Jains Protest Nationwide Against Jharkhand Govt’s Anti-Jainism Decision
Jharkhand govt planned to convert Jain’s biggest Teerth Sammed Shikharji (on Parasnath Hills) into a tourist place, which will ruin its holiness for the sake of fun & entertainment.
Jains from all over the country will observe a one-day bandh on 21 December 2022 in protest at the Jharkhand government’s decision to make Shri Sammed Shikharji (one of the most important Jain pilgrimage centers in the country) an eco-tourism spot.
The Tourism Policy launched in July by the Jharkhand government, promoted religious tourism at Parasnath Hills.
This is the area that houses the revered Jain pilgrimage center from which 20 of the 24 Tirthankaras received salvation.
Each year, thousands of Jains travel from all over the globe to visit Parasnath Hills. To reach the summit, where 20 Tirthankaras are buried, the 27km long climb up the hills is required. The Santhal tribe considers the hills sacred and holds an annual festival in April.
The Jain community is worried that Shri Sammed Shikarji will be turned into a tourist attraction. They are afraid that this could jeopardize one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites that the Jains have guarded for thousands upon thousands of years.
On 21 December, thousands of Jains across India will observe a one-day protest against the Jharkhand government’s decision.
They also want to voice their disapproval of a regime that seeks to take religious heritage sites from a minority community which is only 0.4% of India’s population.
Members of the Jain Community marched from Gujarat to Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh and other states demanding that the Soren government reverse its decision to open Shri Sammed Shikharji pilgrimage to tourists.
The Jain community considers Parasnath Hill their most sacred place, and Teerth Sammed Shikharji is the largest.
Ironically, however, it has been declared a tourist spot by the Jharkhand Government. Tourists will be able to visit the holy site for entertainment and fun and ruin disturb the holiness.
“We appeal to the Government to withdraw its decision immediately and to ensure that the environment of the holy place is not disturbed by tourists,” a member of the Jain community participating in protests in Mysuru said.