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.


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