Friday, 23 February, 2007
Wednesday, 14 February, 2007
- Jains are not against Hindus nor Hinduism.
- Jains are not against Hindu Gods or Hindu Texts.
- One of the underlying principles of the Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru in his Objectives Resolution : “The minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other backward classes, shall be provided adequate safeguards” ;
- According to Gandhiji, the claim of a country to civilization depends on the treatment it extends to the minorities
- The Chairman of the Minorities Committee for Indian Constitution was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee.
- Minority Rights flow from Articles 14,15,19(1)(2) 21, & 26 (a).
- Article 29 of the Indian Constitution ` any Section of Indian Citizens having a distinctive language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same'
- Article 30 Clause 1 - that all minorities, whether religious or linguistic shall have the right to establish and administer Educational Institutions of their choice.
- Article 350 A: Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage and Article 350 B: Provision for a Special officer for linguistic minorities.
- S.R. Das C.J., suggesting the techniques of arithmetic tabulation, held that the minority means a "community, which is numerically less than 50 percent" of the total population.
- This statistical criterion prevail with the Kerela High Court also which, in A.M.Patroni v. Kesavan , defined minority to mean the same thing as it meant to the Supreme Court.
- D. A. V. College v. State Of Punjab , it was observed that, a linguistic minority for the purpose of art. 30(1) is one which must at least have a separate spoken language.
Thirdly, the Government as well as the Parliament have recognised the rights of Minorities thru the following:-
- Establishing National Commission for Minorities through National Commission for Minorities Act 1992
- Establishing National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC).
- Establishing special programme known as 'Prime Minister's 15 Points Programme for Minorities' since 1993.
As far as the issues of Minorities and difference from Hinduism are concerned, both are related and in the spirit of Article 29 i.e. "any Section of Indian Citizens having a distinctive language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same"
Tuesday, 13 February, 2007
- Misinformed Jains themselves who are not aware of the glorious history of Jains and hence are easily misguided by false propaganda.
- Certain Jains although knowing the truth, willfully remain silent on account of political ambitions or business connections or are out to project a “broad-minded” public image of themselves. Some of them are simply cowards afraid to come out with the truth.
- Misinformed non-Jains like Hindus, Christians, and Westerners who do not have adequate knowledge of Jainism.
- Hardcore right-wingers (also includes some Jains) who are out to homogenize the entire Indian society and see rise of Jainism as a separate religion having a minority status as a threat to their ideology.
- Majority of the people come in category 1 and 3. They are open-minded and once the truth is explained to them, they have a great respect for Jainism. Hence these people need to be educated.
- The People specified in category 2 sway wherever the political wind is blowing. They hold dual views and articulate the same as per the circumstances and exigency.
- The fourth category consists of hard core people who are blinded by ideology. It makes them condone and praise the assassins of the Mahatma while blinds them to the dangers faced by the nation. Hence they need to be continuously countered and refuted at all forums and occasions.
- it has its own Gods worthy of worship - Tirthankars,
- separate set of rituals different from Hindus for e.g. Jains don’t believe in ritual of shraddh for ancestors,
- it has a totally different shastras and agamas.
Today, a concern of modern Jains in post-independence India has been the preservation of ancient pilgrimage sites and holy shrines which in recent decades have come under pressure from certain fundamentalist groups - in the case of Girnarji, Hindu devotees of the deity Dattatreya. Bhagavan Neminatha's charana were established at Girnarji for many thousands of years. Now, Hindus have taken over the 5th and the 3rd hill, thus wiping out extremely important Jain heritage from Gujarat
- Why is Jain Navkar Mantra not a part of the list of Hindu Prayers ?
- Why is Mahavir Swami and other Jain Thirthankars not accepted as their Gods ?
- Why is Parvyushan and Mahavir Jayanti not celebrated as festivals by Hindus?
- Why are Jain sacred books not given equal status as Gita ? When you accept various version of Ramayana, then why not accept Jain version of Ramayana also?
- Why is contribution of Jain saints from Gautam Swami to Hemchandra Acharya ignored by Hindus and not accepted as their saints?
- Why subvert the actual History in the text books - that Chandragupta Maurya was a Jain. The Major Kings of that time were Jains or gave patronage to Jainism. But this is never mentiond in our History books. The likes of Murli Manohar Joshi have been tampering with history since Independence.
Sunday, 11 February, 2007
Monday, 5 February, 2007
Press Note on the Indian Supreme Court Judgement on Jain Minority Issue on a Petition by Bal Patil Submitted by Bal Patil on Sat, 2005-09-10 12:03.
