.

Vice President Greets People on Mahavir Jayanti

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has greeted the people of our country on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti. In his message he has said that through his divine life and teachings showed us the path of non-violence, truthfulness, peace and universal love. His teachings are relevant at all times to emancipate mankind from suffering and to ensure peace and happiness through spiritual excellence.

Following is the text of the Vice President’s message :

“On the auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, I extend my best wishes to the people of our country.
Bhagwan Mahavir, through his divine life and teachings showed us the path of non-violence, truthfulness, peace and universal love. His teachings are relevant at all times to emancipate mankind from suffering and to ensure peace and happiness through spiritual excellence.

Let us rededicate ourselves to the enlightened teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir for the welfare of humanity.

PM greets the people on Mahavir Jayanti

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Mahavir Jayanti.

In a message, the Prime Minister said that the teachings of Lord Mahavira inspires us to lead a simple life of compassion and selflessness.

“May this festival strengthen in one and all the commitment to truth, non violence, and harmony”, Dr. Singh added.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fake Jain Brides on Rise

By: Imran Gowhar

What seemed to be a marriage made in heaven, turned out to be a shocker for a recently wedded man, as he was taken for a ride by a marriage bureau that had more to it than meets the eye. Jeetesh (26), married Divya (20), in March through a community marriage bureau. All was well until recently, Chagan Lal, Jeetesh's father noticed scars of a cesarean section on Divya's belly. On questioning, Divya confessed that she is not a Jain and hails from a Maharashtrian family. She used to odd jobs to support her eight-year-old son from her previous marriage, and her aged mother.

Staged and scripted
Then she met Shanti Lal who promised to arrange her marriage into an affluent family. He trained her to act like a woman from the Jain community and gave her new name. As the twisted tale unravelled, Divya informed the family that the people who they met while fixing the wedding date were, in fact, an elderly couple hired by the marriage bureau to pose as her parents.

The agitated family approached the court with a complaint and got directions issued to the local police to investigate into the matter. This consequently led to the arrest of five persons running the bureau in Majestic area. "We tracked down prime accused in the racket Shanti lal, along with Hasmukh Lal, Madan Lal, Sanjay and Roopesh through mobile tracker. During questioning, they informed that they charged a commission of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for each marriage they fixed," said PI Shiva Kumar from Chickpet police station.

The police were shocked to discover that the gang targeted the Jain community for alliances as the male-female ratio is skewed. They had recently brought three more women from Mumbai promising to get them married into affluent families.

How it works?
"They women are first trained for a few months to develop their language skills and to adopt the accent of the community. The brokers then arrange fake parents and have them pose as affluent members of the Jain community from Mumbai," said Kumar.

During further questioning, Shanti Lal revealed that the gang had arranged four such marriages in Bangalore and Rajasthan. Ironically, those marriages are successful and the women are doing well, Kumar, who verified with the address, said.

"We have booked the three women and their parents as witnesses and send them back to Mumbai. They will be summoned to the city to testify before the court against Shanti Lal and others involved," Kumar added. "The police have arrested six members of the group for cheating under Section 496," said, S N Siddaramappa, DCP (west).

Rs 5 lakh The fee that the bureau charged for the marriage they fixed.

News Courtesy: Mid-Day

Monday, March 28, 2011

Parkrit Workshop at Bahubali, Kolhapur

A two day state level workshop on Prakrit Literature and Grammar has been arranged at Bahubali, a Jain pilgrimage center in the district of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, on 2nd and 3rd April 2011. This workshop is jointly arranged by Jain Chair, Shivaji University, Anekant Shodhpeeth.and Bahubali Vidyapeeth.

The chief guest at the inauguration is Dr. N. J. Pawar, Vice Chanceller of Shivaji University.

Two books written by Dr. Padmaja Patil will be published in this workshop.

