Ahimsa Times 185, 2015-12

Published: 31.12.2015
Updated: 05.02.2016

Ahimsa Times



Patna: December 7th 2015: The Bihar state police recovered the stolen 2,600-year-old idol of Lord Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankar of the Jains, from a ditch next to the Jamui-Sikandra-Madhve Road around 6am. The dramatic recovery of the 250kg idol eight days after it went missing from a Jain temple at Lachchuar village, around 20km west of the Jamui district headquarters town, also raised eyebrows over the state government's decision to hand the case over to the CBI even before the state's own police force could finish investigations. A senior police officer said the police sought the help of some incarcerated Maoist leaders and gang lords to solve the idol theft case. "It was not possible to recover the precious idol in such a short period without the support of the Maoists, who have a strong presence in the area," the police officer, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Additional director-general of police (headquarters) Sunil Kumar confirmed that the cops had found the idol from a roadside ditch around 200km southeast of Patna. The thieves had abandoned the antique piece on the spot because of police pressure, he claimed. Sunil did not rule out the involvement of some insiders in the theft.

He said that the police had detained at least four members of the gang involved in the crime. "They provided vital clues in the case, which helped the police recover the stolen idol intact," he added. Khaira police station house officer Ramnath Rai said some local youngsters noticed the idol abandoned beside the road near Hussainganj Bichchawe village, around 5km northeast of the police station. He, however, denied initial reports that the thieves had escaped with the idol's diamond-studded mukut (crown). "It was a rumour," he said.

Considering the archaeological significance of the stolen statue and involvement of interstate gangs in such incidents, the state government had recommended a CBI probe on November 29. A CBI team led by a DIG-rank officer, Navin Singh, had visited Jamui and held a meeting with the officers concerned including the local police. As the news of the idol recovery spread, a number of Jains and local villagers reached the spot and started offering prayers. The police had a tough time dealing with the situation. It took several hours to load the statue onto a vehicle to bring it to the dharamshala in Lachchuar. Some followers were seen throwing currency notes in jubilation. The police said a sum of Rs 27 lakh was received as donation from the devotees during maha aarti of the deity after it was brought to Lachchuar. The deity will be under strict surveillance of the personnel of the special auxiliary police till its re-installation.

Jain community members hailed the idol recovery. Patna-Gujarati Samaj president Vipin Kothari said: "We thank Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the police for their initiatives to recover the priceless idol."


Ujjain: December 13th 2015: Niranjani Akhada has demanded demolition of a wall encroaching upon the land where the Sadhus of Anand and Niranjani Akhada will settle during the upcoming Simhastha fair. Sadhus of the akhada made it clear that the wall of the Mohankheda Jain trust encroaching upon the fair land of the Anand Akhada will be demolished.

The fair manager of the Niranjani akhada Mahant Ravindrapuri who recently reached the city for making the necessary preparations of the akhada told media persons that Anand Akhada and Niranjani akhada play in tandem and the wall of Mohankheda Jain trust is clearly encroaching upon the camping land of the Anand Akhada. The sanyasi said in Simhastha fair of 2004, a similar attempt was made by the community persons by building a temple on the land allotted to one of our sadhu Balakanand Giri, at that time the sadhu had spared them and allowed the temple to exist on condition that no further construction will be made.

But the trustees despite knowing the fact and condition that Mela act does not allows permanent construction over the fair reserved land, continued the construction and now have erected a wall. Not only the wall is illegal it is covering the akhada land is working as divider between the Anand and Niranjani Akhada. It is worth noting that the Anand Akhada and Niranjani akhada always work together and perform rituals in parallel.


Maharashtra: December 24th 2015: Maharashtra Government has approved a sum of Rs18.5 crore for "fast-track" development of civil works at the Mangi-Tungi hills of Nashik, where the tallest idol (108 feet) of Jains, Bhagwan Rishabhdev, is set to be installed on February 11.

The Rural Development Department, led by Minister Pankaja Munde, approved the initial funds of Rs18.5 crore for the civil work in the temple area spread in 100 acres. The expenses would cover construction of roads, electrification, sheds, toilets, lifts for devotees, CCTV network and one month's food bill for policemen who will be guarding the venue. Rs5 lakh is set aside for preparation of a helipad for VIPs.

It is noteworthy, Only 45 days are left for the month-long grand event which is expected to attract over 10 lakh devotees of the Digamber Jain community from across India. No civil work in the area has been initiated till now.

