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Ahimsa Times - March 2003 Issue

Vol. No. 33

March, 2003

IRAQ'S DISARMAMENT BY US
Any U.S. action over Iraq will definitely provide President Bush a confirmed victory over President Saddam Hussain. But , this will be achieved at the cost of millions of innocent human lives&destruction of property of billions of US Dollars. Will this bring end of terrorism in United States and other nations?. Can these issues still be resolved peacefully? If you wish to express your feelings please do mail it to President George W. Bush at president@whitehouse.gov &a copy to us at ahimsa@jainsamaj.org

ARCHEAOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA ORDERS DEMOLITION OF SANCHI JAIN TEMPLE
VIDISHA: A good deal of tension prevails in Jain Samaj after the Archaeological Survey of India gave demolition order of Sanchi Jain temple. Although the district administration has not taken any decision over the demolition of the temple but the Jain Samaj representatives while condemning the decision took the matter seriously. It may be mentioned here that the Director General, Kasturi Gupta Menon of GOI's Archaeological Survey of India has written a letter to archaeology department asking them to demolish the Shitalnath Digambar Jain Temple of Sanchi which was illegally constructed within 15 days time. In this connection, Sheetalnath Digambar Jain temple trust chairman, Deepchand Jain and general secretary, SP Jain have in a release stated that not even an inch of the archaeology department or the government land has been encroached but on the contrary the same has been constructed with the permission of Collectorate under the Public Religious Buildings Act 1984. BJP national secretary and MP Shivraj Singh Chauhan raised this issue in the presence of Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan and BJP national president, Venkaiah Naidu. Union Minister of State, Ms. Bhavana Behn later gave necessary orders to the ASI asking it to withdraw its order. Information source www.centralchronicle.com

JAIN BODY DEMANDS PART IN AYODHYA EXCAVATION - PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Jodhpur, March 11: A social organisation of Jains which has staked claim over the disputed land in Ayodhya, where the Archeaological Survey of India is undertaking excavation on a court's order, on Tuesday demanded that a representative of the Jains be allowed as observer while the excavation is on. A team of four representatives of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jains should be formed and allowed to witness the excavation by the ASI to ascertain if a temple existed on the site where Babri Masjid was built, Jain Samta Vahini said in a statement in Jodhpur. The JSV demanded that it be made a party in the on-going legal battle to settle the issue because "historical records showed that the disputed structure stood over a Jain temple". Mr. Praveen Kumbhat, National General Secretary of the JSV said it remained aloof from the ticklish issue so far as it was being sought to be resolved by violent means by certain quarters, but it decided to become a party in the dispute when judiciary decided to find what lay beneath the foundation of the disputed structure. Source: Express India- Tuesday, March 11, 2003

THEFT OF JAIN DEITIES FROM KASAN TEMPLE GURGAON, HARYANA
Ancient Jain deities have been stolen from a temple at Kasan in Gurgaon district of Haryana in the night of 12th February, 2003. It is understood that an FIR has been lodged in the concerned Police Station but nothing has been done in the matter so far. The incident has hurt the religious sentiments of Jains and has evoked great resentment in the Jain community all over the country.These idols had emerged from a nearby hill in this village and were established in the temple with great religious fervour. The idols are said to be made of Asthadhatu and are, therefore, invaluable. They have immense antique as well as spiritual value. Mr. Dilip Gandhi(Jain) Minister of Shipping, Government of India has taken up this unfortunate incident with the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr. Om Prakash Chautala and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr. I.D. Swamy. The Haryana Administration has assured Jain community that they the culprits shall be caught and punished soon.

BHOOMI PUJAN AND SHILANYAS CEREMONY PERFORMED AT SHRI MAHAVIDEH KSHETRAM, DELHI
With the blessings of 'Shri. Arihant Parmatma Simandhar Swamiji', Bhoomi Pujan and Shilanyas ceremony was performed at Mahavideh Kshetram near Ghevramod Nangloi, New Delhi. from 13th Feb. till 17th Feb. 2003.A Grand temple complex is proposed to be constructed, comprising of a temple of Shri. Simandhar Swamiji, Centre for "Meditation and quarters for old aged saints, on sprawling 5000 sq. yards land at this place. This project is undertaken by Mumukshu Dhyandeep Parivar" - under the spiritual guidance of Smt. Parnaben Jayantibhai Shah, a disciple of reverend Acharya Shrutbhaskar Vijay Dharmdhurandhar Suriswarji Maharaj Saheb. Since last six years this group has been scaling the path of spiritualism, with goal of self-realization. Having great compassion for the humanity, they are engaged in philanthropic activities like - supporting financially weak families, giving medical help including hospitalization and surgery, at the same time serving old aged saints with full responsibility. Now, with aspiration to attain emancipation, it has taken up the task of building "Mahavideha Kshetram".On this auspicious occasion, Hon. Labour Minister Shri. Saheb Singh Verma, Councilor Shri. Raj Kumarji Jain, Co-editor of Punjab Kesari daily Shri. Prem Sharma and other prominent personalities attended the ceremonies.

