Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jains in TN want to be declared as 'religious minorities'

Chennai, April 20 (PTI): Jains in Tamil Nadu today demanded that they be declared as 'religious minorities' in the state.

Harish L Mehta, Member of the State Minorities Commission, told reporters that though the Jains were allowed to run educational institutions as minority institutions, they were compelled to go to the Government every year for renewal of their status.

When institutions run by other minority communities were given a permanent status as religious minority-run-educational institutions, as they had been declared religious minorities in the state, Jain institutions had to go after the government for getting their status renewed every year, he said.

Even the State Minorities Commission had recently passed a resolution asking the state government to declare Jains as a religious minority group, he said.

Bharwarial Gothi, president, Shree Jain Maha Sangh, said the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Mahaveer should be declared a holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act in the state.

It should also be declared as 'Ahimsa day,' he said.

He claimed that officials were not following a government order on closing down all meat shops on Mahaveer Jayanti and asked the government to give clear instructions.

Mahaveer Jayanthi would be celebrated in a grand manner by the Jain community here on April 22, he said.

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