The government is expected to approve another Rs. 22 crore for the civil works in next few days. "Rs. 40 crore are required to carry out the required works, as per the plan submitted by the Nahsik District Collector," said a highly-placed official.

"No civil and developmental work has been initiated till now from the administration. According to Ravindrakirti Swami, President of Bhagwan Rishabhdev Murti Nirman Kameti Mangitungi it is expected that the process would be fast-tracked and completed in time."

According to Ravindrakirti Swamiji, the Murti Pranpratishtha is slated from 11-17 February and Abhishek will be held from 18 February to 6 March.

A 108 foot high idol of Rishabhdev, which is the highest Jain idol in the world, is being carved from a single stone here at the 2,500ft high hill. This is also called "Statue of Ahimsa". Idol is being constructed by the community. Mangi-Tungi are two hills of Sahyadri ranges and are known for Jain pilgrimage "Shri Digambar Jain Siddhakshetra". There are many temples of Jain Tirthankaras located in this area. The place is also said to be related to Lord Rama and Sita, Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balarama. There is a cave named Balbhadra cave where idols of Balarama and many others are installed.


On December 14th 2015: A fifteen member delegation of all India Jain community comprising members of the Anandji - Kalyanji Trust, Ahmedabad, and President of Jain Swetamber Society Lacchwar / Parasnath urged the Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar to make a blue print to develop the entire region adjacent to the ancient Mahavir temple at Lachhuar in Jamui district, the birthplace of Lord Mahavira. According to a rough estimate around 4-5 lakh pilgrims visit this place each year.

In this connection delegation members made a request to the CM to visit the temple which according to delegates, he agreed to visit the temple. The delegation also thanked the CM for the government initiative/ action in recovering idol of Lord Mahavira. Finally the idol installed again in the temple at Lacchuar village between 9 to 10 am, in presence of Jain community.

The delegation in its memorandum to the CM Nitish Kumar urged him to make wider road leading to the main hill name 'Kshatrikund' Lacchuar from where idol was stolen. The delegation also demanded the wider road from Jamui main station to Lacchuar via Sikandara approaching the main temple / dharamshala. In the memorandum submitted to the CM also mentioned about the security to the pilgrimage and to establish the Police checkpost near to the Dharamshala and also at the hill. The delegation also urged to the CM to provide the adequate land at Patna near to the airport / railway station for making the Pilgrimage rest house for all the Jain pilgrimage passing through Patna for covering the Jain Circuit and in and around Bihar. There is also an urgent need to proper electricity connectivity to the Hill and its pathways area and also in the temple / Dharamshala at Lacchuar village. Well equipped hospital / medical care centre for the pilgrimage and the villagers which is utmost important, Jain said who was also the part of the delegation of the Jain community. The delegation was led by Ravishakar Prasad, Bihar foundation Mumbai chapter co-ordinator.

On the way to the hill there are two more temple. The 20 km journey from the hill from Lacchuar is one and half hour. Most of the pilgrimages goes by foot and the doli. The present motorable road to the hill is very narrow and dangerous. The year 2001 with the help of Jaina foundation USA the Veerayatan established full fledge school at Lacchuar name Tirthankar Mahaveer Vidya Mandir which has around 1000 students from surrounding village. The school campus is very well designed and fully equipped with classroom, playground, library and rendering its services.

According to Pradip Jain, Secretary Jain Sangh Patna, "the idol has temporarily been installed at Lachhuar temple now. There are major plan to refurbish the existing temple at hill Kshatriyakund. The Idol was in the main temple at the hill 'Kshatriyakund" at Lacchuar which is the birth place of Lord Mahavira. Now the Jain community has decided to rebuilt the main Jain temple at the hill which will take around a year time than to re-install the idol at the same place from where it was stolen originally."



Karnataka: December 5th 2015 Tension prevails in the tourist town of Bagalkote in central Karnataka after the district administration evicted Jain saints from the historic Bhadragiri Hills.

The Bagalkote district administration had contended that Jain institutions had encroached upon government land atop the Bhadragiri Hills, which are considered pilgrimage centre for the Jains. Administration also demolished the structures put up by the saints and evicted them.

"Bhadragiri Hills are Jain pilgrimage centre, as Jain saints have settled atop them since the 4th century. There is historical evidence to support this and negotiations with the government over possession of the land were on. Administration cannot take a one-sided decision overnight and evict Jain saints."


November 30th 2015: Amid controversy involved around cremation of the Jain Saint, the community people organized the cremation ceremony of the Saint Muni Ganesh Ji Maharaj at Basti Area of Chitrakut Nagar. A huge police force was deployed to handle the sensitive matter which regulated the mass procession.