PRATISHTHA CELEBRATIONS OF COUNTRY'S TALLEST IDOL OF BHAGWAN ADINATH HELD AT AHMEDABAD
The tallest idol of a Jain Tirthankar, Bhagwan Adinath ji has been installed at a place called Ballabhipur near Ahmedabad. It is 23 feet in height and is made in marble from Makrana. The pratishtha ceremony of the temple was carried out recently in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Jin Sagar Ji and Acharya Shri Hem Chandra sagar Ji. A rock of marble weighing about 400 tons was obtained from Rajasthan mines out of which a solid piece weighing 250 tons had been cut out and then it was transported to Ahmedabad where the idol was sculptured by the highly skilled sculptures and artisans. The temple complex possesses all necessary facilities for the pilgrims, such as Dharm shala, Bhojan shala and Upasraya.

INDICATION OF EXISTENCE OF JAIN TEMPLES IN THE ANGKORE COMPLEX IN COMBODIA
Angkore temple complex in Combodia is famous for its ancient Buddhist temples. It was so far believed that these temples are originally Buddhist but later studies have given indications of some of the temples in this very complex being of Jain Tirthankars. Possibly, the original Jain temples were converted into Buddhist temples by the erstwhile Buddhist rulers in that region. According to recetly carried out studies, it is being confirmed that many of the temples in that complex were of Jain deities.The learned anthropoligist and an authority of Jain philosophy and ancient art and culture, Shri Neeraj Jain, who also happens to be national vice-president of the All India Digambar Jain (Dharm-Sanrakshini) Mahasabha, had visited the place in the last month to further verify the information. His final report is now awaited.

MS. PAMELA JAIN HONOURED WITH 2003 STARDUST AWARD
Ms. Pamela Jain has been nominated for year 2003 Stardust Award for her contribution as singer in the film Aanchal Ki Chaaiya. She has shown her great talent as a singer who sings subtly, softly and still holds the listener's attention.

NEW ORGANISATION, 'INDIACORPS' OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR NRI'S TO VOLUNTEER THEIR SERVICES
A new organization has come forward to offer opportunities for NRI's and PIO's to volunteer their skills and time to participate in the development of India. Indicorps, a new US-based non-profit, offers programs designed to leverage the enormous skills, success, and fondness for India of the global Indian family in the social and economic upliftment of our motherland. Indicorps is a completely voluntary organization that believes in a strong philosophy of participatory development and individual empowerment, we will do whatever it takes to encourage Indians around the world to provide their human capital for India's future. Indicorps offers multiple ways to give to India - from a year-long fellowship program targeted to young NRIs/PIOs around the world, to a new program (Senior Corps) designed to bring older applicants with significant experience back to India to utilize their skills for India's development.

According to Mr. Anand Shah, they have 9 full-year fellows who have given up their time and are in India offering knowledge in the fields ranging from watershed management to product marketing. To learn more about our programs and follow our current progress through images and video, please look at the Indicorps website, www.indicorps.org. For details, contact: Anand Shah, Indicorps anand@indicorps.org

BE CAREFUL: SOYA MAY LEAD TO THYROID CANCER OR OTHER SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS
Soya and its products like soya beans, soya sprouts, soya muffins, Tofu etc. are being used in plenty by health-conscious people over the world, specially in USA. It has never been suspected so far because ther has not been available any information in published or unpublished form that stated that soya could be extremely dangerous to health, particularly for women. The latest information now received from US scientists has indicate that it contains harmful constituents, in the form of certain hormones, which react in the female body and cause thyroid problems and these may eventually lead to Thyroid Cancer. With the continued consumption of Soya in whatever form, people start losing their hair and gain weight. Cysts are formed in the uterus and lumps in the breast, then glands swell up and the gums may get inflamed. The specialists may diagnose it as Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma but it could really be Cancer. Many such cases have been detected in the United States and continued observations and past history have provided clear indications that the culprit has been Soya. So, beware before you plan to start a soya meal. Ref.: www.biotech-info.net Here is factual report from Neha Shah in USA: neha710@yahoo.com.

