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)

Monday, January 17, 2011

National Minority Status for Jain Community Soon: Union Law Minister

The Union government is working out a formula for ensuring national minority status for the Jain community, Union Law Minister M.Veerappa Moily said here on Saturday.

Speaking at the inaugural function of Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) Global Summit-2011, he said, “We are definitely working out a formula to execute it as early as possible.”

He urged the Jain community to utilise the capacity as entrepreneurs to take the nation forward. “We are with you,” said Mr. Moily. He also pointed to the contribution of Jain poets to literature, particularly Kannada literature.

Jain community is a minority in some States of India. But they are not a Central minority, said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, AICC spokesperson.

He stressed the need for filing a new Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for reversing a judgment of the Supreme Court that said Jain community was part of the Hindu tradition. Mr. Singhvi said various High Court judgments had recognised the Jain community as a minority. He asked the Jain community to seek national minority status, “get it and return it” to celebrate the diversity of Indian culture.

Mr. Singhvi advocated the codification of ritualistic differences between various sects of the community. “Today's youth do not realise the footprint of Jain heritage. We live in an era of multiple crises. Old structures are breaking down,” he added.

“We do not have consensus for statutory amendments,” said Mr.Singhvi. Adding that the problem of moral deficit cannot be solved by legislation, he said “The present system of education values memory more than intellect. This imbalance has to be corrected.”

Voicing a similar view, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram said, “We are not doing enough to strengthen the foundation of education. The media have not concentrated enough on this. Much more effort has to be put in by all stakeholders, including the media.” The media can do much more, through its agenda-building role, to promote this positive learning about culture, he added.

“Diversity of Indian culture has to be respected,” said Mr.Ram. He urged the Jain community not to declare themselves as Hindus in the Census 2011, as “we want a precise figure.”

On the summit's concluding day on Sunday, JITO Secretary General Rakesh Metha said Jain universities would be set up in the four regions of the country. Speaking on the theme ‘Entrepreneurship: start up and scale up', he said 2011 has been declared as ‘Education Year' in which Jain universities would be set up to streamline the education system. “Besides, existing schools run by Jain institutions would be upgraded. If they need fund for upgradation, the Central Apex body would come forward to match it with the donors' contribution,” Mr. Metha said.

N. Tarachand Dugar, Secretary General (TN, AP and Pondy Zone), JITO said that the apex body would take up the issue of setting up the universities with the University Grants Commission. (The Hindu)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jain sadhus working for Civic Issues

PALITANA: At a time when global leaders, business honchos and the state government are set to sign various memorandums of understanding ( MoUs) at the Vibrant Gujarat summit, an interesting MoU signed between a Jain group and Palitana Nagarpalika three years ago to solve civic problems of the Jain pilgrimage town in Bhavnagar district, is bearing fruits.

On inspiration of Jain monk Vijay Abhaydev Suriswersji Maharaj, his followers took up the challenge to take up civic issues of Palitana three years ago. According to Moksharata Vijay Maharaj, who has executed the project, Subh Mangal Foundation carried out the civic work without taking money from government.
"We have spent more than Rs 45 crore to carry out the major civic work in our holy place to make it more beautiful and lovable for Jain sadhus and sadhvis, pilgrims, and citizens of the town. A place of worship should be like one where one can get eternal peace," Moksharatna Vijay Maharaj told TOI.

"The developmental works have been carried out in the town from Taleti to Chhela Chakla, from Chella Chakla to Bhairavnath Chowk, and from Chella Chakla to Pallavi gate. In all 18 km RCC roads were built, covering main roads and all the dharmshalas, storm water drainage, drainage line, underground facility for cables of telephone and electricity, footpaths on both sides of roads have been completed," said Maharaj
"A filter plant with all allied facilities has been established. The plant will provide potable water to all the citizens of the town. More than 3,000 trees have been planted along the roads. These basic civic amenities will solve the civic problems which Jain sadhus and pilgrims used to face, especially during monsoons,'' he said.

He said the  Jains usually donate for constructing Derasars and for Jivdaya but for the first time all the followers generously contributed for the betterment of the society at large.

(From TOI)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Six Jain women arrested for clash

AHMEDABAD: Shahibaug police station officials on Sunday arrested six women in connection with a group clash that took place at Girdharnagar Jain Upashray on Saturday afternoon. Senior police officials also held a meeting with the community leaders to prevent any further trouble on Sunday afternoon.

According to Shahibaug police station officials, the women from two sects - Ek-Tithi and Be-Tithi - of Shahibaug Upashray fought over the possession of the upashray. In the last fifteen days, the premises saw clash of ideology. The fight reached its pinnacle when sadhvis also joined in on Saturday.

"We have arrested six women in connection with the fight and vandalism of the ground floor of premises on Sunday after the investigation. They belong to both the sects as per the cross-complaints filed. We have also deployed police at the spot to prevent any further clashes," said VA Rehvar, inspector of Shahibaug police station.

Amit Vishwakarma, deputy commissioner of police, Zone IV, held a meeting with leaders of both the sects. "We asked them to take advice of the religious leaders in the matter and resolve the issue as per their guidelines," said Vishwakarma.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jain Sadhvis Attacked by Jains!

Sadhvis attacked during clash between Jain groups

A clash was reported between two groups of a Jain Sangh at the Shahibaug area in Ahmedabad on Saturday afternoon.

The incident created commotion in the locality near Girdharnagar Shahibaug Jain Shwetambar Murtipujak Sangh (GSJSMS) and the police had to cordon off the area.

According to one of the groups involved in the dispute, around 20 sadhvis of their group were attacked and locked inside by the women of the opposite group in the Sangh building in the afternoon when the former group was performing some ritual.

GSJSMS manages the Jain Derasar at Shahibaug. Two groups related to the Sangh are involved in a long-drawn legal battle over the administrative control of the Sangh and its properties for the past one decade.

The police said the clash could well be the fallout of a tussle over gaining control of the administration and its properties.

Shahibaug Inspector V A Rahewar said: “The issue is going on for two days and on Saturday, it intensified over some arguments inside the Derasar. We are still to get a fix on the real problem, but it appears that both parties are fighting over some administrative and land issues.”

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