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Ahimsa Times December 2006 Issue - www.jainsamaj.org

 Vol. No. 78

December, 2006

Ahimsa Foundation Wishes A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2007
to
All the all Patrons & Readers

SAINTS
“Resist ploy to divide in the name of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist”

Jain Muni Acharya Vijay Ratnasunder Surishwar Maharaj interviewed

With the message that if ‘will power of Saints’ and ‘executive- power of politicians’ come together the face of the country will change, noted Jain saint Acharya Vijay Ratnasunder Surishwar Maharaj is observing chaturmas in Delhi. So far he has authored more than 200 books. Shri Surishwar Maharaj is against the attempts to divide Hindu society in the name of Jain and Buddhist. He exports the people against sex education in schools, meat exports, providing eggs in mid day meals and imposing tax on charitable trusts. About religious conversation, he does not totally blame the missionaries for it, he also blame the Hindu society for neglecting its own people.

Is there any special objective to observe this chaturmas in Delhi? - Yes, I have come here to exhort Delhiites on several issues that are making shallow the roots of this country. The people sitting in the power are working against the psyche of the nation. The logic given behind serving eggs to over 12 crore children in mid day meals is that we are providing them protein. Whereas in its health bullet in-23, the government has itself stated that groundnut has more protein than fish, meat or eggs. If just protein has to be given, why is the groundnut not given? I want the people of Delhi to force the government to withdraw eggs from the mid day meal. I feel this is an effort to take non-veg food in all families. It is an attack on the entire culture and values of this land. I fail to understand as to why people are silent over this important issue, which is demanding the very roots of education.

Another issue is sex education in schools. In fact, it is an effort to instigate minor children for untimely sex. First imparting sex education in the age of 10 years and then telling them to wait till the age of 21, is ridiculous. When Vinoba Bhave was asked about it, he had said, “it is not the subject of teaching, time and nature teach everything.” It is an effort to corrupt the 110crores population of the country to benefit certain vested interest. Before proceeding in this direction, we must have looked the result of the sex education in Britain and other western countries where girls of 13-14 years are found pregnant and abortion centers have to be opened in school also. This condition will develops in our country also if we let it continue. The dignity of relation between mother and father, husband and wife and brother and sister will spoil. Sheel, sadachar and sanskriti are the three “temples” of this country and there is a conspiracy to eliminate them newspaper are no longer family papers. If there is a censor board for films, why is there no such board of T.V. and newspaper? The beauty pageants are being held even at the apartment levels. Not a single Rani Jhansi born in our country since 150 years but three months Miss World have been won within a few years. What a joke!.

I am also agitated over the meat exports, which started in 1992 for earning foreign exchange of rs.2,000 crore. But despite having enough reserve of foreign funds today, it is continuing unabated. About two crore cattle are slaughtered every year for earning this “foreign exchange”. Today we earn the foreign exchange of over rs.110,000 crore from software, rs.75,000crore from textile ad rs.50,000crore from jewelary. Even after the suggestion of supreme court to ban the export of meat, the government is giving 28 per cent subsidy to the people who slaughtered cows, but nothing to help those who are trying to save the cattle. The usefulness of the cattle has been proved by the science and the cattle are useful for a man till they breath their last. Both rishi and krishi are the target in the country. If there are no cattle, what is the use of agriculture? The government has imposed 30 per cent tax on charitable trust. We want that goshalas, blind schools, old- age ashrams, etc. which are working for humanity, should not be taxed at all.

A united force is needed to counter there threats, but today there are efforts to divide the society in the name of the Jain, Buddhist, etc. claiming that they are not part of Hindu society. What do you think?

I am of the firm opinion that Jains are part and parcel of the larger Hindu society. But this is also a fact that we have a separate identity as Jains. No Jain saint for years has ever asked for segregating Jains from Hinduism. On the other hand some Hindu leaders an saints have started treating us as separate show me one instance when we said to get separate from Hindus. I tell all Jains to get themselves counted in the census as Hindu.

The majority people in the country want to live with peace. But there is a section that always talks about Islamic terrorism and allegedly help terrorist. How should the peace-loving people live together?

A positive atmosphere has to be developed in the country. Those who spread hatred should be dealt with an iron hand. There are two ways- one leads to friendship and the other leads to violence. Ninty percent people want to live with peace. Only one or two percent are creating problems.

But how to deal with these one or two percent people? - The constitution has provisions to deal with them. We also need to change their hearts if we can.

There is controversy over singing to vande mataram comment. - It is not the question of just singing vande mataram. When difference develop, even a minor issue turns into a major issue. We do not think of removing these are Muslims in the country who want to undo even the partition of the country. The commission want to live with peace, but certain forces always try to create disturbance and those forces should be dealt strictly.