For further details, please contact Dr. Neminath Balikai Shastri, Secretary Anekant Shodhpeet, Bahubali.
Phone: 0230 2584631, 0 942 077 6631

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No alcohol, meat served at halls named after saints: MCD

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to strictly enforce the ban on alcohol as well as non-vegetarian delicacies at weddings and functions held in halls named after religious leaders, or are located inside the temple premises.

The first place it will crack down on is the Mahavir Vatika Community Hall, located in Daryaganj, where the ban on meat and drinks is said to be violated openly.

The matter came to light after Mehmud Ziah, the councillor of Baazar Sita Ram near Daryaganj, raised the issue at a meeting last week. He complained that non-vegetarian delicacies and alcohol are served at Mahavir Vatika in Daryaganj, which goes against the teachings of the Jain leader after whom the park is named.

Ziah demanded that the authorities either rename the park or ensure that alcohol and non-vegetarian delicacies are not served.

“The Standing Committee has taken cognizance of the complaint and the guidelines will be changed soon. Whenever someone comes to book the hall, they will have to give in writing that no alcohol and meat will be served,” said Yogender Chandolia, Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If you have more like Ajit Jain, send them over to me: Warren Buffet to India PM

NEW DELHI: Warren Buffett preferred to play second fiddle to his associate Ajit Jain when the duo called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday.

"Shareholders in my company have more faith in him than in me. I am just a name," the Oracle from Omaha told the PM. "If you have more like him send them over to me," Buffet said. The 10-minute interaction also brought out Buffet's faith in IITs as centres of excellence. "In 1991, I asked Bill Gates which institution I should recruit from. He suggested IIT, and he was right," he told the Prime Minister.

Buffet who was bullish on economies of India and the US also interacted with a group of MPs. In the hour-long interaction, the investment wizard refrained from proffering any advice on what India should do. He, however, expressed his admiration for the emphasis of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and PM on inclusive growth.

He agreed with Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh that US had turned insular at a time when India and China were looking outward, but said that it was because of the crisis in the US economy. Asked whether financial liberalization was responsible for the economic crisis in the US, Buffet blamed what he called "mass delusion for house ownership". But while he said that another crisis could not be ruled out, the Wizard of Omaha was confident that the American economy would get out of its current woes shortly.
Replying to a question from BJP MP Chandan Mitra about corporate corruption, Buffet said that the USA was built on corporate corruption. But there was a clean up and regulation was brought in, he said. The iconic investment guru, however, stressed that he was not defending corporate corruption, but only suggesting that things needed to be viewed in a perspective.

L C Jain''s family declines Padma Vibhushan

New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The family of noted Gandhian L C Jain has declined to accept the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour for which he was chosen posthumously. Jain, known as a fierce opponent of "overwhelming" state control, was selected for the coveted award this year posthumously. Sources said Jain's family members and several NGOs said the late Gandhian was against accepting state honours. Jain, a recipient of the Magsaysay Award, breathed his last on November 14 last year at the age of 85. President Pratibha Patil gave away 61 Padma awards at a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan this evening. Another investiture ceremony is scheduled to be held on April 1 to honour the remaining 66 awardees. This year the President has approved 128 awards.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Common entrance test for UP Minority Educational Institutions

Lucknow: In a first perhaps, and laudable trend-setting move, eight recognized minority educational institutions in Uttar Pradesh have joined hand to conduct a Common Entrance Examination (CEE) for admission of minority category students in several professional courses at these institutions.

The institutions that have been granted minority status by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) have formed a body -- Consortium of Minority Professional Educational Institutions (COMPEI), for smooth conduct of the CEE-2011.

According to Mr Jamal Ahmed, President, COMPEI, the CEE-2011 will be held on May 22, 2011 and will offer 1350 seats in different courses like B.Tech., B.Pharma., MBA and MCA. The CEE-2011 will be held at 35 centres in several cities of UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. "In UP the CEE-2011 information brochure will be available at select branches of HDFC Bank and Punjab National Bank. The last date for submitting application form will be May 2, 2011," he said.
He also stated that COMPEI has 2700 seats in professional courses and CEE-2011 will be for 1350 which will be for minority students. "For the remaining seats admission will be open for general category seats through the entrance examination by state's Gautam Budha Technical University (GBTU)," said Jamal Ahmed.