This is the second incidence in the city where a Jain Saint was cremated at a residential area. Prior to him, another Jain Saint Devendra Muni had been cremated in a residential area. The same customs were carried out today as well for the final ceremony. The body of the Jain Saint was kept in a palanquin decorated with flowers. Along the way, the community members showered gulal and coins. People from various cities including Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Malkapur Shirdi, Delhi, Pune etc. gathered to pay tribute to the great saint.

Meanwhile, a group of protesters including Ganpat Agrawal, Shiv Pratap Chauhan and Rajesh Garg etc. reached the collectorate office protesting the cremation at residential area. The group met the administrative officers who stated that the land used for cremation belongs to Jain community who do not have any objection.

Later, the protesters met Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria regarding the same issue. They objected the cremation of body at residential area where even commercial activities are not allowed to take place. In the light of protest, ADM City O. P Bunker was present along with huge police force during procession and cremation.



Ahmedabad: December 1st 2015: The real dirt of India lies not on the streets but in "our minds and in our unwillingness to let go of views that divide society into them and us", President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Tuesday, Dec 1 emphasising on cleansing minds of divisive thoughts.

Speaking at a function in Sabarmati Ashram here, Mukherjee cited Gandhiji's vision of India as an inclusive nation where every section of population lived in equality and enjoyed equal opportunity and said the essence of being human is "our trust of each other".

"Every day, we see unprecedented violence all around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust. While we invent new modes of combating this ever spiralling violence, we must not forget the power of non-violence, dialogue and reason," he said. Mukherjee has been speaking against intolerance after the Dadri lynching incident and subsequent events. He said Ahimsa (or non-violence) is not a negative force and "we must free our public discourse of all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal.

Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalised and the dispossessed in our democratic process." The President said Gandhiji gave us an object lesson in Ahimsa by taking the assassin's bullets with the name of Rama on his lips. Inaugurating the Archives and Research Centre at the Ashram, he said the real dirt of India lies not in our streets but in our minds and in our unwillingness to let go of views that divide society into 'them' and 'us', 'pure' and 'impure'. "We must make a success of the laudable and welcome Swachh Bharat Mission.However, this also must be seen as just the beginning of a much larger and intense effort to cleanse minds and fulfill Gandhiji's vision in all its aspects," said Mukherjee, who was on three-day maiden visit to Gujarat. He said, "So long as the dehumanising practice of carrying night soil persists, we cannot have real Swacch Bharat".


December 15th 2015: The Bombay High Court has directed the state government to frame a policy as regards to the two-day meat ban and closure of abattoirs during the Jain festival of 'Paryushan' each year.

Additional government pleader JS Saluja said that the court has given us time to frame a policy and till then continue the stay imposed by it regarding the ban on sale of meat during the two days of the festival. He said that the policy would allow the abattoir at Deonar to remain open during the two-day ban and sell meat. It would explain under what provisions of law the state has taken this decision to impose the ban. According to the state government notification, issued in the year 2004, a two-day ban was imposed on sale of meat and closure of abattoirs. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its circular, issued on September 1, had stated that the sale of meat and slaughtering at abattoirs would be banned on four days - September 10, 13, 17 and 18 - in the city.

The Shiv Sena and MNS put up a strong resistance, terming the ban as a BJP-imposed one. Meanwhile, the Bombay Mutton Dealers' Association, challenged the BMC decision in the high court. The civic body then withdrew its circular and the only thing pending before the court was the challenge to the two-day ban imposed by the state government. The petitioners had claimed that the decision is unconstitutional and favours only a small percentage of the population, besides going against the secular fabric of the country.



External affairs Minister of India Mrs. Sushma Swaraj releasing the Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti ‘Ahwaan’ magazine in the auspicious presence of Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni said that India has always favoured Non-vilolence, Peace and Tolerance, calling India intolerance is not correct. She said that Indian Culture is based on the concept of Unity in Diversity and inter-religion harmony is its key principal.

We can establish peace in the society and go ahead with development by following the values of Inter religion harmony, mutual brotherhood, Humanity. Mrs. Swaraj appreciating efforts of Acharya Lokesh Muni to establish Non-violence in Peace in the society said that saints have important role in establishment of peace and harmony in the society. Non-violence and Peace is the only path which can make this world a better place to live in.

Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni on the occasion said that adapting the path of non-violence many global problems can be solved. World is presently faced with terrorism, war and violence, humanity needs non violence. Bhagwan Mahavir in his teachings said that we should adapt the principals of non-violence in our everyday life. We should respect others believes and traditions along with our own believes and traditions. Acharya Lokesh further said that in order to find effective remedy one has to go deep in pinpointing causes of happenings. War and violence first germinate in human brain cells Physiognomy of human brain is in two hemispheres. Reasoning and logical thinking is processed in the Left hemisphere of the human brain and right hemisphere nourishes emotions and empathy. Our Saints, Philosophers and Tirthankars gave this fact thousands of years back.

On the occasion Chairman of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Shri Paramjeet Singh Chandok, Youth Journalist Shri Bhavya Shrivastava expressing their views on the occasion discussed role of Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni and Indian delegation at Parliament of World’s Religions 2015 organised in USA. In Parliament of World’s Religions 2015 around 10000 representatives from 80 countries participated.


New Delhi: Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni addressing Humanity, Power and Spirituality World Conference said that Swaraj can be achieved by spirituality and self management. The energy received from spirituality can help in managing cut-throat competition, jealousy and mutual conflicts in the society. He emphasised the amalgamation of science, business, religion and spirituality. He appealed to the corporate world to create an environment of spirituality and use is to remove social evils from the society. He said that Swacch Bharat mission cannot be achieved without spirituality. In the Swacch Bharat conference organised at Le Meridian by Assocham, Times Foundation and Srei Foundation many eminent industrialists, politicians, and spiritual leaders came together on one platform.

Governor of Tripura Shri Thathagata Roy in his address said that Swacch Bharat is our endeavour to seek inner truth by cleansing our soul and orienting our minds towards positive and healthy thinking. We are honouring enterprises that they create an environment of spirituality in the organisations. This will help employees to work with the right attitude, promotes team spirit, devotion to work and boosts self-confidence.  The Swacch Bharat and Swasth Bharat missions will be incomplete without a Swacch Bharat. We have to introduce spirituality in our workplace and incorporated them in our day-to-day activities. Deputy President of Assocham Mr. Mahesh Gupta welcomed the guest and speakers at the session.


‘Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery’ was signed in a program organised by Global Freedom Network at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre. Chairman of Global Freedom Network Mr. Andrew Forrest welcoming the dignitaries said that world religious leaders gathered on one platform to raise the standard of spiritual values, their joint efforts, libratory vision, to eradicate modern slavery, poverty and child labour from the planet. They gave the message to the humanity to end all kinds of exploitation of men, women and children.

Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni narrating the story of Sadhvi Chandan Bala who was a slave and Bhagwan Mahavir 2600 years back gave her Jain Diksha and made her the head of 36000 Sadhvis said that 24th Tirthankar of Jain religion Bhagwan Mahavir had given 12 Anuvrat Principals for healthy society. These principals are very relevant and useful for establishment of healthy society and developed world. The eighth Anuvrat principal is ‘अनर्थ दण्ड विरमण व्रत’ that means ‘going against human rights and freedom of living beings you should not enslave anyone.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, world famous spiritual leader and founder of Art of living on the historic occasion said that every human being is a free person destined to live in equality and fraternity. We have to work together for peaceful coexistence in the society for that no one should be enslaved. Swamy Chidanand Saraswati of Parmath Niketan Rishikesh said that modern slavery exists in form of   Bonded labour, Child slavery, Early and forced marriage, women forced into Forced labour, Descent-based slavery, Trafficking,  sale of organs, drug abuse etc. We have to work together against all these. Imam Dr. Mufti Mohammad Mukkaram of Fatehpuri Masjid, Jathedar Avtar Singh Ji, Father Ismalekar, Dr. M.L. Verma and other prominent interfaith leaders also expressed views on the occasion.

On International Human Right Day founder of Ahimsa Viswa Bharti Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni was honoured with “GLOBAL AMBASSADOR OF PEACE” award for outstanding contribution in the field of Peace, Harmony, Protecting and promoting Human Rights, Liberties, Social Justice and Service to Humanity.

Acharya Lokesh Muni addressing the International Human Rights Awards said that every person, and all people, are equal and must be accorded the same freedom and the same dignity. We have to work together for peaceful coexistence in the society. Talking about protecting human rights he said that for establishment of healthy society and developed world no one should go against human rights and freedom of living beings you should not enslave or hurt anyone.  We should respect others freedom and thoughts along with respecting our own freedom and thoughts. Talking about World Peace and Harmony he said that before achieving world peace individual’s peace of mind has to be achieved. Peace of mind and satisfaction can be achieved by adapting the path spirituality and religion. Presently the whole world is faced with the problems like war, terrorism and violence. Human is killing human. There is a need for humans to respect each other.