What are your views on seadeshi? - Today, there is not even a single politicians that can be regarded as an ideal in the public life. The common man thinks about swadeshi. But the politicians have not only opened doors for multinational companies, but are also promoting them. The mail culture has taken a new turn in America where people are being administered an oath to purchase only the essential things and not to get trapped in the net of mail- owners. Americans have understood that mails would make them beggar. Despite such awareness among Americans, we are promoting that culture in our country. When one talks about closing the slaughter-house, one is told that lakhs of people would lose their employment. But while building the mails the same people forget that they are going to render crores of people jobless.

What do you say about conversion? - I do not totally blame the missionaries for it. It is our weakness. We are not providing those who should have been provided with employment, clothes and meals. We forget our own people in our own country. It is natural that if we fail to fulfill their essential needs, they will go to others. Our weakness has become missionaries’ strength. Before blaming others we should look at ourselves. When one is hungry, he will embrace any god. No preaching can prevent him. We must observe ourselves. Why do the educated and wealthy people not convert? The reason is that neither do they like the missionaries’ god, nor do they hate their own god. They want meals and clothes. If we wherever they can get them. Courtesy: Organiser and Jain Muni Acharya Vijay Ratnasunder Surishwar Maharaj

JAIN SAINT CHINMAY SAGAR INSPIRES TRIBALS TO AVOID ALCOHOL
Inspired by a Jain saint over one thousand residents of Bagoda village, near Indore, accepted to avoid drinking alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Houses were decorated to give the village a festive look. Bagoda, situated in the scenic Choral area, had been virtually cut off from the mainstream all this while. Jain Muni Chinmay Sagar, who remains cut off from the world doing penance in the Choral forests, used to come down to the village for a brief ‘darshan’. These brief interactions with the muni metamorphosed the village inhabitant by poor tribals. The total population of the village is about 1200 and only 25 persons have passed 10th class while 14 have passed out 12th. Somebody brought these changes to the notice of the Collector Vivek Aggarwal, who directed his staff to start development work to improve the condition of the village. Within a week, the roads were repaired, three hand pumps, which were non-functional, were repaired by the PHE department and every house where power supply had been disconnected for non-payment of bills were restored connection after the Jain Samaj agreed to pay the bills. With the tribals mending their ways, officials are hopeful that the money saved would be used by tribals for education of their children. Tribals from neighboring villages, who are also expected to follow suit, were present during the pledge.

SAINTS MEET AT TUMKUR CALLS FOR UNITY AMONG COMMUNITIES

Tumkur: Jain muni Sri Tarun Sagarji, several religious leaders and heads of various mutts expressed deep concern over threat to Hinduism and resolved to foster it in a broader perspective by involving the people of every community, at the Virat Hindu Samajothsava held here. Sri Rudrakshimunideshikendra Swamiji who hails from a mutt of dalit community while inaugurating the meet gave a call to the people to unite under the Hinduism to fight the social evils and terrorism. Jain muni Sri Tarun Sagarji observed that the country had been undergoing the onslaught of the Western culture promoting materialism. Creating awareness among the masses about how to safeguard the culture of the country is the need of the hour, he said. Siddaganga mutt seer Dr Sri Shivakumara Swamiji recalled his association with late RSS leader Madhava Sadashiva Golavalakar (Guruji) who had visited the mutt thrice. RSS leader Dr Prabhakar Bhat stated that the RSS was committed to build Ram temple at Ayodhya at any cost. He gave a call to Hindus to unite for the cause irrespective of the communities.

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS & EVENTS
JAINA CONVENTION 2007 - REGISTRATIONS OPEN

The 14th Biennial JAINA Convention will be held from July 5 to July 8 2007 at New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison, NJ. On line registration for JAINA Convention 2007 is now open. Please log on to www.jaina.org. You may take advantage of early bird registration which ends on January 31. Invitation from : Dilip V Shah, Convenor, 2007 JAINA Convention.



JAIN'S MEGA INTERNATIONAL MULTI-TRADE FAIR AT MUMBAI FROM 4th TO 7th JANUARY, 2007

Inspite of the micro size of the Jain population, the leadership in trade and commerce has made its recognition world-wide because of the skill, knowledge, cutting edge competence, fellowship spirit and highest ethical as well as moral standards. The International Trade Fair, being organised at Mumbai from January 4th to January 7th shall showcase for the first time, the multi-dimensional business activities from all over India as well as almost 40 countries of the world. It shall providing tremendous opportunities for the Indian businessmen to display their products and services and establish business contacts for promoting and enhancing business endeavors.