"Well I did try to find out the fact about soya, Soya has estrogen hormone in it. It can be beneficial to use in small amount but in large quantity like substituting it with all the milk product can be dangerous. It has the same side effect like HRT cancer etc., so be careful what you eat. Soya product pushers are very active in advertising soya as only wonderful healthy food.

Happy Holi

NATIONAL AHIMSA CONFERENCE AT SAMMET SHIKHARJI FROM 16th TO 18th MARCH
Indian Federation of Ahimsa Organisation is going to organise its second Ahimsa Conference at national level from 16th to 18th March, 2003 at Sammet Shikharji, Madhuban. The participants fro different states are expected to join and deliberate on subjects related with ahimsa, such as vegetarianism, non-violence, compassion towards animals, cow-protection, pinjarapol, banning export of meat, bio-agriculture, animal welfare and ecology. Representatives fro different institutions concerned with these areas, such as Society fot prevention of cruelty towards animals, Association for banning export of meat, Animal Welfare Board, People for Animals, Indian Bio-gas Society, etc. and individuals devoted to the cause of ahimsa have been invited to attend the conference. Those interested to join may contact: Dr. Chiranji Lal Bagda, Secretary, Bharatiya Ahimsa Sansthan Mahasangh, 46, Strand road, Calcutta-7. Ph. 033-24050100.

M.P. C. M. ASSURES COMMUNITY TO PROTECT JAIN MONUMENTS
Shri Digvijay Singh, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, at a function in his honour, on the occasion of Panch Kalyanak Mahotsava by Digambar Jain community held at Sanavad in M. P. said that the Government will make all-out efforts to protect the ancient culture and architectural heritage of the nation in the form of Jain temples. He said that Madhya Pradesh Government has always extended full cooperation to Jain samaj and it would continue to do so in future as well. The educational institutions belonging to Jain comunity as well as others will be provided with all necessary cooperation and facilities. The holy presence of Digambar Jain Acharya, Shri Vardhman Sagar Ji Maharaj added grace to the occasion. Acharya in his blessings added that the present Chief Minister had the privilege to be a descendant of our Tithankars. Lord Bahubali, while ruling over the country, had left his kingdom to follow the path of self-renouncement and self-benediction. Hid descendant, Mr. Singh is devoted to provide peace and tranquility to the State. If he puts in his efforts to make the entire State free of violence and addiction, he would continue to hold the leadership of the State the third time also.

FOUR ENGINEERING COLLGES IN THE COUNTRY DECLARED AS JAIN MINORITY INSTITUTIONS
Four existing engineering colleges in the country have been declared as minority institutions, which are offering four year degree courses in engineering. Fifty percent of the total number of sanctioned seats are now reserved at these institutions for candidates belonging to Jain community.
These are:
1. Walchand Institute of Technology, Solapur, Maharashtra.
2. M.N.M. Engineering College, Chennai, Tamilnadu.
3. Bahubali College of Engineering, Shravanbelagola, Karnataka.
4. Bhagwan Mahaveer Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sonepat, Haryana.

RISE ABOVE GROUP INTERESTS FOR NATIONAL UNITY SAYS PRESIDENT
Muni Shri Lok Prakash Ji 'Lokesh', a learned young saint belonging to Jain Shwetambar Terapanth sect and spokesman of the Ahimsa Yatra, being presently undertaken by Terapanth Acharya, Mahapragya Ji called on the President, Abdul Kalam and presented to him the book, "Democratic Social Revolution through individual transformation" written by the Acharya himself. President Kalam, appreciating the efforts put in by Acharya Mahapragya ji in the direction of spreading message of truth and non-violence across the country emphasized the urgent need to get rid of communal hatred, violence and fanaticism in the larger interest of national unity and integrity. He said, it was high time that the people rose above petty selfish considerations and group interests and helped in maintaining peace in the entire country.

