Moodbidri, popularly known as Jain Kashi, has raised a voice of dissent against state government’s plan to include Jain community into Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Act, 1997.
The town has shown clear resentment to the move of the religious endowments minister VS Acharya, on inclusion of various minorities under the Act.
“We are not Hindus and our temples do not have Hindu deities, there is no need to bring Jain temples under the Act. We understand Acharya’s statement had clarified that it is only for keeping an inventory of religious places under one umbrella, but I feel even that was not needed as we have a perfect inventory of our own,” said Bhattarka Charukiriti Panditacharyavarya of Jain mutt, Moodbidri.
Jitendra Kumar, president of the Karnataka Jaina Association, said: “Ethnically, historically, architecturally and scripturally, Jainism has been one of the oldest religions in the world. It’s separate, distinct, and is not an offshoot; neither is it a reformist school of thought nor is it a quintessence of Hindu religion.”
Jains have always claimed for themselves a degree of antiquity greater than that of any other religion. Various judgements of high courts and the apex court have clearly enunciated that Jains must be recognised as a religious minority distinct and separate from the Hindus.