REGARDING SUPREME COURT DECISION IN THE JAIN MINORITY MATTER
The press and media reports on the recent Supreme Court Judgment of the Three-Judge Bench of the Chief Justice, R.C. Lahoti, Justice D.M. Dharmadhikari and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyam are misleading. The reports were headlined stating that SC.declares Sikhs, Jains part of broader Hindu religion. Such reports appeared in leading English dailies like the Hindustan Times, The Tribune, The Times of India, and the local language newspapers.
2. Actually the observation that the Sikhs and Jains are part of the wider Hindu community occurs on P.15 of the Judgment. It is pertinent to note that from page 10 to page 22 the Judgment contains observations that are not part of the decision as the Court notes:
Before parting with this case, the Court cannot resist from making certain observations which are considered necessary in order to remind the National and state commissions for Minorities the scope and nature of their functions under the provision of the Act and the role they have to play in constitutional perspective.
3. The other observations which are not part of the Judgment and hence not Judicially relevant are:
i) The Hinduism can be called a general religion and common faith, whereas Jainism is a special religion formed on the basis of quintessence of Hindu religion.
ii)However, Gandhi, Nehru and Patel destroyed the cabinet Mission Plan (proposed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad) and accepted partition instead. Azad did his utmost to prevent the partition of India but he failed to persuade Nehru and Gandhi not to accept partition.
4. These observations although made extra-Judicially have grave implications because the general public takes any declaration made by the Supreme Court as the law of the land. And as can be seen from the press reports and news Channels giving the wrong impression that the Supreme Court rejected the Jain demand for backward community status how damaging such extra-Judicial remarks can be.
5. It is in this perspective that the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter of Bal Patil & Anr. Vs. Union of India has given the wrong message to the country against the Jain Community, the National leaders of the country whom we call Founding Fathers and the statutory functionaries Viz the National and State Commissions for Minorities who are said to be the cause of fissiparous tendencies.
6. As a matter of fact these extra-Judicial observations are quite irrelevant and uncalled for in view of the central issue of the matter, namely, a prayer to take a decision on the recommendation made by the National Commission for Minorities that Jains be declared a minority religious community on par with the other notified communities, Muslims, Christions, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis).On this issue the present Supreme Court decision has said that:
i) Before the Central Government takes a decision on the claims of Jains as a minority under section 2 (c) of the Act, the identification has to be done on a state basis. This power is to be exercised on the consideration of social cultural and religions conditions of the Jain community in each state,
ii) The state has to be regarded as a unit for determining religions minority for the purpose of Article 30 of the Constitution.
7. The facts of this petition are as follows:
Dakshin Bharat Jain Subha, a century old Jain organization in western India made a petition through its Convener of Jain Minority states Committee, Bal Patil in the Bombay High Court in 1997 that the Jain community as recommended by the National Commission for Minorities, The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court directed the Central Government to take on expeditious decision.
8. As the Government failed to take decision, a second petition was filed in the Bombay High Court which was disposed on the ground that the matter will be decided after the 11 Judge Bench in TMA Pai Foundation matter takes decision.
9. Thus Bal Patil made a Special Leave Petition to the Supreme Court which was admitted after being taken of the purview of the 11-Jndge Bench. In 2004 a Division Bench of the Supreme Court ordered the Central Government to take a final decision in the matter within four months, and in case of its failure to take a decision permitted the petitioner to be heard on merit.
10. The Government of India made an erroneous and irrelevant Affidavit in response to the above order that the minority Status is to be determined by the States concerned. Later on a 3-Judge Bench was constituted the latest SC. Decision is the outcome of this Bench.
11. In the aforementioned context the following facts regarding the Jain minority religions right need to be noted.
i) The Jain demand for minority status is almost a century old, when in British India the Viceroy and Governor General of India, Lord Minto took a decision in principle of giving representation to important minorities in the Central Legislature, Seth Manek Chand Hirachand from Mumbai, an eminent Jain leader from Mumbai and the then Acting President of the Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain Subha made an appeal in 1909 to the Governor General for the inclusion of the Jain community for representation in the Council. Seth Manek Chandâ€™s petition was transferred to the Government of Bombay and the Secretary to the Government of Bombay stated in his reply dated 15th oct.1909 as under.
