Dear Elders & Friends,
I have great gratitude to community for their embrace, love and affection showered in last three months after my appointment as member of State Minorities Commission, Government of Tamilnadu. This reflection of love and affection truly made me more humble and I am sure I will strive every inch to work my way for betterment of community.
The purpose of this mail is to send you a copy of my prayer to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India & Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu for grant of Religious Minority status to JAIN community.
It is my duty to attempt to explain rational as I find many among with some odd reservation or doubts or misconception about word
" Minority". In few words let me explain and set the records straight.
1. Article 25, 29 and 30 of Constitution of India give certain rights and protection to Minorities. They are part of our constitution since 1950. Please note that Minority herein means less in population, Further Minority can be religious or linguistic.
2. We have been denied Minority status for last 63 years though as per Indian census 2001 we are just 42 lakhs among 100 crore enumerated.
3. What we get through Minority status is right to establish and administer our temples, institutions, educational trusts, museums, preserve our culture, heritage and belief to the best of our own hands without Government interference.
4. Minority status does not mean employment or reservation, that may be demand of few among minorities. Rather that is not part of Article 25, 29 and 30. That’s a political demand. What we demand is as per constitution, our rightful place as Minority to preserve our ASSETS.
5. Just think for a moment and calculate money spent by Jain samaj all over India on temples, stankas, bhavans, educational institutions, Goshalas, medical hospitals , dispensaries, pinjarapoles, ancient heritage, monuments, book banks, blood banks, artificial limbs centers, research centers for Jainlogy and administrative training foundation. As per consensus it is believed that in last 66 years since independence our community has spent more than 100 billion rupees in various assets and institutions and every year as per conservative estimate we spend almost Rs. 25000 cr in charity. Most of us have done all these selflessly, out of compassion and empathy.
6. Times have changed since independence We don't have quality of leadership which respects our ethos, sacrifices. Most of political class fight for power to amass wealth at the cost of people, They can pass any order and take over all our assets by a stroke of pen. But if we have Constitutional status of Minority, we have protection and they will not dare to touch us.
7. We are a peace loving community. We cant fight like others do. We can only file court cases when our assets come under challenge but the way our system works, it will take 30-40 years to get justice and by that time all our assets will be squandered. What answer we will give to posterity and our departed souls of ancestors if we cant preserve them?
8. Just think: Girnarji in Gujarat is our sacred Tirth for ages. Our 22 nd Tirthankar Lord Neminathji attained Nirvana but two of hills have already been taken over by vested interest as some agitation was engineered saying he was God of tribal’s. The objective is to loot forest wealth. What is heritage to us is just wealth for some one. Some 15/20 years ago Rajasthan Government snatched administration of Kesariyaji Adinathji temple in Udaipur district. It started with Bhils, a tribal community agitation claiming that Adinath was their family deity and they have right over temple. Have we done anything successfully to get back right to administer? If we analyze reasons for these engineered protest, it is sheer wealth as Lord Adinath of Kesariyaji is sole owner of 70% of world famous Udaipur green marble mines. These examples are to showcase what can happen to our institutions if we don’t claim our rightful place as Minority. You can visit Hindu charitable Endowment boards in all your states and you will find that so many ancient Jain temples have been taken over by them. The story doesn't stop with this, already there is mischief at many temples in Rajasthan , Sammet Shikharji. Recently, Maharashtra and Karnataka Government tried to tax us by imposing certain cess or making compulsory to file assets reports. But why?
9. Time has come to think afresh. We should claim our rightful constitutional status not for gaining employment or some benefits but to preserve our religion, heritage and culture for posterity. We are already reduced to small numbers but what is in store for future should cause ripples within us
The time to act is now. Please discuss this issue seriously. You can ask me any questions or have a debate. But time to ACT is now.
Please support us as we all have a collective duty towards our culture and heritage to protect and administer what we created out of sweat.
U. SUDHIR LODHA
STATE MINORITES COMMISSION MEMBER
GOVERNMENT OF TAMILNADU.
Read Letter to PM
This petition closed almost 2 years ago
Religious Minority status to JAIN community