The entire fair is being organised by Jains and shall be open to all other visitors. The fair is being organised in conjunction with the second International Conference of Jain Businessmen and Industrialists at N.S.E. Complex, Goregaon (East), Mumbai. It is spread over an area of 2,70,000 sq.ft. of fully air-conditioned hall/conference area. More than 700 stalls of world-wide jain businessmen, representing trade, industry and services are being put up. For further details about stalls and other information, contact JITO; Phone: +91-22-66102003 / 2004. E-Mail: contact@jito.org Web site: www.jito.org

INTERNATIONAL INDOLOGY CONFERENCE AT GOA FROM 1ST TO 10TH FEBRUARY, 2007

The theme of the conference on Indology is "Ancient Wisdom Brought to Modern Times- Pathway to Higher Consciousness" For details, please contact Dr. Anjali Mohan Rao, Convener, International Indology Conference, Goa. Address: GIRIVAR, Opp.Dhempe College, Miramar Beach, Post-Caranzalem, City-Panaji, Goa 403002 INDIA Phone: 0091-832-2462195 Cellphone: 0091-9422057786 / 0091-9422062910, website: www.indologygoa.org




SECOND ANNUAL NEW YEAR PREKSHA MEDITATION CAMP BY JVB LONDON

JVB invites participants to attend the second Annual New Year Preksha Meditation Camp (3days camp) in London. The camp is organized by Jain Vishva Bharati London with the blessings of Acharya Mahapragya and under guidance of Samani Prasanna Pragya and Sambodh Pragya.

SECOND YOUNG JAINS OF INDIA CONVENTION
The 2nd Young Jains of India (YJI) Convention concluded on 16th December with a high note with two key revolutionary resolutions that are expected to transform the Jain community in the coming future. The key resolutions passed as a part of the convention are: “To exhibit humanity and compassion in all fronts by denying dowry system and practicing ahimsa by not promoting abortion”. The resolutions read out by the National Chairman of YJI Manish Kasliwal emphasised that persons practicing dowry and encouraging abortion will be denied from being members of YJI. Youths and dignitaries present at the convention accepted this resolution unanimously and there by setting the ball roll for a new era in the Jain community. Courtesy: www.herenow4u.de

JAIN DOCTORS MEET HELD AT SAMMET SHIKHARJI
All India Digambar Jain Doctors Forum organised recently the second conference of Jain doctors with the cooperation of 'Muni Praman Sagar Ji Chaturmas samiti' at Sammet Shikhar Ji during the chaturmas period of Muni Praman Sagar Ji Maharaj there. The conference was held with the blessings Acharya Shri Vidhya Sagar Ji Maharaj and in the presence of Muni Sri Praman Sagar Ji. Apart from a large number of doctors coming from different parts of the country to attend the conference, many ministers, central and state government officials and dignitaries were also present.

INDIAN VEGETARIAN CONGRESS TO HOLD NATIONAL CONFERENCE AT CHENNAI ON 12- 14 JANUARY

The Indian Vegetarian Congress, which is devoted to vegetarianism, compassion and humanitarian causes is going to hold its national conference on the occasion of its golden jubilee at Chennai on the 12th, 13th and 14th January, 2007. The venue for the seminar, exhibition and vegetarian food competition to be held on 12th and 13th January is Raja Muthaiya Hall and Rani Mayamine Hall and the venue for vegetarians award programme on the 14th January is Music Academy, TTK Road, Chennai. For further details, please contact Mr. Vijay K. Bafna, Chief Secretary. Phone: 044-28293106. E-Mail: bafna@bafnaindia.com or E-Mail : ivc@indveg.com



ELEVENTH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF KARUNA INTERNATIONAL AT BIKANER

The 11th national convention of Karuna International will be held at Bikaner in Rajasthan on the 29th and 30th December, 2006 in Tolaram Bafna Academy, Ganga Nagar. Representatives and office-bearers from 21 centres of Karuna International, principals and head masters of different schools in which Karuna clubs have been formed and scholars and educationists from different states would be participating in the convention. The progress of different clubs established by Karuna International would be discussed and a review of the activities carried out in the past year would be made. Karuna Clubs, spread over a number of states in southern, western and northern part of the country have been working with the cooperation of schools and colleges to create consciousness amongst the students and teachers about developing love and affection towards each other, sense of compassion and kindness towards poor and needy, protection of animals and birds and protecting our environment and ecology.

$ 60,000 RAISED BY DANCE PERFORMANCE FOR ANEKANT COMMUNITY CENTRE, CALIFORNIA

A spectacularly vibrant rhythmic dialogue between Kathak maestro Chitresh Das, 62, and Emmy Award-winning tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith, 26, mesmerized the audience at the La Mirada Performing Arts Center here Dec. 3 and raised about $60,000 for the new Anekant Community Center, founded in 2005 by the Jain Center of Southern California.

The ACC, aimed at expanding its services beyond the borders of race, religion and country, found an apt fundraising vehicle in the show, India Jazz Suites, which brought on a unique stage performance arts of the East and the West: the time honored, stylized, classical tradition of Kathak, itself a blend of Hindu and Muslim cultures, alongside the quintessentially American tap dance, based on African American rhythms and influenced by many other styles. Together, the show underscored the universal reach of art and performance.