He said that minority category students were lagging in admission to professional courses and hence the arrangement has been done so that they can secure admission. "With 50 percent reservation, they stand fair chance of admission, we will also offer fee waiver in some cases to them for facilitating the admission," he said.

The institutions which are part of the COMPEI include Jahangirabad Educational Trust group of Institutions in Barabanki, Azad Institute of Enginnering and Technology, Lucknow, Azad Institute of Pharmacy and Research, Lucknow, Awadh Institute of Technology, Lucknow, Lucknow Institute of Technology, Vidya College of Engineering, Vidya Institute of Fashion Technology, Vidya School of Business-all from Meerut. "All these institutions are minority institutes with Muslim and Jain community," he said.

Central Government finding solution for Minority Status


On demands for inclusion of Jains in the notified list of national minorities, Central Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that the government was trying to find a solution to it and the Attorney General will be looking at the ways available before the government as the Centre's role is restricted in the matter in view of a Supreme Court ruling.

Jain College Wins Minority Case in Haryana

INVC,,Chandigarh,  A Division Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court has upheld that since the Jain Community is a minority community in Haryana, therefore the Haryana Government cannot interfere in the internal working of the educational institutions run by it even if these institutions receive 95% grant-in-aid from the government. While dismissing an appeal filed by the Haryana Government, the Division Bench upheld the order passed by a Single Judge, whereby he had allowed the writ petition filed by Atma Nand Jain College Ambala against the instructions issued by the government regarding the composition and functioning of the managing committee of the college.

Chief Justice Mr. Ranjan Gogoi and Mr. Justice A.G. Masih constituted the bench.

Mr. Randhir Singh, Addl. AG Haryana had argued that it is within the jurisdiction of the Haryana Government to issue instructions about the proper constitution and working of the Managing Committee of the College and such instructions do not violate the provisions of law.

Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Senior Advocate with Mr. Dheeraj Jain, Counsel for Atma Nand Jain College Ambala, had argued that since Jain Community has been accepted as a religious minority in Haryana, the Government cannot impose any unreasonable conditions in the internal management of the college run by it, as the same would be in violation of Article 29 and 30 of the constitution of India.

The bench held, “That the respondent-College is a minority institution is not disputed before the Court. The agreement between the parties on the said issue severely truncates the dimensions of the conflict between the parties in view of the law that has crystallized over the years in respect of minority institutions and the extent of governmental control over such institutions. The decisions of the Apex Court lay down the law which in substance is that there can be no governmental control over the affairs of a minority institution established under Article 30 of the Constitution.”

“Insofar as the main features of the directions contained in Sr. Nos. (i) to (vi), which are also being extracted below, not much persuasion will be required to accept the position that by the said directions the appellant State has virtually attempted to decide on the composition of the governing body as well as its tenure and had also made the decisions of the governing body subject to the scrutiny, control and approval of the Government/University.”

“We have no doubt in our minds that the aforesaid directions issued are clearly contrary to the principles of law as enunciated by the Apex Court in the several cases reference to which has been made in T. Jose’s case (supra). The same are, therefore, ex facie not tenable.”

“In view of the above, we do not find any merit in the appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss the same and affirm the judgment passed by the learned Single Judge.”

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Andhra Pradesh: Jains Get Minority Status

March 8: The state government declared on Monday that along with Muslims and Christians, Jains too will be considered as religious minorities in the state hereafter.

This means that the Jains will have privileges like running educational institutions etc. for their community. As per the 2001 census, there are around 41,486 Jains in the state out of a total population of 7.6 crore which amounts to around 0.1 per cent.