PEACE MARCH HELD ON 15th AND 16th FEBRUARY
On 15-16 February, 10 million students from different universiies all over the world and also others interested walked for peace, not war, with Iraq. The intention was that this walk was to be done in a non-violent manner. In Delhi, a contingent of students from Delhi University undertook walking on Saturday, 15 Feb. Many students of the San Francisco State University contingent walked on Sunday, 16 Feb. This Peace Walk has brought some thoughts to mind: What is the history of Jain ascetics with respect to participating in organized walks/marches such as the above? May a Peace Walk be considered a type of walking meditation or is it best for a Jain to walk quietly alone?

BRASS IDOLS STOLEN FROM JAIN TEMPLE AT SAWAI MADHOPUR
The incidents of theft of idols from Jain temples have been occuring time and again in different parts of the country. The law and order authorities appear to be totally ineffective in preventing these incidents, not appreciating the immense loss being incurred to the ancient heritage of the country. Recently, six brass idols are reported to have been removed from a temple at Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. The devotees, on reaching the temple in the morning for darshan found that the six idols were missing from there. The matter was immediately reported to the Police. It is learnt that the thieves had entered the temple through a ventilator by breaking the iron bars. No arrests have so far been reported.

NEW WEB SITES
www.sirohicity.com : A website dedicated and devoted to the vindication of Jain religious minority rights in India and worldwide as a major ancient Indian religion.
geocities.com/athens/Crete/9810/index.html :
Gives information of the Jainism and Jains in Tamil Nadu.
www.top-education.com/Religions/jainism1.htm :
An exclusive website giving information on the philosophy of Jainism and a biography of Mahavir.
www.geocities.com :
Shows Jain coins issued in the past.
www.jainheritagecentres.com :
Gives information about Jain temples and a news letter, called 'Jaina Voice'.
www.webdunia.com :
Gives on-line aarti of Bhagwan Mahavir.
www.jainhistory.tripod.com :
Relates historical aspects of Jainism.
www.jainshrimahavirji.com :
Jain prayers are given.

PICTURES OF FAMOUS ELLORA CAVES ON INTERNET
Several interesting pictures of a recent trip to world famous Ellora caves near Aurangabad have been uploaded by Sanjeev Nayyar.
1. Background Note on Kailash Temple, Ellora - www.esamskriti.com/html/elloracaves.htm
2. Kailash Temple (30 pics)- www.esamskriti.com/html/new_photo.asp?subcatid=65 & z=4
3. Jaina Temple (4 pics) - www.esamskriti.com/html/new_photo.asp?subcatid=64
4. Paintings of Ajanta - met Shri Vijay Kulkarni at Ellora. He is a well known artist who paints stuff on Ajanta caves. See some of his works. www.esamskriti.com/html/new_photo.asp?subcatid=63

DIKSHA CEREMONY
1. Nine diksharthis, three male and six female, were accorded Jain diksha at Ahmedabad in the holy presence of Acharya Shri Gun Ratna Surishwar Ji maharaj belonging to the Shwetambar Murti-pujak sect. The persons are, S. Shri Jayesh Shah, Rakesh Shah and Harshay Shah and Km. Darshana Behn, Ritu shah, Nayan Behn, Meena Behn, Sangeeta Behn and Kavita behn. Acharya Shri entered his 50th year after diksha on the 5th February, 2003 and this year is going to be celebrated as Golden Jubilee year.

2. Kshullak Shri Om Sagar Ji of Jain Digambar sect was accorded Jain diksha by Shri 108 Acharya Bharat sagar Ji maharaj on the 6th February, 2003 at Songiri Siddh kshetra. The parents of the diksharthi are Shri Saubhagya mal ji Kasliwal and Smt. Kamladevi Kasliwal from Gwalior.Many other saints and aryikas were present on this occasion for witnessing all the religious formalities.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS - JAINA CONVENTION
JAINA Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio in July 3rd - 6th 2003. Thousands of Jains from all over North America are expected to participate in this bi-annual event. For registration visit www.jainaconvention.org

SPECIAL POSTAL COVERS IN THE HONOUR OF JAIN PERSONALITIES
During last two months, two special covers have been issued to honor two Jain personalities.

1. Jain Queen Of Karnataka Veera Rani Abbakka : The brave Queen of Chowla family of Jains, Veera Rani Abbakka Devi ruled in Ullal of Dakshina Kannada during 1954-1640. She was the first Indian brave warrior Queen who fought against the Portuguese for independence and restored it throughout by driving away the Portuguese, whenever they invaded the costal area of Dakshina Kannada. Indian Postal Department issued a special cover at Mangalore on 15-01-2003 on the occasion of Philatelic Exhibition MANGALAPEX-2003 which depicts the image of Rani Abbakka ready for war.