"The phenomenal growth of the Jain Center necessitated the separate entity of ACC. The word Anekant, a cornerstone in Jain philosophy, signifies multiplicity of views and the multiple facets of living, and under its banner, we will be conducting health fairs (two are already slated in February and March 2007) as well as expansive activities in education and culture," Dr. Nitin Shah, president of ACC, told India-West. "ACC plans to take a medical mission to Zambia in May 2007. We are working on rehabilitating numerous Kashmir earthquake victims by fitting them with prosthetic legs and arms in Karachi, and here at home we recently gave free CPR certified training to 108 people last month," Shah said. "To get happiness that can last a lifetime, help others from your heart," Shah quoted in his brief speech during the intermission of the show.

The audience was awestruck when the two artists, exhausted, embraced each other after a brilliant performance. The event was an example of the Jain community's penchant for music and dance expression, as well as their patronage.

MAHAMASTAKABHISHEK AT SHRAWANBELGOLA TO BE HELD ON 2ND FEBRUARY, 2007
The annual ritual of Mahamastakabhishek of Bhagwan Shri Bahubali at Shrawanbelgola will be held next year on the 2nd February, 2007 with the blessings of Acharya Shri Vidhyanand Ji maharaj. The worship will be carried out with 1008 kalash in the prsence of Acharya Shri Vardhman Sagar Ji maharaj. The devotees, wishing to participate in the ceremony may plan their programme accordingly.

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, CANADA ANNOUNCES TO SEND A FULL CLASS OF STUDENTS TO THE NEXT INTERNATIONAL JAIN SUMMER SCHOOL IN INDIA - The Dean, George Lang and Prof. Anne Vallely of the Dept. of Religion at the University of Ottawa in Canada announced to send a class of 18 undergraduate and PhD students to the next International Summer School for Jain Academic Studies( ISSJS) in India .This Class will be coming to India to Study Jainism. Fourteen undergraduate Students and four PhD students have chosen Jainism as the subject of their study and research. For this the students will earn 3 or 6 credits from U of Ottawa.

Prof. Anne Vallely herself is a graduate of 2006 ISSJS and is also an author of several books in Jainism. For several years she has been teaching Jainism at the University of Ottawa and will again spend full two months in India (June and July, 2007) not only to supervise the University of Ottawa Class but will to offer several lectures on Jainism to the next International Jain Summer School.

Commenting on this very positive development, Prof... Cromwell Crawford of University of Hawaii and the Academic Director of ISSJS said” Congratulation Prof. Vallely and please convey to Dean Lang and Dean Mareschal my appreciation for the confidence she and other administrators have demonstrated in the India International Summer School for Jain Studies, by accepting the proposal you have submitted. Without your enthusiastic support, this development would not have been possible. Cultivate your model in other locales. We together are trying to light as many fires as we can, and soon, the darkness that has hung over Jain studies in the West, will be a thing of the past.

This joint venture will significantly contribute to the educational experience of students who follow in the wake of some 20 previous participants who have described the Summer School as a life-changing experience. To repeat, our purpose is not religious, but since Jainism is so integral to Indian civilization, it serves as an admirable vehicle, for the study of this ancient civilization which is poised to shape world affairs in the remainder of this century.

Students will not only be given knowledge of all aspects of Indian art, architecture, philosophy, Religion, music, theatre, dance, anthropology, but also the experience of cultural immersion, through home visitations, participation in festivals, rituals, field trips to historic sites, which will impart an internal grasp of India. None of this can be achieved through the university classroom alone. But you Anne, have thrown open the doors of the classrooms of Ottawa university and, with the support of your wise administrators, you have set your students on journeys of a lifetime. Thanks to all of you. Perhaps one warm day Dr. Sulekh Jain and I can visit the first class, and make these negotiations official. Wishing you and your young charges ever success”. Source, Dr. Sulekh Jain, Director ISSJS. www.jainstudies.com

MAHILA MANDAL RALLY TO SPREAD MESSAGE AGAINST FEMALE FETICIDE

PROTEST RALLY: Children from Jain community (Shetambar) taking part in a rally against female foeticide in New Delhi on Sunday . — PHOTO: PTI

Delhi: To spread the message against female foeticide and to stress the equality of man and woman, Jain Shwetamber Terapanth Mahila Mandal on  organised a rally from Town Hall to Raj Ghat. The rally, in which a large number of school children participated, began at Town Hall  and travelled via Darya Ganj before it reached Raj Ghat. The event saw the participation of a number of public figures, including renowned film director and actor Satish Kaushik, Delhi Urban Development Minister Ashok Walia, former Member of Parliament Anita Arya, poet Surender Sharma, Delhi University Students' Union president Amrita Dhawan and BJP media in-charge Sanjay Saxena.