The minorities welfare department issued the orders on Tuesday declaring the Jain community as a religious minority in the state following a representation from the Shri Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain (DS) Mahasabha. It was stated in the representation that as per Article 30 of the Indian Constitution, Jains can be declared as a minority based on religion and language. Reacting to this in 2007, the then minority affairs minister, Mr A.R. Antulay, had written to the former CM, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, informing him that a religious community, which was less than 0.5 per cent of the population, would definitely fall under the minority category and had to be notified by the state government as a religious minority.

In July, 2010, the minority affairs ministry had confirmed that for the purpose of determining minority, the unit taken into consideration should be the state and not the country.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Munisree Yasawai Sagarji Maharaj Passes Away

KOLKATA: An 88-year-old Jain monk breathed his last on Monday afternoon, after embracing the voluntary fast to death called Santhara, sanctioned by Jain scriptures. Munisree Yasawai Sagarji Maharaj of the Digambar community took neither food nor water for 51 days.

In a rare honour to Yasawai Sagarji, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation reserved the wooden pyre of Kashi Mitra burning ghat from 2am to 10am on Tuesday for his cremation. In fact, Jain leaders had applied to KMC the day the monk started his fast to reserve the pyre for a month. The KMC agreed. There is no precedence for this in the KMC's history.

On Tuesday, mayor Sovan Chatterjee personally asked chief municipal health officer J C Roy to pass an instruction to the sub-register of Kashi Mitra crematorium to arrange for everything. According to tradition, the monk was cremated in a sitting posture on the wooden pyre.

Yasawai Sagarji passed away at 3.25pm on Monday. He had decided to breathe his last through meditation and by fasting unto death two years ago, soon after becoming munishree', but his guru, Bardhaman Sagarji Maharaj, allowed it on January 17, said Dinesh Bajaj Gangwal), a senior member of the Parashnath Digambar Jain Belgachia temple trust. The trust immediately applied to KMC to reserve the pyre.

However, keeping the wooden pyre reserved led to an untoward incident about three weeks ago when a group of people from a north Kolkata locality created a furore after being refused to use it.

The KMC, which had reserved the wooden pyre at Kashi Mitra burning ghat for Munisree Yasawai Sagarji Maharaj, had to issue a fresh order after a family demanded to be allowed to use it.

The civic authorities then told the Parashnath temple trust that in honour of the fasting monk, the wooden pyre would be reserved for four hours. "We asked the temple trust to inform us about the demise of the monk immediately so that we could ask the sub-register of Kashi Mitra crematorium to keep the wooden pyre reserved as a token of respect for the Jain saint," said MMiC health Atin Ghosh.

A resident of Belgaum in Karnataka, Yasawai Sagarji Maharaj was attracted to Jainism at the age of 60 years. A father of four, he devoted himself to a saint's life 10 years ago, when he left family for good. Thereafter he attained three important feats of a Jain monk Brahmachari, Chhullak and Munisree.

His brother, Devegouda Jinjouda Patil, was present when Munisree Yasawai Sagarji Maharaj breathed his last. "He was always a devout person in search for the ultimate truth' all his life," said Patil. According to sources in the temple, the monk's son and all three daughters also camped at the Belgachia temple to witness the rare' event.

Dinesh Bajaj thanked KMC and Kolkata Police for cooperating with them for the last rites. The funeral procession of the monk was attended by 10,000 devotees and senior monks, Bajaj said.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jain scholar Vilas Sangave, passes away

By Mohsin Mulla

A veteran scholar in Jain religion, sociologist and historian, Vilas Sangave, 92, died in the wee hours of Tuesday. He was bedridden for several days at his home in Rajrampuri area here.

He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law.

Born on June 2, 1920, in Solapur, Sangave completed his doctorate in sociology in 1950 from the University of Bombay. He served as a professor of sociology in Karnataka College and Rajaram College and was the head of the Shivaji University’s sociology department in 1980.

The veteran Jainologist had done monumental research on the religion and society, apart from research on Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj. He compiled eight out of nine volumes of Shahu Gaurva Granth.