President Pranab Mukherjee during the inauguration of first ever World Indology Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan, November 21, 2015.

In a first of its kind the President of India Sri Pranab Mukherjee organized World Indology Conference from November 21st to 23rd 2015 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi.

During the Conference 29 Indologists from across the world, out of which eight were Indian, participated and stayed at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

On this occasion the President conferred "Distinguished Indologist Award” upon Heinrich von Stietencron, Emeritus, Department of Indology, Tubingen University, Germany on the very first day of the event. Indology is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literatures of the Indian subcontinent and includes study of Sanskrit literature.


International School the jain Studies, Delhi in collaboration with I.oyola Marymount University, USA, National Law University, Delhi, University of Madras, Chennai, Teerthankar Mahaveer University, Moradabad will convene an international seminar on Sallekhana / Santhara / Samadhimarana / Prayopavesha (Peaceful and Pious Death).

The Seminar will be held at different venues and dates at University of Madras on February 18-19th, 2016, at NUL on February 26-27th, and at TMU on March 5th, 2016. These seminars will try to develop clear thoughts on definitions of Santhara and their equivalents in Hinduism, Buddhism, its practice, confusion with suicide, legal interpretations, medical, social and political applications. etc. Prof. C. K. Chapple, Dr. Jayandra Soni, Dr. Whitny Braun, Dr. Nitin Shah, Prof. Gary L. Francione, Mr. P. Bilimoria, Dr. Sean Hillman, Dr. M. Singhavi, Dr. D. S. Baya, Shri D. R. Mehta, Justice (Retd.) P. C. Jam, Prof. Priyadarshana Jain, Dr. Shugan C. Jain and Dr. K. Gangwal have already confirmed their participation. For details visit www.isjs.in or write to issjs_india[at]yahoo.co.in


Mumbai: December 8th 2015: The youth and women's wings of Akhila Karnataka Jain Sangha jointly held an annual day sports meet at Urban Sports Club, Thane on Sunday, Dec 6.

A large number of community members participated in the sports events and celebrated the day. Sangha vice president Prabhakar Hegde, honorary secretary Pavananjay Ballal, joint secretary Raghuveer Hegde, Manish Hegde, treasurer Ananthraj Jain, joint treasurer Sampath Jain and other office bearers handed over sports lanterns to women's wing president Kavitha Jain, vice president Shantala Hegde, secretary Jyothi Jain and joint secretary Supriya Hegde.

Youth wing president Bharath Raj Jain, secretary Sooraj Jain, Vice President Pavithra Jain, Joint Secretary Soumya Jain handed over the lantern to the children of the community. Competitions in throwball, cricket, tug of war, sack race, football, children's race etc were held in the day. The programme concluded with distribution of prizes. Raghuveer Hegde compered the programme. Bharathraj Jain proposed the vote of thanks.


Sonagiri: Gyansagar Foundation organised its fourth International Science Conference at Sonagiri (District Datiya, MP) on 5th-6th December, 2015. The conference was attended by over forty scientist from six countries.

The Chief Guest of the conference was former Chief of ISRO, Padam Shri Dr. S. K. Shiv Kumar. The two day event was divided over eleven technical sessions and thirty two technical papers were presented. The presentation subjects included Jain Mathematics, Psychology, Non-violence, Vegetable diet, Meditation, Agriculture, Religion, Literature, Environment etc.

The conference also honoured Dr. D. C. Jain, the recognised Neurologist, Delhi with Jain Lauriot award. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs and a citation. Dr. D. C. Jain is giving his services for over 35 years. He has served as Head of Neurology Department at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and also Head of Health Services of Delhi Government.

He is crusader of vegetarianism and non-violence. He has been organising Mega conferences and awareness programmes for better human life.

He is known for his simplicity and strict ritualistic and religious compliances in daily life. Chief Guest Dr. Shiv Kumar in his address to delegates mentioned that, space scientist are fed with only vegetarian diet as this is the only food for good mental health. For better concentration Yoga practices are also mandatory. Organisers also honoured Dr. Shiv Kumar with "Man of Century Award".

Addressing the conclave Acharya Gyansagar ji Maharaj explained the need for science to penetrate in human life for its betterment. He said Lord Mahavir was a scientist and his theories are being accepted today by the world at large.