The Mandal spokesperson Kusum Lunia said the reason behind the rally was to create awareness among the masses about female foeticide killing and known public personalities have been roped in to spread the message as people look up to them and so they can spread the message more effectively. Jain Shwetamber Terapanth Mahila Mandal, a part of All India Terapanth Mahila Mandal, having 361 branches and 60,000 members all over India, is a religious social organization, which has been working for the upliftment and betterment of Indian Women and down trodden sections of the society. Working under the spiritual leadership of Acharya Mahaprajana, the organisation has been working extensively for the past seven years to awaken national consciousness against female foeticide by organizing seminars, rallies, essay competition, posters and slogan competition.

HONOURS & AWARDS
VIJAY JAIN WINS PRESTIGIOUS SIEMENS SCHOLARSHIP
New York, An Indian  student, Vijay Jain from Long Islands has shared a $30,000 annual scholarship sponsored by Siemens, the German electronics conglomerate. Vijay Jain, is studying at Herricks High School, New York.  and Jinju Yi, a senior at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, New York shared the scholarship for fourth-place in the team category for their unique project in creating a biosensor, which uses molecular-imprinting technology to detect viruses and cancer at their earliest stages. The Siemens competition in math, science and technology is a programme of the Siemens Foundation, which provides nearly two million dollar in scholarships and awards annually. Over 1,600 students entered the competition.

PRESTIGIOUS KAMAL PATRA AWARD TO DR. UJJWAL PATNI

Dr.Ujjwal Patni ,the leading visionary and motivator from India is going to receive the most prestigious award of Indian jaycees KAMAL PATRA on 27 December at Bangalore. This is the solo individual award given to one exceptional individual every year. Dr. Ujjwal Patni is selected among hundreds of clubs and thousands of members. This award is given for Dr. Patni's exceptional achievements as a author and motivator. Dr. Ujjwal Patni is the author of internationally famous book GREAT WORDS WIN HEARTS, SAFAL VAKTA .SAFAL VYAKTI and the very latest JUDO JODO JEETO. Dr. Ujjwal patni also received wishes from president of India. Shri A.P.J Abdul Kalam for his book 'great words win hearts'.




KEWAL JAIN BAGS TOP CMAI APEX AWARDS

Mumbai: The Max style CMAI Apex Awards organised in association with entertainment channel Zoom announced the annual fashion and apparel awards in Mumbai on Monday. The National awards show was instituted in 2003 by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) to honour apparel manufacturers who make their apparel a lifestyle and inspirational element.

Winners of the night included Kewal Jain, chairman, Kewal Kiran, who won the ‘Brand Entrepreneur Of The Year’ and CL Raheja, who won the ‘Retail Entrepreneur Of The Year.’ The Retail Professional Of The Year award was given to BS Nagesh, managing director, Shoppers’ Stop. Amongst the other awardees were clothing brands — Louis Phillipe, Spykar Jeans, Classic Polo, Allen Solly, Cambridge, Giny and Jony, Biba and United Colours of Benetton, garment manufacturer — Madura Garments, retailer-Shoppers’ Stop, export houses — Gokaldas Exports and Eastman Exports, Global Clothing and logistics company - Safexpress.

BIRLA FOUNDATION HONOURS SHANTI JAIN
New Delhi, Sanskrit scholar, Ms. Shanti Jain, who wrote a book on folk music is honoured by the K K Birla Foundation for outstanding contribution to her field. Shanti Jain, a Reader at Sanskrit at the H D Jain College, Ara, Bihar, was felicitated with the Shankar Puraskar for her book "Lokgeeton ke Sandarbh aur Aayaam", a treatise on the folk songs and traditions of northern India. The award comprising Rs 1.5 lakh cash, a citation and a medal, was given away by Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia at a private function at the Birla House. Instituted in 1992, the Shankar Puraskar is given every year for an outstanding work in the field of Indian culture and art. It is for the first time the Shankar Puraskar was given in recognition of a work in folk culture.

SRI SANGHA SEVA SAMMAN-2007 TO JINENDRA KUMAR JAIN
The Terapanth Dharm Sangh has announced that the coveted award of 'Sri Sangha Seva Samman' for the year 2007 will be given to Shri Jinendra Kumar Jain, a renowned journalist and editor of weekly news paper, 'Jinendu', being published from Ahmedabad, for his dedicated services to the entire Jain community. 'Jinendu' is probably the only weekly news paper in the country being published for the last ten years, representing the entire Jain samaj, covering news and views about all Jain sects, Digambar, Shwetambar- Sthanakwasi, Terapanth and Derawasi (Mandir-Margi) alike, without any bias towards anyone.