Read More about Vilas Sangave at Famous Jains

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Karnataka Government Decided to Keep Jains Outside Endowment Act

Daijiworld Media Network – Moodbidri (SP)

Moodbidri, Feb 23: Swastisri Bhattaraka Charukeerti Panditacharyavarya Swamiji of the Jain Mutt here, through a press release, has stated that minister, Dr V S Acharya, has informed him that the government has taken a decision to exempt Jains from the purview of Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act.

It may be recalled that the recommendation of the Justice Rama Jois panel to bring  Jain institutions, in addition to others, also within the purview of the said act, had received flak from the Swamiji.

The Swamiji claimed that a decision to the above effect was taken at the cabinet meeting. He said he welcomes the above decision, and has requested the government to ensure that the Jains get all the benefits that the minorities are eligible to, from the government.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jains oppose inclusion into Hindu endowment act

The Jain community leaders have opposed the government move to include Jains into the Hindu religious endowment act. According to the president of the Karnataka Jaina Association of Bangalore in a press release here today, the jains were not Hindus or Hindu dissenters but they have origin and history long anterior to the smrithis and commentaries which are recognized authorities on Hindu law and usage. It is well known that Sramana and Vedic traditions differed substantially and sharply. Jain tradition is the original and older Sramana tradition. Various Judgements of High Courts and Apex Courts have clearly enunciated that Jains must be recognized as Religious Minority distinct and separate from Hindus.

The release further stated that the Article 25 of the constitution of India recognizes, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism as separate religions and even the High power committee constituted by the State has observed: “The committee was of the view that mutts, denominational institutions as well as religious institutions of Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs which are separate religion in strict sense of the term and therefore fall into different category or classes and they have the right to have their own Managing Committee, so far as it relates to administration of their properties and regulation of secular matters by legislation, they are similarly situated. Therefore the Committee was of the view that all of them should be brought within the purview of the Act by making special provisions governing them”.

“Our constitution provides equality for all religions. All religions are safe within the State of Karnataka in particular and within the Republic of India in general. Minority rights are universally accepted as an indivisible form and essential to human rights because almost every state or Nation is multi religious, multi lingual and multi cultural,” release said.

Constitution of India confers on every person the freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion and for such freedom necessarily requires liberty of thought expression, belief, faith and worship the release added. The Sraminic trend covers Jains and Buddhists. Jain religion does not accept or rejects scriptural authority of Vedas, Brahmanas and Upanishads.

In a separate press release the swamiji of the Jain Math HH Charukirti Panditacharyavarya Bhattaraka has said “the statement of the minister for state religious endowments Dr.V.S.Acharya has confused the Jains. There is no need for the Jain maths to be included into the Hindu religious endowments act as we were well protected under the Minority religions act which was adequate for us to protect our shrines and religious places, he said.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jain Monks Learning from Muslim Teacher!

AHMEDABAD: This unique student-teacher relationship can itself be the subject of a doctoral thesis! A Muslim assistant commissioner of commercial tax,Intaj Malek,is PhD guide to two Jain monks Chintan Muni and Niranjan Muni helping them understand Jainism in a new perspective.

Unlike other doctoral guides who keep their students on their toes,Malek follows his on-the-move students around the country,meeting them at upashrayas to follow up on the progress.He also carries reference books and laptops for his students.

Chintan Muni,52,is writing his thesis on Austerities in  Jainism and other religions a comparative study.Niranjan Muni,45,on the other hand,is studying Bhavna Shata Treatise on 12 reflections of Jainism by Shatavdhani Ratnachandraji Maharaj.

The student-guide relationship happened by accident.The Jain munis of Sthanakvasi Jain Ajramar Sampraday were finding it difficult to register themselves as PhD students with Gujarat University and finding a guide.The two munis have not cleared the standard XII exam,but have bachelors and masters degrees from Jain Vishva Bharati University in Ladnun,Rajasthan.

Malek helped them register as students.Once they came in touch,Malek was requested to become their guide since he was eligible,having done in-depth study in Jainism as well as other religions.He also holds a doctorate in Upanishads and Islamic mysticism.