2. Prominent Jain Scholar Shri Bhanwarlal Nahta : On the occasion of first death anniversary of well known Jain scholar Shri Bhanwarlal Nahta, a multicolored special cover has been issued at Kolkata on 11-02-2003. Indian Postal Department provided special cancellation on this occasion. Shri Bhanwarlal Nahta was a profound linguist and a rare scholar of scripts like Bramhi, Kharoshthi, Pali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujrati, Rajsthani, Bengali etc. He was born at Bikaner on 19th Sept. 1911 and died on 11th Feb. 2002. Besides 81 big and small printed books of different nature, nearly eight thousand essay and research papers of Shri Nahta have so far been published. Information by courtesy of: Mr. Sudhir Jain, SATNA (M.P.) E-Mail: mrsudhirjain@yahoo.com

MAHARASHTRA STATE MINORITIES COMMISSION CONDEMNS MR. KHAN'S ARTICLE
Maharashtra State Minorities Commission as strongly protested and objected to an article by Mr. Danish A. Khan. "Nationwide ban on cow-slaughter mooted" published in The Milli Gazette, Feb.22, 2003 which says that, "Bhagwan Mahavira ate meat" is injurious to the basic religious faith of the Jains. The Commission through a resolution passed on 25th Feb. 2003, has condemned and taken a strong exception to the tendentious, false and highly derogatory comments made by Mr. Khan. The Maharashtra State Minorities Commission has also called upon the Editor of The Milli Gazette and the writer, Mr. Danish A. Khan to tender apology. Information courtesy From: Bal Patil E-Mail : president@globaljains.com

INTERFAITH CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY FROM APRIL 25-27, 2003
The first statewide Catholic-sponsored interfaith conference entitled "A Vision for Environmental Justice: Caring for God's Creation" will be held in Princeton University during the weekend of April 25-27, 2003. On Sunday, April 27, an Interfaith Prayer Service and a penal discussion of "Interfaith Perspectives on the Environment" will feature Islamic, Catholic, Jain, Protestant, and Jewish faith traditions. For further information contact Mr. Bal Patil at balpatil@vsnl.com or visit the website www.envirojustnj.org

PETA WINS RELIEF FOR CIRCUS ANIMALS IN MISERY
Mumbai : As part of a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against the State of Maharashtra and the Empire Circus, Chief Justice Mr. C. K. Thakkar and Justice Mr. Chadrachur ruled that until the case is settled the animals banned from performing should be sent to a rescue center. Additionally, the performances by the other animals are to stop because the circus does not have registration with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which is required by law. The judges noted that since the animals were not allowed to perform they should not be forced to suffer. PETA represented by Advocate Mr. Pradeep Rajagopal, had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court in November 2002. By the order of the court, the animals can now be moved to Nahargarh, a rescue centre outside Jaipur where they will live a better quality of life, till the final judgment is made. For more information visit : www.petaindia.com/cent.html

MAHAVIR TEMPLE AT THIRUPARUTHICUNDRAM NEEDS IMMEDIATE REPAIRS
It is painful to note that many of the old jain temples in Tamil nadu are in a state of devastation. A Mahavir temple at Thiruparuthicundram near Kanchipuram district is one of the example. It was once a University of eminent jaina munis and all over from india came to this place for learning.It was built around 7th century A.D., and also earliest of all other temples in this district. A tamil magazine "Mukkudai" regularly publishes information on such temples. Information courtsy Mr. Banukumar.R, Chennai 61. banukumar_r@yahoo.com

LAW SUITE FILED AGAINST MR. NAVEEN JAIN BY INFOSPACE, USA
Wireless and Internet software provider InfoSpace, USA has filed a lawsuit against its founder and director, Naveen Jain. The lawsuit alleges that Jain and former InfoSpace chief software architect, Kevin Marcus, violated their agreements after forming software company Intelius earlier this year.Jain serves as Intelius' chief executive and Marcus as its chief technology officer. The two men are joined by other former InfoSpace employees and former Microsoft senior executives at the young company.The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, alleges that Jain and Marcus violated their noncompete agreements with InfoSpace, misappropriated trade secrets and confidential information, and interfered with InfoSpace's contractual relationships. Jain remains an InfoSpace director. A company representative said Jain has not tendered his board resignation since the lawsuit was filed. The company provided no further details on its lawsuit.Jain, however, contends the lawsuit is without merit.