KANNADA UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES NADOJA AWARDS FOR 2006
Bellary : The University will confer its prestigious `Teacher of the State' awards to Dr Ham Pa Nagarajaiah, at the 15th `Nudi Habba' (convocation) of the University at Hampi on December 4. Dr Ham Pa Nagarajaiah born on October 7th, 1936 at Hampasandra village in Kolar District of Karnataka has excelled in the academics and is one of the foremost exponents of Jainism. A graduate of Mysore University, Dr Ham Pa acquired his PhD from the Bangalore University. He has been teaching under-graduates and post-graduate students for the last four decades, while actively participating in research and directing and supervising M Phil and Ph D students. He has been a guest lecturer at prestigious universities abroad. He has been honoured with many citations and medals and has written more than 60 books.

KANTI LAL JAIN ELECTED AS NEW PRESIDENT OF ALL INDIA SWETAMBAR STHANAKWASI JAIN CONFERENCE

At a meeting of the All India Swetambar Sthanakwasi Jain Coference, held at New Delhi to elect the new president for the term 2006-2008, Shri Kanti Lal Jain from Mumbai was elected unanimously as President. Shri Shanti Lal Chhajed proposed his name and Shri Keshari Mal Burad seconded the same. Sri Jain has been an eminent social worker and philanthropist, having full sense of compassion towards poor and needy, deep respect for saints and scholars and conscious about his responsibilities towards the community.




HIGHEST EVER NUMBER OF JAIN LEGISLATORS IN MADHYA PRADESH ASSEMBLY

It is heartening to note that the present Legislative assembly of Madhya Pradesh carries the largest number of persons from Jain community. Four Ministers are Jain and besides, other 7 are M.L.A.'s. Those in the State ministry are: Shri Raghav Ji bhai-Minister of Finance, Shri Jayant Malaiya-Minister of urban administration, Shri Himmat Kothari-Transport Minister and Shri Paras Jain-Minister of State for Education. One more newly elected member and very likely to be taken in the State cabinet is Mr. Kapur Chand Ghuvara from Bara malhara constitutency. Apart from these people in the Ministry, others are Shrimati Sudha Jain from Sagar, Shri Naresh Divakar from Sivni, Shri Sharad Jain and Shrimati Alka Jain (a former Minister of State), Shri Om Prakash Saklecha and Shri Chhote Lal saraogi. Incidently, the number of legislators from Shwetambar and Digambar sects are in equal number. It can thus be observed that from amongst 28 states in the Union, Madhya Pradesh is the only state which has the distinction of having largest number of Ministers and members of Legislative assembly belonging to Jain community. With such an strength in the cabinet and the assembly, a lot of constructive work can be done to help in the welfare, growth and development of Jain society. Jain samaj has great hopes from all these people in power and they can offer invaluable contribution to provide immense strength to Jain samaj, as a whole.

NEW PUBLICATIONS
SPEAKING OF MONKS: FROM BENARAS TO BEIJING (English)
Edited by Koichi Shinohara, Phyllis Granoff and Gregory Schopen, Reprinted 2006 215 x 140 mm 396 pp; Softcover Rs. 395. This book is basically the amalgamation of two books, "Speaking of Monks" and "From Benares to Beijing". "Speaking of Monks" was co-authored by Phyllis Granoff and Koichi Shinohara and consists of two scholarly essays, one on biographies of Jain monks and the second on biographies of Chinese Buddhist monks. "From Benares to Beijing" has been co-edited by Koichi Shinohara and Gregory Schopen. The book has essays by leading scholars of Indian and Chinese Civilisations. The essays cover a wide range of topics in Indian and Chinese religion and culture and offer fresh insights into their study. The book is available at Hindi Granth Karyalaya, 9 Hirabaug C P Tank, Mumbai 400004, E-Mail: manishymodi@gmail.com

CHATURMAS NEWS
Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni, head of the Shwetambar Sthanakwasi sect has accepted to hold his next chaturmas in the year 2007 at Ambala town.

Acharya Mahapragya has announced to hold his next chaturmas during the year 2007 at Udaipur in Rajasthan. He has decided to extend his Ahimsa Yatra by another 3 years, out of which he will be staying back in Rajasthan for the first two years.