Since 2008,this unique student-teacher trio has not only made progress on the academic front but had a deep influence on the personal front as well.Malek,for instance,has become a vegetarian out of respect for his students.Whenever he goes to meet them to upashrayas,he follows strict Jain rules of not drinking water after sunset.

The students too are in awe of their teacher.We may belong to different religions,but we have similar values.We have never had a difference of opinion on religious issues.Our teacher is an excellent human being who has taught us a lesson in dedication, says Chintan Muni.Despite being on the move as munis are meant to be,their preparedness is humbling.They generally study under a streetlight.While Chintan Muni will complete his thesis soon,Niranjan Muni will complete it by the end of this year, says Malek.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Project to light up Rajabai Tower

The grand Rajabai Tower housed in the University of Mumbai campus at Fort will be illuminated every evening starting next month. The Rs12-lakh project to aesthetically light the 85-metre-high heritage structure is being funded by the Central Bank of India as part of its centenary celebrations. “The tower will be lit up every evening by next month,” said Rajpal Hande, director, Board of College and University Development.

The university will join other educational institutions with heritage structures such as Wilson College and St Xavier’s College, which are lit up through corporate funding.

A fusion of the Gothic and Venetian style, the clock tower houses the university’s library with rare books dating back to the 18th century. The foundation stone for the tower was laid on March 1, 1869, and construction was completed in November 1878 at the cost of Rs2 lakh.

The English architect Sir George Gilbert Scott had designed the Rajabai Tower. It was modelled on Big Ben, the clock tower in London.

Premchand Roychand, a prosperous broker, who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange, bore the entire cost on the condition that the tower is named after his mother, Rajabai. Rajabai was blind and followed Jainism and was supposed to eat dinner before sunset. The evening bell of the tower helped her to know the time. “It will look splendid. The inside of the tower is more beautiful than the exterior. Thankfully, since I am student I can easily visit the beautiful library,” said Bharti Kelkar, a student who frequently visits the library to study and research.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Religious Census Starts from 9th February

Lakhs of enumerators who go knocking at the door of every household during the decennial headcount will carry a reassuring message: have faith in us, we won't question your faith.

With growing instances of inter-religious marriages, the 2011 Census starting February 9 will record the religion of each household member and not assume that religion of the head is the same as every member in the family. Foot soldiers, who pop the question on religion, have been instructed not to get into an argument with those who say they have no religion.

In this year's headcount, if a person says he/she has no religion, then 'no religion' will be recorded. The enumeration forms will have codes for only six major religions — Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and  Jainism. In case of others, the full name of the religion will be recorded.

"You shouldn't mistake religion for caste names and also try not to establish any relationship between religion and mother tongue. You are bound to record faithfully whatever religion is returned by the respondent," goes the instruction given to enumerators by the office of registrar-general and census commissioner.

Similar level of caution will be exercised while collating data on caste. Although the Centre has cleared a separate caste census later this year, the population enumeration round that'll be held between February 9 and 28 will cover only Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Enumerators will carry an SC/ST list pertaining to each state to record the caste. SCs will be only among Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, while STs can be from any religion.

(Courtasy: TOI, Bangalore)Please share this news with your friends and relatives

Friday, January 28, 2011

Govt grants Rs 25 lakh for Abbakka Utsava

MANGALORE: The weekend will see the first official recognition to Abbakka, who took on the might of the Portuguese in the latter half of the 16th century, when the two-day Veerarani Abbakka Utsava gets underway at Assaigoli near here from Saturday.

Organized by the Veerarani Abbakka Utsava Samiti, the Abbakka Utsava which was started in 1997 is now into its 8th edition. It has for the first time received grant of Rs 25 lakh from the state government.

The utsav will get underway with a cultural procession consisting of various folk performers from Deralakatte to Assaigoli, the venue. Shobha Karandlaje, minister for power will inaugurate the utsav and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel presides over the inaugural function. Minister for women and child welfare C C Patil, and folk artiste Kargi Shedthi will inaugurate the various sessions, and cultural programmes, respectively.

