Recently, hundreds of people gathered at India Gate in New Delhi to protest against the Jharkhand government’s decision to declare Shri Sammed Shikharji, a holy site for Jains located in Giridih, as a tourist destination. The protesters were calling on the government to revoke their decision and instead declare Shikharji as a religious place, rather than a tourist spot.
The protesters argue that Shikharji is a place of great religious significance to the Jain community, as it is believed that 20 Tirthankaras, or spiritual leaders, attained moksha (liberation) at this site. The protesters believe that the government’s decision to declare Shikharji as a tourist spot is highly disrespectful and inappropriate, and is an affront to the Jain community’s religious beliefs.
The protest at India Gate was organized by members of the Jain community, who are calling on the Jharkhand government to reconsider their decision and instead recognize the religious importance of Shikharji. They are urging the government to revoke their decision and declare Shikharji as a place of religious importance, rather than a tourist destination.
Earlier this week, Union Minister Smriti Irani met with Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy to discuss the concerns of the Jain community regarding the holy site of Shri Sammed Shikharji in Jharkhand. Irani and Reddy reportedly discussed the Jains’ concerns and the current status of the situation. It is not currently clear what the outcome of this meeting was or what steps will be taken in response to the Jain community’s concerns.
The Jain community is a minority group in India, comprising just 0.5% of the country’s total population. Despite their small size, they have a significant impact on the nation’s economy. According to various sources on the internet, the Jain community is responsible for contributing 24% of India’s income tax collection. While they may not be a significant voting bloc, the Jains’ economic contributions should not be underestimated. Despite their minority status, the Jains have a strong presence in India and play a vital role in the nation’s financial stability.
It is important for the government and other decision-makers to take the concerns and needs of the Jain community into consideration when making policy decisions that may impact them.
Shri Sammed Shikharji is a venerated site of the Jain faith, believed by the community to be the location at which 20 Tirthankaras attained moksha, or spiritual liberation. As such, it is considered a sacred place of great religious importance, visited by believers on pilgrimages seeking spiritual enrichment and advancement. The site is also home to several temples and other religious structures, and serves as a center of worship and devotion for the Jain community.