MISCELLANEOUS
S. M. S MEDICO , JAIPUR DR. BAFNA DONATES RS. 45 LAKHS
Dr.M.L.Bafna, a Cardiac Physician from Cleveland (born in Sadri , Marwar), donates Rs.45.0 lakhs in the memory of his late wife, Smt.Kamla Bafna to Bhagwan Mahavir Cancer Society at Malvia Nagar, Jaipur. Kamla Bafna Memorial Building, a part of Mahavir Viklang Bhawan is to be inaugurated by Cabinet Law Minister Shri H.R.Bhardwaj & Supreme Court judge Shri Ashok Mathur on Saturday 16th Dec. 2006. Mahavir Viklang Samiti under the guidance of Shri D. R. Mehta provides about 2000 limbs free to handicapped persons from various parts of the country. This is the biggest organization in the world provoding such large number of limbs. Dr.M.R.Jain a leading Ophthalmologist of Rajasthan constituted a group of 1953 admitted students & named it as “Lucky Seventh, SMS Medico’s “. Dr.Jain informed that Dr.Bafna has made a complete wing in Bombay Hospital, donated around 80 lakhs of rupees in various charitable Societies at Sumerpur, Ranakpur & Jodhpur & his personal contribution is maximum to Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Samiti. He was honored in Cleveland as Father of Community & in 1994 was acclaimed as Physician of the Year in Cleveland. Courtesy: Dr. M.R.Jain, President, LUCKY SEVE4NTH, SMS MEDICO’S ,JAIPUR, E-Mail: drmrjain@eth.net

EX-COUNCILOR SHARDA JAIN & FIVE OTHERS GET LIFE TERM FOR COUNCILOR'S MURDER

Delhi: Accepting that Atma Ram Gupta's murder did not fall in the "rarest of rare" category, a city court sentenced former Keshavpuram councilor Sharda Jain, her brother Raj Kumar Jain and four others to life imprisonment. The three Uttar Pradesh police personnel were also sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment for destruction of evidence. Pronouncing the quantum of punishment in a packed courtroom, additional sessions judge said that every murder is an act of brutality but every act of brutality per se may not call for imposition of the extreme punishment of death penalty.  The life term would serve the end of justice. Sharda Jain could not hold back her feelings when the court rejected the prosecution plea for sending her to the gallows. "Thanks to you sir. Keeping in mind the future of my children, you have given me life sentence," she said. Sharda's 18-year-old daughter Neha, who had been attending every hearing of the trial, was present in the courtroom.

Earlier, the prosecution while seeking death penalty said Sharda deserved the maximum punishment for murder as she was holding a public office when she plotted the murder. The prosecution said her conduct clearly affected the public at large. The prosecution said she had behaved like a hardcore criminal and the manner in which the murder was committed reflected the same. "The murder was the outcome of a well thought out strategy, planned and executed by the various convicts," the prosecution said, while claiming that a severe sentence will send out a strong, deterrent message. The defense counsel sought leniency for the former councilor saying she was a young lady aged 34 and had two young children. The counsel pleaded that her husband had deserted her and in these circumstances there was no one to look after them.

Sympathising with the hired killers and driver who were lured into committing the crime, the court said that it is clear from the records that convict Rajender, Pushpender and Nirvikar were all lured into the conspiracy by other convict persons on the promise of providing them a government job in Delhi through convict Sharda. It is often seen that poor, unemployed youths are exploited by such high-profile persons in order to get their dubious acts done.

MAHAVEER IDOL RECOVERED BY CRIME BRANCH, DELHI

Delhi: An antique idol of Lord Mahavira, valued at about Rs. 2 crores, has been recovered by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police from a goldsmith at Maurice Nagar in North Delhi. The accused has been arrested. Dating back to 8th Century A.D., the 19 cm high "ashtadhatu" idol has two standing lion figures carved on its pedestal. A special team of the Crime Branch recently received a tip-off that a man with an idol of Lord Mahavir was looking for a prospective buyer. The police learnt that the suspect would come to Maurice Nagar to meet a tout in this connection. Subsequently  Police laid a trap near Sri Ram Research Institute and spotted the suspect waiting for his contact. The police arrested the person after they recovered the antique idol from his bag. During interrogation, the accused identified himself as Manoj Soni and told the police that he worked for a South Delhi jeweller as a goldsmith.






PILGRIM SUBSIDY FOR ALL RELIGIONS SOUGHT

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Union Government on a public interest litigation seeking directions to the Government to provide pilgrimage subsidy to the followers of all religions on the lines of the Haj subsidy to Muslims. A Division Bench comprising Justices Swatanter Kumar and G.S. Cistani directed the Government to reply to the petition by January 4, 2007. Petitioner Ashwani Gupta submitted that the subsidy to Haj pilgrims had created ill will among the followers of other faiths. Further, Articles 14, 15 and 17 of the Constitution restricted the State from giving benefits to one particular religion and ignoring the others, the petitioner submitted. Each year the Centre gave a subsidy of about Rs. 300 crores to Haj pilgrims and different State Governments had built air-conditioned rest houses for them.

The petitioner urged the court to direct the Centre to grant subsidy also to Hindus for pilgrimage to Amarnath and Mansarovar; Sikhs for pilgrimage to Nankana Saheb; Buddhists to offer prayers at Sarnath; Christians for their journey to Rome and to the followers of Jainism to visit their shrines. The petitioner further submitted that providing subsidy to Muslims for their travel to Mecca was "politically motivated" as it was aimed at appeasing the community by the powers that be to get their votes.