The post inaugural session will feature a seminar on women and cultural challenges. Indira Hegde, researcher from Bangalore will chair this session. A poets' meet featuring poets of four different languages, Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and Beary, will be held next. Dharmadhikari of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala D Veerendra Heggade will chair the last session of the day, Savisamarambha and feature V S Acharya, and Siddaramaiah.

Kavi Kavya Darshana -- an experiment of poetry, dance and painting will be held on January 30. A V Navada, folk scholar will chair a seminar on `Tulunadu: Status of uprooted culture.' CM B S Yeddyurappa will present Veerarani Abbakka Puraskar and Prashasti on writer Janaki Brahmawar, and C Olinda Pereira at the valedictory function. M Veerappa Moily, union law minister will deliver the valedictory address.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Statue of Teerthanka Mahavir at Molem wildlife sanctuary

PANAJI: An eight-feet tall statue of Bhagwan Mahavir, which will replace the one desecrated by unknown miscreants nearly three years back, will be unveiled at Molem wildlife sanctuary on Sunday at 11.30am.

The government had formed a committee to oversee preparations for the installation of a new statue and select artisans to work on it, as per the wishes of the  Jain community in Goa. The members visited Rajasthan to choose the right material and the artisans for the job, which took four months, a source said.

Chief minister Digambar Kamat will unveil the new statue costing Rs 5 lakh in the presence of forest minister Felipe Neri Rodrigues, chief wildlife warden Shashi Kumar and other dignitaries.

Two statues had been unveiled in Goa, at Molem and Campal in 2001 to mark the 2,600th birth anniversary year of Bhagwan Mahavir. Representatives of Goa Jain Mandal had insisted that a new statue should be installed instead of touching up the damaged one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Acharya Lokesh Muni gets national integration award

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Delhi-based writer, orator and social worker Acharya Lokesh Muni has been named for the national award for promotion of communal harmony and national integration for the year 2010.
'The National Communal Harmony Award for the year 2010 will be conferred on Muni of Delhi,' the government said Tuesday.

Muni was chosen by the jury headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari.

The award instituted in 1996 is given in recognition of the efforts of individuals and organisations for promotion of communal harmony and national integration.

The jury did not find any organisation suitable for this award for the year 2010.

The award carries a citation and Rs.2 lakh for the individual.

Muni, 49, is a writer, orator and social worker. He is the chief functionary of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati, a Delhi based voluntary organisation that aims at promoting non-violence, peace, communal harmony, working against female foeticide and drug addiction.

He worked to de-escalate Hindu-Muslim strife after the Jama Masjid explosion in 2006-07 and tension between Dera Sacha Sauda and the Sikh community in 2007 and also participated in a 1,500-km walk from Haryana to Gujarat to promote communal harmony.

Muni studied Jainism, Buddhism and Vedic philosophy and has 12 books to his credit on subjects like female foeticide, terrorism, principles of peace and brotherhood.

For his academic pursuits, the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines awarded him the PhD. He has also been honoured with the Naitik Samman by the Gulzarilal Nanda Foundation and Bhaskar Puraskar by Bharat Nirman Sangathan for his contribution in restoring human values of peace and brotherhood.

Jain Girl Becomes Nun

YADGIR: A 20-year-old girl, Mumiksha Tina  Jain took sanyas here on Sunday. She was initiated by Ujwalaprabhaji, a Jain sanyasini in Yadgir.

"By sacrificing everything in our life we will lead our life towards spirituality," said Mumiksha Tina. She will participate in a Jain spiritual camp to be held in May for 15 days.

The camp will be held in Karnataka for young Jain girls. A degree holder, Tina's inclination towards spirituality led to her taking sanyas.

