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

Latest Jain News