Even several Islamic countries did not grant subsidy to Haj pilgrims. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board had also described the Haj subsidy as a sop to gain political mileage, the petitioner submitted. The State was supposed to make only administrative arrangements to ensure smooth celebration of religious festivals. Malaysia model, there are independent bodies in Malaysia that manage Haj pilgrimage and generate money to meet the expenses by investing the money of the pilgrims in fixed deposit schemes, the petitioner said.

THANKS GIVING PRAYER ON THE OCCASION OF CHRISTMAS

Today we give thanks for this vegetarian meal and the people who have labored to harvest and prepare this meal for us. We give thanks for the many lives that have contributed to our lives. We also ask for forgiveness from the living beings that we have harmed, intentionally and unintentionally. We are grateful for our health and the opportunity to eat with others on this day. We aspire, with compassionate hearts, to use the energy that we gain from this meal and our friends to contribute to the peace and happiness of all living beings.

We pray that all the people of the world will avoid inflicting harm on animals and fellow human beings and practice nonviolence and compassion. We express our sorrow at the suffering of all the turkeys and other animals that have died. May peace and compassion grow in ourselves and extend to all around us. (The original draft was prepared by Dr. Jina Shah of Northen California and was edited by Jaina Education Committee) Courtesy: Pravin K. Shah, E-Mail : education@jaina.org

ANOTHER JAIN HERITAGE STRUCTURE IS ABUSED AT MUMBAI
Bhuleshwar, the 150-year-old Hari Baba ki Bungli, a two-storey bungalow inside the well-known Mota Mandir Jain temple is being vandalised right under the civic authorities’ nose. Taking serious note of the violation, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has served four notices under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act for allowing change of use without permission to two commercial structures adjoining the Bungli. BMC has also served a stop-work notice to the temple trustees who were carrying out construction activities inside the temple. The commercial establishments have been given a month to vacate their shops. The action has been taken on a complaint by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. The complaint also mentioned that old statues inside the Bungli have been stolen. The Bungli is part of the 200-year-old temple built by Jains hailing from Surat.

CAMEL SACRIFICE ON IDUL ZUHA AT TONK IN RAJASTHAN

 

It is most unfortunate that sacrifice of camel is still taking place in the princely state of Tonk in Rajasthan, when there are strict laws in the country about animal care and protection. The act of killing animals is a crime and is punishable according to section 429 sub-section 11 of the I.P.C. However, the ritual is carried out every year in a royal palace, Mubarak Mahal on the occasion of Idul Zuha, under the very eyes of police and all government officials. This time, Idul Zuha is falling on the 1st January and the same practice may continue. The animal welfare institution, "People for animals" has now taken up the lead to get this cruel, inhuman and ghastly practice stopped. A sit-down strike, called 'dharna' was organised on 24th December where a large number of people from different parts of the State joined together to express their solidarity against such a criminal activity and demanding that camel-killing at Tonk must be stopped henceforth. Shri Babu Lal Jajoo, the Pradesh Prabhari of 'People for animals' organised the dharna and he as well as many other participants spoke on the issue of strictly imposing the ban on the practice of killing animals.


UNIQUE EMERGING CENTER FOR GLOBAL NONKILLING IN HAWAII, USA

The First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum planned for November 2007 in Honolulu, Hawaii will call for founding a unique nonprofit Center for Global Nonkilling with an associated short-term Global Nonkilling Leadership Academy.  Rooted in ahimsa inspiration from faiths and philosophies such as Jainism, the mission of the Center will be to assist measurable change toward a world in which human beings do not kill each other.  Its mottoes will be “No more killing!”, “Everyone has a right not to be killed and a responsibility not to kill others,” “A nonkilling society is possible, “and “Everyone can be A Center for global nonkilling.”  Eight workers in a small building will assist discoveries, education-training, and applications of nonkilling knowledge for problem-solving in cooperation with individuals and institutions throughout the world.

The Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK) will carry forward the achievements of its predecessor Center for Global Nonviolence (CGNV) founded on October 2, 1994 www.globalnonviolence.org. These include publication of the book Nonkilling Global Political Science (2002) by 1993 Anuvrat Award recipient Glenn D. Paige which is being translated into over 20 languages.  Ten have been published including Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Sinhala, Mongolian, French, Portuguese, Galizan, Spanish, and Russian  Forthcoming are Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Arabic, Swahili, Pilipino, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and others.

Information on the First Global Nonkilling Leadership Forum and the Center for Global Nonkilling can be obtained from Prof. Glenn D. Paige, President, Center for Global Nonviolence, E-Mail :cgnv@hawaii.rr.com and Mr. Thomas A. Fee, founding Director, Center for Global Nonkilling E-Mail : tomfeenj@aol.com
 

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