The conclave was addressed by Dr. Anupam Jain, Dr. Kalyanmal Gangwal, Dr. Neelam Jain (Pune), Dr. Jeevraj Jain, Dr. P. C. Kanthaliya, Dr. Rajesh Jain, Dr. Varsha Shah, Dr. Chakresh Jain, Dr. Kokila Shah, Dr. Madanlal Modi, Prof. Sudeep Jain, Dr. Renuka Jain, Prof. S. L. Godawat, Prof. N. L. Kachara, Dr. L. C. Jain, Dr. Ashutosh Mehta, Dr. M. K. Mehta, Dr. S. P. Jain, Dr. G. C. Jain, Dr. Hansa Shah, Ajit Benari, Dr. Vidhi Jain and many more.


Jodhpur: December 24th 2015: The two-day Ranakpur Mahotsav ended with mellifluous Indian classical and Rajasthani folk music. The world-famous Ranakpur Jain temple of 15th century came alive with various performances by folk artisans.

The day opened with a yoga session blended with musical notes. The second day of the mahotsav witnessed adventurous activities along with slew of performances by the Indian classical and folk performers of the state. The two-day mahotsav that ended on 22nd December, 2015 had begun with a yoga session and nature's walk.

The main attractions of the event were floating lamps at the historic Nirvana lake in Ranakpur, which saw participation by the locals as well as the foreign tourists.

The main podium of the 13th century Sun temple came alive with Kathak, sufi, Rajasthani rap and other performances like Kalbeliya dance etc. Another attraction of the event was horse show, where horses participated in various activities and the best performing horses were felicitated by the district administration.



December 8th 2015: The government has imparted training to more than 1.57 lakh women under Nai Roshni, a leadership development scheme for minority women, since its inception three years ago, as informed to the Rajya Sabha. Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in response to questions on the number of beneficiaries of the scheme, said a total of 1,57,823 women belonging to minority communities were imparted training.

Naqvi said that in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15, the government trained 34,473, 56,175 and 67,175 women, respectively, from six minority communities -- Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain. The minister said the programme provides for one-week training (both non-residential and residential), followed by "handholding" for a period of a year. "The training is provided on various modules covering issues like leadership of women through participation in decision-making, educational programmes for women, health and hygiene, legal rights for women, financial literacy, digital literacy, swachh bharat, life skills and advocacy for social and behavioural change," he added.

Facilitators from scheme-implementing agencies assist women post-training too, during their projects, he said. Women between the age group of 18 and 65 years are eligible to get trained under the scheme. There is no annual income bar, however, women having an annual income less than Rs 2.5 lakh from all sources are given preferences in selection. The minister also clarified that aspiring candidates need not apply online for availing benefits under the scheme.


New Delhi: December 4th 2015: In a rare and noble gesture, 32 members of a single Jain family of Balod district, Chhattisgarh, have pledged their bodies and organs for donation after their death. Their deed, which can give life to nearly 216 people, has created a record of sorts and earned an entry in to the pages of Golden Book of World Records (GBWR), an International Book that records rare feats. In a state like Chhattisgarh, where body donation is still considered a taboo by many, the pledge by 32 members of Mool Chand Jain and his family is unparalleled, as only 95 bodies have been donated in the last seven years. Jain family's gesture has given a light of hope to various NGOs and organisations involved in the campaign for body donations, as they hope that this act would motivate people to follow suit.

Mool Chand Jain hails from Balod and works as an energy auditor with National Mission on Climate Change. Their decision to donate their bodies is borne from their desire to do something good work for society. "If my family and I can prove useful to people ever after our death, our souls will get peace", he said.

Admitting that many in their community are surprised by their decision, as majority of people still feel that a proper ritualised burial is must for the peace of soul. But according to Moolchand, "these are irrational logics, as there is nothing more important than giving life to someone else". Incidentally, while the oldest members in the Jain family who has pledged his body in 74 years old, the youngest is 19 year old. National Head Of Golden book of World Record, Dr Manish Vishnoi, confirmed that this is the first largest body donation by a single family with 32 members taking the pledge. "We have searched our database and very soon we would issue the certificate for their rare achievement to them." Prem Chabra of Badhte Kadam, another NGO involved in body donation campaign, said the number of body donations has increased in the past few years and around 20 bodies have been donated since January this year. He said in last 7 years, 95 bodies were donated by the people of Chhattisgarh.


Bangalore: December 10th 2015: American private equity investor KKR & Co has inked a Rs 390-crore financing deal with Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College Education Trust, which manages higher education campuses of the Bangalore-based Jain Group of Institutions.