I am directed to inform you that a number of seats have been reserved for representation of minorities by nomination and that in allotting them the claim of the important Jain Community will receive full consideration.
ii) In a Memorandum by the Representative of the Jain Community to the Constituent Assembly in March/April 1947 a strong appeal was made for the inclusion of the Jain community as a minority religious community.
iii) In his speech on 3rd Sept.1949, Jawahar Lal Nehru said: No doubt India has a vast majority of Hindus, but they cold not forget in fact there are also minorities Mustions, Christians, Parsis and Jains. If India were understood as Hindu Rashtra it meant that the minorities were not cent per cent citizens of the country:
iv) Jainism is mentioned as a religion along with Buddhism and Sikhism in explanation II of the Article 25 of the India Constitution relating to Fundamental Right to religions freedom. On this issue Jawahar Lal Nehru, the than prime Minister, in his letter dated 31.01.1950 assured a Jain Deputation that they need not have any misgivings on this clear constitutional position.
v) Our National Anthem ˜Jana Gana Manaâ” by Tagore clearly enunciates Jains in its second stanza: Hindu Bauddha, Sikh Jain parsik, Musalman, Christans as a distinct religion denomination
vi) The Government of India Census counts Jains in India as a major religious community right from the first census in British India in 1873.
vii) And the clinching statistical census evidence that the Jains are in minority not only in every state of India but also in every district.
12. As view of the foregoing the Supreme Court Judgment extra-Judicial observations on the religious status of the Jain community as part of the Hindu religious are absolutely without any basis. Also the remarks against the National leaders like Nehru, Patel and the very Father of the Nation as responsible for the partition of India are obnoxious.
13. As a matter of fact the entire tenor of the SC observations on the National and State Minority Commissions as leading to fissiparous tendencies and hence calling for their closure are highly objectionable as they question the basic tenets of the India secular constitution and hence need to be expunged.
14. In view of the forgoing observations of the Supreme Court the Jain community and the petitioner in the impugned Judgment are concerned to make a Review Petition in the matter.
Jain Member, Maharashtra State Minorities Commission, Govt. of Maharashtra,
Chairman, Jain Minority Status Committee, Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha
Co-Author: JAINISM (Macmillan Co 1974). with Colette Caillat, (Member Institut de France, Paris,) & A.N. Upadhye, (ex-President, All-India Oriental Conference,)
Author: SUPREME COURT'S VOLTE FACE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (Published by Govt. of Maharashtra, 1980)
Sunday, 4 February, 2007
Jainism and Hinduism separate religions say ancient manuscripts
Avinash Nair (PTI)
Ahmedabad, October 5, 2006
Though the controversial Freedom of Religion (amendment) Bill recently passed by Gujarat Assembly the government has clubbed Jains as a denomination of Hinduism, several ancient manuscripts and texts present at the Indology institute here describe the two as different religious entities.
"There is absolutely no doubt that both Hinduism and Jainism are different religions and at our institute we have several ancient manuscripts and scriptures,about 1,000-year-old, and can easily prove this," said Jitendra Shah,the director of the city-based L D Institute of Indology.
An ancient text, `sad-darshana-samucchaya' written about 1,200 years ago on Indian philosophies by a renowned scholar Hari Bhadra Suri clearly states this difference, Shah said. Similarly, another text `syad-vada-manjari' written by Malli Sen Suri about 800 years ago, is a religious commentary and dwells in detail on these two religions, he said.
While explaining the difference between the two religions as mentioned in these ancient texts, Shah, a Jain scholar himself said "Hinduism and Jainism are poles apart when it comes to individual Gods, rituals, religious practices and the way of living practised by followers of these religions." Talking about the differences in Gods, Shah said,"Three main Gods -- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh -- form the base of Hinduism while among Jains there are 24 Trithankaras." "In Jainism, there is no concept of re-incarnation of Gods, while in Hinduism, Gods are re-born in different forms to counter the evil on Earth," Shah said.
PRESS NOTE ON THE GUJARAT FREEDOM OF RELIGION BILL
CLASSIFYING JAINS AND BUDDHISTS AS HINDUS
ALL INDIA JAIN MINORITY FORUM
Ex-MEMBER, MAHARASHTRA STATE
PRESIDENT, JAIN SAMAJ,DELHI
The amended Freedom of Religion Bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly classifying Jains and Buddhists as Hindu is an unwarranted assault on their distinct religious identity recognised by the Constitution itselfIt would be best to quote what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru assured to a Jain delegation on the so-called ambiguity of Explanation II of Article 25 of the Constitution of India.
