One of the world’s oldest religions, Jainism has its roots in India and dates back at least 2,500 years. The escape from the never-ending cycle of rebirth and the achievement of the all-knowing state known as moksha are the two spiritual goals of Jainism. This can be accomplished through leading a life of ahimsa, or nonviolence, with the least amount of harm to other living things. Additionally, almost all Jains practice vegetarianism following the teachings of ahimsa. Following the announcement to make Sammed Shikhar ji a tourism destination, the Jain community has currently taken to the streets. There are protests taking place all around the country. Here’s every detail about it.
Everything About Sammed Shikharji
In the Indian state of Jharkhand’s Giridih district, there is a shrine to Shri Sammed Shikharji. It is situated on Parasnath Hill, the highest mountain in Jharkhand state. It is also the most significant Jain Tirtha because many monks attained Moksha here. Additionally, 20 of the 24 ultimate Jain gurus of Jainism found salvation in Shri Sammed Shikharji. The 23rd Tirthankara, Lord Parshvanath, also attained Nirvana here. The mountain’s height of 1,350 meters makes it the highest point in Jharkhand.
Here’s Why Jains Are Protesting
On December 21, 2022, Jains throughout the country are observing a one-day bandh. This is being done in opposition to the Jharkhand government’s choice to develop Shri Sammed Shikharji as an eco-tourism destination. The Jharkhand government also resolved to encourage religious tourism at Parasnath Hills as part of the tourism policy. Numerous Jains from throughout the world travel the 27-kilometer route each year. They climb the hills to the summit, which is dedicated to the 20 Tirthankaras’ salvation shrines.
Today Jains are observing a one day bandh against Jharkhand govt’s decision to convert Jain’s biggest Teerth Sammed Shikharji into a tourist place. This Teerth saw 20 of our 24 Teerthankar attain Nirvaan. Please express solidarity with our peaceful community. pic.twitter.com/wBC8hboL0P
— Ankit Jain (@indiantweeter) December 21, 2022
The Santhal tribe also holds an annual festival here in mid-April because they regard the hills as holy. The Jain community, meanwhile, is anxiously awaiting to reverse the decision to make it a tourist attraction. They worry that such a change may damage the location’s sacred sanctity and secularise one of the Jains’ few holy pilgrimage sites.
The Main Demands Of The Jains
The Jain community wants Sammed Shikhar ji to be a spiritual location rather than a popular tourist spot. Rally seeking the cancellation of the notice was happening around the nation. They want that “Parasnath Parvatraj” needs to be out of the tourism master plan and zonal master plan. Additionally, “Parasnath Parvatraj” was on the list of eco-sensitive zone against the will of the Jain community. Furthermore, they are requesting the immediate cancellation of the notice that damages the pilgrimage’s independent identity.
The Jain community also demands that the holy Jain pilgrimage sites of Parasnath Parvatraj and Madhuvan must be alcohol-free. In addition, they demand that two checkpoints with CRPF, CCTV cameras for baggage check, and medical facilities must be present on Parvat Raj’s Vandana Marg. Prohibition of illegal stone mining, burning of Mahua, and chopping down trees illegally from Parvatraj was also one of the demands.
Crores Of Business Affected In Bhopal Due To The Protest
The entire market was shut since the morning in Bhopal. According to Anupam Aggarwal, the closure until noon is likely to harm businesses worth Rs 100 crore alone in Bhopal. He serves as the Bhopal Grocery Merchant Federation’s general secretary. The same situation exists within a 100-kilometer range of the wholesale grocery sector in the capital.
Other Cities Facing The Bandh Situation
Sagar has also called a bandh for today. Anurag Jain, head of the Jain Yuva Mahasabha, announced that Sagar will remain closed today in protest of the Jharkhand government’s decision. A protest march began at the Gaurabai Digambar Jain Temple at 1 o’clock as well. Today, the bandh was also in Ujjain, and on December 22, a huge silent rally will also be taking place.
Along with this, today’s protests are also happening at Narmadapuram and Jabalpur. Moving on, the protest was also happening in Indore, where the city’s Jain community chose to keep their businesses closed. On the other hand, the Commissioner received a memo from the Jain Advocates Council officials on this issue. They also tied a white band while working in the court.
Prominent People Who Are In Support Of The Jains
Kamal Nath, the head of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, has written to Hemant Soren, the CM of Jharkhand, and PM Narendra Modi, asking them to reconsider their decision. He took this action in response to the community’s persistent protests. Former union minister Nath also wrote the PM and the chief minister of Jharkhand separately to ask them to rethink their decision. He urged them to be mindful of the Jain community’s sentiments.
In his letter to the prime minister, Nath brings out that if the decision is in support of Jains, it will be a significant step toward achieving religious unity in the nation. Additionally, the Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy spoke in front of the parliament. He said that no such decision involved his ministry. However, they were in discussions about it with the Jharkhand government.
Jains also came to Palitana from Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Surat, Ahmedabad, and Bhavnagar to take part in the rally.