CHENNAI'S ST. THOMAS CHURCH WAS A JAIN TEMPLE?
As per a e-mail forwarded to us by koolsmart2002@yahoo.com, jainfriends@yahoogroups.com, it is an interesting piece of information that Chennai's famous St.Thomas Church was originally a Jain temple, which can be proved by Lord Mckenzies book in which he has written that it was a Jain temple originally and during British period it was taken over and converted to church, same way Kanchipuram's Kamatchi temple is Padmavati temple and thirthankaras idol is converted into Adi Sankaracharya to hide the facts, Madurai's Minakshi temple is also Padmavati temple, even there are many prooves that Madras's Mylapore temple is also Jain temple. There are many Jain temples which were converted into Hindu temples during 10th century by Hindu gurus. For more details, contact koolsmart2002@yahoo.com as they have the research findings available to confirm the facts. (This information is not verified by Ahimsa Foundation).

WAS FATEHPUR SIKRI BUILT BY AKBAR OVER HINDU AND JAIN TEMPLES? RESEARCH BY ASI CONFIRM THE BELIEF
NEW DELHI:

Did Akbar build Fathepur Sikri over a temple? According to the recent excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India, the heritage city not only rests over a temple, but the state of the idols excavated also point towards mutilation and defacement. According to D. V. Sharma, Superintending archaeologist, ASI "the fracture marks on the statues proves they were defaced by chisels and hammers and there is evidence of a demolition of a temple.'' Presenting the findings of his excavations in an illustrated talk here on Tuesday, Sharma showed slides of the remains of a temple under Bir Chhabili Tila, a mound near the monument along with the existence of a water palace under the Anup Talao, within the premises of the monument. The ASI team which began its excavation since December has discovered mutilated Jaina images, including the remains of a temple with rubber masonry and mud mortar walls measuring 1.35 metres in width.

More important is the discovery of an idol of Goddess Sarasvati with an inscription on its pedestal. According to Sharma, the sculpture, in a standing tribhanga posture, was fixed on a pedestal and was found damaged at its foot, placed with its face downwards near a wall. ``The circumstantial evidence, supported by the marks near the foot suggest that the believers tried to uproot and remove the sculpture in advance,'' says Sharma. The inscription dates back to 1010 A.D. and this statute ``in Jaisalmeri stone is quite unlike the usual murtis of Saraswati which are generally cast in marble,'' he explains.

Beneath the Anup Talao, the team has also found a huge jar, 12 feet high and 8 feet wide. ``We have named it Ganga Sagar, because it was used for storing Ganga water, during Akbar's time too,'' says Sharma. Matching the dramatic tenor of the ASI excavations was the reaction that followed the talk. Satish Grover, Professor School of Architecture and Planning wanted to know if the ASI had any policy on "ripping apart" ancient monuments which were part of the national heritage. "We all know that India is a rich and ancient country, built on layers and layers of civilisation. There could be a temple beneath the Taj Mahal too. Will the ASI dig that up too?'' he queried. Sharma however insisted, the effort was not to destroy the present heritage but only to find out the truth. "We are here to correct the interpretation of palaces and monuments, not to rip apart monuments,'' he elucidated. But the fact thet the matter had already become politicised was evident, when the Chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society, S P Gupta, circulated a paper on the excavations which concludes: "There is ample proof of (a) the destruction of the Jain temple, (b) the sculptures being vandalised without exception. There is no evidence of Hindu vandalism at the site. What is the other language of this destruction if not 'demolishing temples' by the muslims.'' A report from Nikhat Kazmi received through: Mahavir sanglikar E-Mail: msanglikar@yahoo.com

DEVLOK GAMAN
1. Aryika Munisuvrat Mata ji maharaj took samadhimaran on 1st February, 2003 at Kachner in Marathwada division of Maharashtra. She had stopped taking food and water since September last year.

2. Aryika Shri Prasadmati Mata Ji left for her heavenly abode at Salumber in Maharashtra on the 24th January, 2003.

AHIMSA TIMES INVITES NEWS CORRESPONDENTS FOR HELPING IN NEWS COLLECTION
We invite Jain volunteers from different geographical area to join the team of Ahimsa Times Correspondents. The interested readers may send their profile and a photograph to The Editor at E-Mail: ahimsa@jainsamaj.org.

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