On 25th January, 1950, a Jain delegation was led to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other central leaders to draw their attention to the anomalous position of the Jains under sub-clause (b) of Clause 2 of Article 25 and a petition was submitted. Jawaharlal Nehru clearly assured the delegation that the Jains are not Hindus and on 31-1-1950, his Principal Private Secretary, Mr.A.V. Pai wrote the following letter (a copy of the letter is enclosed) in reply to the petition:
"This Article merely makes a definition. This definition by enforcing a specific consitutional arrangement circumscribes that rule. Likewise you will note that this mentions not only Jains but also Buddhists and Sikhs. It is clear that Buddhists are not Hindus and therefore there need be no apprehension that the Jains are designated as Hindus. There is no doubt that the Jains are a different religious community and this accepted position is in no way affected by the Constitution."
In his Allahabad speech on 3rd September,1949, Jawaharlal Nehru said:
“No doubt India had a vast majority of Hindus, but they could not forget the fact that there are also minorities Moslems, Christians, Parsis and Jains. If India was understood as a “Hindu Rashtra “ it meant that the minorities were not cent per cent citizens of te country.” (The Statesman, 5-9-1949)
It may be recalled that the Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in his letter of 25th August,1946 addressed to Sir Bhagchand Soni, President, All India Digamber Jain Mahashbha assured the Jain Community not to be worried about their religious rights and promised that “in free India there would be no restrictions upon the religious liberty of any Community and there need be no apprehensions in this regards.”
The National Minorities Commission arrived at their recommendation that the Jain community be declared as a minority religious community. It was in consideration of the following: 1)the relevant constitutional provisions, 20 various judicial pronouncements, 3) the fundamental differences in philosophy and beliefs (theism vs.atheism principally) vis-a-vis Hinduism, and 4) the substantial number of Jain population in the country, resolved to recommend to the Government of India that the Jains deserve to be recognised as a distinct religious minority, and that, therefore the Government of India may consider including them in the listing of "Minorities" in their Notification dated 23-10-1993. This recommendation was issued on 3-10-1994.
So far Jains have been declared as a minority in Maharashtra, (which has the largest population of Jains in India) Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttara Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Uttaranchala. Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha and the All India Jain Minority Forum are pursuing the issue of national minority status for Jains in the Supreme Court of India
Lokmanya Tilak said: "In ancient times innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifice. But the credit for the disappearance of this terrible massacre from the Brahmanical religion goes to the share of Jainism." (Bombay Samachar, 10-12-1904)
Thus it would be appropriate instead of saying that the Jains assimilated the so-called Hindu culture or customs, because there was nothing was known as Hindu in Vedic times, the Hindus of the modern India have adopted the Jain culture . It is significant to note that the Jains do not believe in the most characteristic Hindu-Vedic-Brahmanic ritual Shraddha
It is important to note in the foregoing context that in the pre-independence period a decision in the erstwhile Madras High Court:
The acting Chief Justice Kumar Swami Shastri held in Getappa vs. Eramma & Others (AIR 1927);
“Were matters res integra, I would be inclined to hold that modern research has shown that the Jains are not Hindu dissenters but that Jainism has an origin and history long anterior to the Smritis and Commentaries which are recognized authorities on Hindu law and usage. The Jain religion refers to a number of previous Tirthankaras and there can be little doubt that Jainism asa distinct religion was flourishing several centuries before Christ. In fact, Jainism rejects the authority of the Vedas which form the bed rock of Hinduism and denies the efficacy of the various ceremonies which Hindus consider essential. So far as Jain Law is concerned it has its own Law books of which Bhadrabahu Samhita is an important one. Vardhamana Neeti and Aradhana Neeti by the great Jain teacher Hemchandra deal also with Jain Law.”
Mr. Justice Rangnekar of the Bombay High Court observed in the Hirachand Gangji vs. Rowji Sejpal (AIR 1939, Bombay 377) :
“It is true that the Jains reject the scriptural character of the Vedas and repudiate the Brahmanical doctrines relating to obsequial ceremonies, the performance of Sraddhas and offering of oblations for the salvation of the soul of the deceased. Amongst them there is no belief that a son by birth or adoption confers spiritual benefit Hindus in their conduct towards the dead, omitting all obsequies after the corpse is burnt or buried. Now it is true, as later historical researches have shown that Jainism prevailed in this country long before Brahmanism came into existence or converted into Hinduism. It is also true that owing to their long association with the Hindus, who formed the majority in the country, the Jains have adopted many of the customs and even ceremonies strictly observed by the Hindus and pertaining to Brahmanical religion.”