The long-term debt financing from KKR marks the entry of marquee global investors into local education trusts, a space till recently dominated by traditional lenders. KKR India, through its NBFC unit, will help the Jain college education trust repair its balance sheet and fund expansion plans. The 25-year-old Jain Group of Institutions operates 85 educational institutes with 51,600 students and 6,450 employees, who are engaged at the K-12, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The trust has incubated more than 50 ventures and 100 entrepreneurs as part of its efforts to promote innovation in campuses. The Chenraj Roychand-backed Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College Education Trust has expanded the campuses aggressively in recent years on debt financing. KKR will emerge as the main lender with muscle to fuel future growth. KKR has extended debt financing to mid-market Indian entrepreneurs seeking capital to expand businesses. It runs separate units for private equity and real estate investments. India's education sector, mostly run through trusts, has presented both opportunities and challenges for investors. Most global investors stayed away from the sectors because of the not-for-profit trusts, which controlled the campuses. Sector experts said KKR's financing deal is a significant development that will be closely tracked by industry peers.


December 19th 2015: Legend has it that nearly 300 years ago Manikchand, a Jain merchant who had come from the deserts of Rajasthan to the fertile lands of Bengal, encouraged Murshid Quli Khan to become the first Nawab of Bengal.  At Manikchand’s suggestion he left Dhaka and establish a city bearing his own name by the banks of the Hooghly. So it was that the village of Maksudabad became the city of Murshidabad, and Manikchand became the Nawab’s personal banker. Murshidabad was established in 1717 and Manikchand became its first Diwan, acquiring the title ‘Jagat Seth’ (banker of the world). This is where Sheherwali culture began.

On the invitation of Manikchand, a number of Jain merchant families migrated to Murshidabad and the nearby twin cities of Azimganj and Ziaganjj. Thus, the Dugars, Dudhorias, Nahars, Nowlakhas, Singhis, Kotharis and many such families settled in the region and started adopting the local ways of living, including food, attire, customs and language, evolving as a community distinct from the Marwaris. The name Sheherwalis came from the fact that they were itinerant traders who moved from town to town.

Sheherwalis were prudent investors and made a lot of money. Over the years, they emerged as one of the wealthiest communities of Bengal, and lived in huge mansions designed by architects from England and France. The architecture of the 14 Jain temples in Murshidabad, constructed by the members of the community, also points to the community’s rich cultural heritage. “They were essentially bankers who introduced a system of doing transaction with hundis, or promissory notes, instead of actual money. It should be remembered that the entire revenue from Bengal, the most prosperous province during the time, was sent to the Mughal Emperor through such hundis and was worth 20 million silver coins. Manikchand made a lot of money in the process. Jains owned grand mansions designed by architects from England and France.

The Sheherwali community soon became the region’s chief moneylenders. Documents show that ‘Prince’ Dwarakanath Tagore had borrowed money from the Sheherwalis, who also financed companies from France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain, as well as Indian Nawabs. The community was instrumental in setting up one of the region’s first jute mills and headed prominent business associations in Bengal. Their investments spread across practically all fields of business, and with the wealth accumulated, they undertook philanthropic works, setting up hospitals, schools and colleges in Murshidabad.

Bengal also influenced the attire of the Sheherwali community. The men replaced bagas with simple kurta and dhotis. And the colourful pagri (headgear) from Rajashtan was replaced by pagris resembling those wore by Bengalis like Raja Rammohan Roy, with mojris replaced by pump shoes. Women also switched from traditional lehengas and odhanas to sarees but evolved their own style of draping it. And it is widely believed that the Sheherwalis, with their belief in non-violence, developed the concept of ahinsak or non-violent silk hundreds of years ago.

After partition, the community migrated from Murshidabad to different parts of the country and even outside. The number of Sheherwalis now in Kolkata would only be a few thousands.” In 2010, community, established Murshidabad Heritage Development Society to revive the heritage of the Sheherwalis. The community is now trying to reacquaint the younger generation with their traditions and culture. And their 300-year-old history.


Hyderabad: December 15th 2015: Andhra Pradesh government has allotted over 623 acres of land to Jain Irrigation Systems for setting up an integrated agriculture and horticulture park in Kurnool district of the state.

"The government after careful examination of the matter and after due examination of the report submitted by the VC&MD, APIIC... hereby accord permission to APIIC Limited for the allotment of the land of an extent of 623.40 acre Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd at Thangadancha Village, Jupadu Bangalow Mandal, Kurnool district on lease basis for 99 years," the government order said.


