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  • Jains Bharath Bandh. Jains across the globe to protest

    Published on August 23, 2015

    Hyderabad :The two lakh and odd  Jain Community in Hyderabad to undertake Ahimsa Peace Rally here in city on 24th August.  This is the protest against Rajasthan Highcourt’s  Order on Banning Santhara.  The Protest Ahimsa Peace Rally is planned in Jain-Community-Leaders-of-Sresponse to the World Bandh  call given by the Jain Community across India.  Santhara is a religious fast on to death. This age old practice has been declared as ‘Suicide’ by Rajasthan High Court Recently.  Jains have challenged the Rajasthan High Court order in Sepreme Court and protesting against the High Court Order.

    The Rally will start from Jain Bhavan in Pan Bazar at 8.30am with about 500 people, will go through Mahankali, Minerva Hotel, Parklane, Paradise, Prederghast Road, Sindhi Colony, Minister Road and will culminate into protest meeting at Paigah Palace, Patigadda at 11am.

    Nayani Narsimha Reddy, Minister of Home, Govt of Telangana will grace the protest meeting to be held at Paigah Palace Function Hall at Patigadda at 11.30am

    5000 Jain Community People and their religious leaders–Sadhus and Sadhivs will also take part in the Ahimsa Peace Rally informed Manoj Kothari, PRO  of Sri Jain Mahamandal which is working under the banner of Shri Jain Sewa Sangh.

    Five crore Jains from across the world join in this protest.  This is the first time in the history of Jain community we are on the agitation and given bandh call informed Jain Community leaders while addressing a press conference here in city on Sunday at Somajiguda Press Club.  One crore plus Jain shops and establishments across the country and 10,000 and odd shops and establishments in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad will be closed tomorrow, they declared. They will result in the loss of Rs 1000crore to Jain Samaj, they informed.

    The protest rallies, marches, Ahimsa Peace rallies will be taken tomorrow across the globe they informed.

    The century-old practice of santhara has been in the eye of a storm since Rajasthan High Court recently gave an order banning the centuries old Jains Ritual.  Jain Community in India has challenged the Rajashtan Highcourt’s order in the Supreme Court.  A petition challenging the Rajasthan High Court verdict holding Santhara, a centures-old Jain ritual of voluntary and systematic  fasting to death, an offence and maintaining that people opting for the ritual can be punished under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was filed before the Supreme  Court on Tuesday.

    Six million Jain population across the country is irked by the High Court Ruling.  The ancient ritual, also called Sallekhana, consists of voluntary starvation to embrace death. Jains consider it to be the highest form of passage, or death and in a way not the same as suicide. It is done in full consciousness and in peace. “Santhara’ is a religious and a spiritual act. It is neither a desire to kill oneself, nor to clutch on to life. ‘Santhara’ is just a graceful, courageous and peaceful way of confronting the imminent death and about embracing the death through resolve and penance said Navratan Mall Gundecha, President of Sri Jain Sewa Sangh.  It has been existing for centuries. We are surprised why there is so much a talk about it now, he questioned.

    “Santhara is never a suicide attempt by Jain-munis or any other, as it is meant to get moksh from existing life and punarjanam (rebirth) and it is a 2,500-year-old ritual since Bhagwan Mahaveer stated Ashok Saklecham, Secretary of Jain Sewa Sangh.

    The high court’s ban on the Jain ritual comes after a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by human rights activist and advocate Nikhil Soni a decade ago. The activist claimed the ritual is a social evil and should be considered as suicide. But it is far away from the reality maintained Ramesh Saklecha, President of Sri Jain Mahamandal.

    Fasting is a common religious practice in several cultures across the world, but few are as hardcore as ‘Santhara’, which is a way to achieve Moksha, maintained Sajjan Gandhi, Secretary, Shri Jain Maha Mandal.