It is pertinent to note that Hinduism under Article 25 and in the Hindu Code bills later passed in 1954/55 when Dr.Ambedkar was the law minister are two different things although having a generic connection on the definition of Hindu in the Personal Laws well explained by Prof..Mahmood a former chairman of the National Commission for Minorities in (Religious Identity, Beliefs and Practices under the Indian Legal System,) article in Religion and Law Review June 1999
As Prof. Mahmood, a former Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities has unequivocally noted “Hinduism is not the state religion of India. The Constitution of India does not confer on Hinduism the status of even privileged or favoured religion. It does, however, refer to Hinduism in different contexts.”6 The Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 says that in its provisions “Hindu” includes Jain, Buddhist and Sikh. In the Orissa Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1969 “Hindu religion” includes Jain, Buddhist and Sikh religions. Under the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act 1959 the expression “Hindu” does not include Jains, unless the Act is specifically extended to the Jains.
As is clear, these laws speak only of whether their provisions - primarily meant for Hindus - would apply to the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs (on which point they are not uniform). “They do not furnish and answer to the question who is a Hindu by religion. Most certainly they do not, and indeed cannot, mean to say that Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs are Hindu” (emphasis added.).
The Personal law Acts, The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the Hindu Succession Act 1956, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 and the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956, all apply to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs - as is declared by their opening provisions. All the four Acts clarify that :
“The expression ‘Hindu’ in any portion of this Act shall be construed as if it included a person who, though not a Hindu by religion, is nevertheless a person to whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this section.”
Clearly, this is a rule of interpretation which cannot, by any dint of imagination be treated as a definition of the word “Hindu” in general. Nor can it ever be stretched to claim that in law Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are one and the same religion. It is necessary to differentiate between “Hindu by religion” and “Hindu for the purpose of application of laws” - the latter expression referring to those non-Hindus who share with Hindus certain laws. This is true of the so-called “definition” of the expression ‘Hindu’ in Article 25 of the Constitution as well as of the same in the Hindu-law Acts of 1955-56 and the legislation relating to Hindu religious endowments.
Thus, the provision of Explanation II in Article 25 has no religious connotation. Instead of saying the same thing four times of four different religious communities - Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs - Article 25 (2)(b) says it once, for the Hindus, and then adds that the same provision be read in the Constitution for three other communities as well - the Buddhists, the Jains and the Sikhs. Makers of the Constitution did not intend to merge the Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs into the Hindu religion; nor were they indeed competent to do so. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism remain, under the Constitution and the law of India, four different faiths; and their followers four different religious communities.”
In the latest Supreme Court Appeal (Civil) 9595 of 2003: Petitioner: Committee of Management Kanya Junior High School Bal Vidya Mandir, Etah, U.P. Respondent: Sachiv, U.P. Basic Shiksha Parishad Allahabad, U.P. & Others, Date of Judgment: 21/08/2006
The Division Bench of S. B. SINHA & DALVEER BHANDARI and the Judgment delivered by Justice Dalveer Bhandai states:
"The Founding Fathers of the Constitution had unequivocally recognized the Jains as a minority community as is evident from the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly. While keeping in view that the Jains are a minority community, a representative of the Jain community was taken in the Minority Advisory Committee of the Constituent Assembly."
“Jain religion indisputably is not a part of Hindu religion. The question as to whether the Jains are part of the Hindu religion is not open to debate. Jains have a right to establish and administer their own institution. Jains have a right to establish and administer their own institution. But, only because an institution is managed by a person belonging to a particular religion, the same would not ipso facto make the institution run and administered by a minority community. A minority is determinable by reference to the demography of a State. Whether an institution is established and administered by a minority community or not may have to be determined by the appropriate authority in terms of the provisions of the statute governing the field. Furthermore, minority institutions are not immune from the operations of the measures necessary to regulate their functions. To what extent such regulations would operate, however, again is a matter which would be governed by the statute.”
Besides, the Jains, Buddhists and the Sikhs have been counted as religious denominations right from the first Census in India in 1873 under the Indian Census Act.
In view of the foregoing evidence the proposed Bill of Freedom of Religion as passed by the Gujarat Assembly is clearly a violation of the constitutional religious identity of the Jains and Buddhists. Gujarat Government MUST WITHDRAW this draconian Freedom of Religion Bill immediately and unconditionally.
Maharashtra State Minorities Commission, Govt. of Maharashtra,
Co-Author: JAINISM (with Colette Caillat, Membre Institut de France, Paris) & A.N. Upadhye (Ex-President, All-India Oriental Conference,)
Author: Supreme Court's volte face On Constitutional Amendment, (Published by Govt. of Maharashtra),
Ex-President, National Society for Prevention of Heart Disease & Rehabilitation,