On January 1st, 2023, a massive protest broke out by the members of the Jain community. Interestingly, this massive Jains protest was not just restricted to the national capital region. It spread far off to Mumbai and Ahmedabad as well. It took place in order to oppose the Jharkhand government’s decision regarding Shri Sammed Shikharji. Furthermore, it was also to show their defiance against the row pertaining to the Palitana temple in Gujarat. If you are curious to know about the backstory of these rows in detail, then you are at the right place. Read on to enlighten yourself.
Jains Protest For The Sanctity Of Shri Sammed Shikharji Tirth In Jharkhand
The Jharkhand government has decided to turn the holy site of Shri Sammed Shikharji Tirth into a purely eco-tourism spot. To say that this decision has hurt the religious sentiments of the Jain community would be a sheer understatement. The Sammed Shikharji is located on the Parasnath Hills in the Giridih district of Jharkhand. Furthermore, it is the biggest pilgrimage of the Jain community, where 20 of the total 24 Tirthankars attained salvation. In addition, this is the site that the Jain community has guarded for over a thousand years now. Therefore, they are concerned that this ‘secularisation’ of Sammed Shikharji will tarnish its religious sanctity.
In order to show their dissent, several Jain people came to the streets of Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and many other states. Furthermore, they demanded that the Soren government take back its unjust decision.
Several videos from today’s peaceful protest are doing rounds on social media platforms. Protestors could be seen chanting slogans like “Sammed Shikhar Hamara Hai” along with the holy Namokar mantra.
Alleged Vandalism Of Gujarat’s Palitana Temple
What is worth noting is that the Jains’ protest was not just because of the Shikharji temple issue. Over 50,000 people from the Jain community in Mumbai carried out a protest against the alleged vandalism of the Palitana temple. However, the Mahant of the nearby Shiv temple begs to differ. They state that no vandalism took place; only the iron poles with CCTV cameras that were set up were removed.
“We are protesting against the vandalization of the temple in Palitana & Jharkhand govt’s decision. The Gujarat govt has taken action, but we want strict action against them (who vandalized the temple). Today more than 5 lakh people are on the streets,” stated Maharashtra Minister MP Lodha, who also joined the protest in Maharashtra.
Similar protests took place in Ahmedabad and Bhopal. Plenty of Jain devotees did a peaceful protest in order to demand respect for their religious sentiments and their holy place.
What are your thoughts about today’s Jains’ protest over this row that has been going on since 21st December 2022? Do tell us via the comments below.