Karuna Jain to lead Karnataka in All-India T20

Padma Vibhushan to L.C.Jain, Padmashri to Dr. Pukhraj Bafna

Late L.C.Jain (Delhi) has been awarded the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, while Dr. Pukhraj Bafna (Chhatis Garh) has been awarded Padma Shri.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jain Temple in Hyederabad faces demolition threat

HYDERABAD: It is not just the historic Sultan Bazar which will become history if the proposed metro route is executed but also religious facets of this market. Between the half kilometre stretch of Andhra Bank crossroads to Kachiguda, there are nearly 10 important religious structures, more than 100 years old.

The most prominent one is the Jain Mandir, which is the oldest Jain temple in Hyderabad.

“Though officials said they will make sure the Jain mandir will be protected, we have our apprehensions,” said Surendra Luniya, president, SBTA and a key office-bearer of Jain mandir. Other religious places which could be affected are Hanuman temple, Bhagwan Das building, Hari Masjid, Ganesh temple, Muslim Darga, Arya Samaj mandir and Maata Gudi. There are also two heritage buildings- Raja Baghavandas building and Nanu Bhai building which face the treat of demolition.

Jain Monks Stops His Journy after Naxal Threats

AHMEDABAD: A Jain monk on a Mumbai-Rajkot padyatra was given police protection after community sources said he received naxal threats. The valsad district police was given the responsibility to provide security to Namra Muni, 40, when he reached Vapi in south Gujarat on Saturday morning.

Dharmendrasinh Vaghela, superintendent of police, Valsad, said, "Some  Jain leaders told us that the monk faced a threat; so, we decided to provide protection to him."

The anti-terrorist squad in Ahmedabad has detained four suspects from the Vapi-Valsad stretch and is questioning them in this regard, said the squad's sources. The Valsad district police gave the monk four armed policemen and stopped his padyatra. They have taken him to a safe place and are not disclosing the location even to people from his community. The monk, who got Naxal threats during his stay in Bihar, had no security on the Mumbai-Vapi stretch of his walk. When he reached Vapi, the police tracked him down.

Bipin Shah, manager,Nandigram Jain Teerth, where he was supposed to stay, told TOI, "When the monk came here on Friday, the police said he had to be protected and could not be allowed to carry on with the padyatra and that he would have to take a police vehicle."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dr. Subhash Chandra Akkole Passes Away

Noted research scholar of Marathi language Dr. Subhash Chandra Akkole passed away today morning. He was the first scholar to throw light on medieval Jain literature in Marathi. He was 84.

He wrote several research articles and books.

He was president of 4th Marathi Jain Literary Confarance held at Nipani, Karnataka. He also enjoyed editorship of various Marathi Jain magazines including Sanmati and Pragati Aani Jinvijay.

National minority status for Jains | It is almost done!

The government is working on a proposal to provide minority status to the Jain community at the national level. So far, the community has the minority status in eleven states. The law ministry is examining the proposal to make the community, with an estimated population of five million (50 lakh) in the country, eligible for the minority status nationally.

"We are working on a definite formula and intend to come out with a practical and workable solution to accord minority status to the Jain community nationally," said law minister M Veerappa Moily.

Currently, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh recognise the Jains as a minority.

Five communities - Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Budhhists and Parsis have been recognised as national minorities.

A minority status enables a community to run and administer exclusive educational institutions and derive benefits from all welfare schemes running for the minorities including the PM's 15-point programme.

Minorities recognised by the government can approach the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) for safeguarding rights and grievance redressal.

A law ministry official said the government could consider approaching the Supreme Court seeking clarification on an earlier judgment by the top court ruling that Jain community was a part of the Hindu tradition. "The option is available to us though the government is competent to issue a notification under the provisions of the National Commission for Minorities Act."

"There are some high court verdicts which have recognised the jain community as a minority," said the official.

The state governments have the liberty to accord minority status to any community, since it is a state subject according to the constitution.

Delhi is the latest state to have declared the Jain community as a minority. The community has an estimated population of around five lakh (half a million) in the Capital, which is less than one percent of Delhi's population.

(Hindustan Times)

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