In the United States of America, a FBI report says hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise. While number of hate crimes against Muslims is relatively small, it has gone up over the last year, according to new data the FBI released.

Hate crimes in all other categories went down; attacks on Muslims bucked the trend. In 2014, of the 1,092 reported hate crimes related to anti-religious sentiment, 16.3 percent were anti-Muslim-a total of 154 incidents and 184 victims. In contrast, in 2013, there were 135 reported anti-Muslim incidents with 167 victims. That said, the United States of America continues to look “Tolerant”.


December 26, 2015: India's national airline Air India stirred up a controversy when it announced that it would be serving hot vegetarian meals on flights 61-90 minutes long on the domestic sector. The move met with a lot of criticism on social media, with frequent flyers blaming the airline for appeasing "political masters".

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote on the micro-blogging website: "Pray tell why? I'm trying hard to understand the logic of this decision but I'm really struggling." All this because it was perceived that non-vegetarian food has been taken off the menu. An airline official even issued a statement, saying "in the time available for service (on short-duration flights), it is not possible for us to juggle passenger choices' of meals. As a non-vegetarian can have a vegetarian meal but not the other way round, the decision was logical". It was only much later that an official clarification was released. "It has been misinterpreted. The real truth is that in short halt flights where the time span is between 60-90 minutes, we used to serve sandwiches and snacks, which used to be vegetarian. Only thing was that there was a long demand that there should be some hot food as well," India's Minister of State for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said. Air India's move comes at a time when several airlines the world over are offering vegetarian meals regularly as part of their menu.



December 23rd 2015: President Barack Obama will felicitate a 65-year-old Indian-American professor at the Harvard Medical School with the highest honours in USA for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of Science and Technology. Dr. Rakesh K Jain, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus and professor of Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School, will receive the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony early next year.

Dr. Jain is among the nine latest recipients of the National Medal of Science. Eight persons have been chosen for the latest National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Dr. Jain has received numerous awards for his work on tumor biology, particularly research on the link between tumor blood vessels and improving the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He received his B.Tech degree from the IIT-Kanpur in Chemical Engineering in 1972. The National Medal of Science was created by US statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.


December 12th 2015: The 'National awards for Excellence in Real Estate & Infrastructure 2015' presented by Lokmat Publications saw the most coveted leaders and influencers come together. The impeccably organised event at Taj Lands End was well received.

Mr. Shubham Jain, the Director of JP Infra was conferred the prestigious title by the World Marketing Congress. Honouring the same, Mr. Jain expressed deep gratitude to the jury and the fraternity. On asking about the importance of the award, Mr. Shubham Jain stated,

"It is indeed a honour to be nominated for this award and winning the same is overwhelming. Receiving the award at the age of 27 indicates the amount of seeding and raising I have received. I would like to thank my family, my parents and all the people who have sticked by me in all my endeavours. The award fortifies my belief and inspires me to keep doing things right and tread on the journey towards excellence."


New Delhi: December 15th 2015: Senior Revenue Service Officer A. K. Jain has been appointed Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, the apex policy making body of Income Tax department. A. K. Jain, a 1978 batch Indian Revenue Services officer, was made acting Chairman of the board following superannuation of Anita Kapur on November 30.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Jain as CBDT Chairman, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said. He will have short tenure of two months, till January 2016, officials said. A. K. Jain is also holding additional charge of Member (Personnel and Vigilance) in the CBDT.



By Philip Carr-Gomm

Ever since scholars in the 17th century began to explore resemblances between European and Indian languages, the similarities between Celtic and Indian cultures, and Druidic and Vedic cultures has been noted.

These theories were developed in the 1940s by scholars such as Georges Dumezil who accumulated a considerable body of evidence to support the theory that Indo-Europeans, originating in the Caucausus region, had migrated west and east, taking with them the same tripartite social structure and use of iron and the horse. Here we take another approach which explores parallels between the Celtic culture of the Druids and the earlier pre-Vedic civilisation of the Indus Valley and with the religion of Jainism.

The following essay should be treated as a tentative exploratory document, as notes from the beginning of a study of the resonances and connections between two of the world’s oldest religions. The word ‘resonance’ is used because we are dealing with two systems that are so far apart geographically, and whose origins are now both so far away in time, it is difficult to determine facts with the degree of accuracy demanded by the historian. And so, although we will be exploring this subject partly from a historical viewpoint, I hope we can also approach the relationship between the two systems from the point of view of the artist, the bard and mythographer who, like the mystic, senses connections which transcend time and space. Click Here to Read Further........................................



Dr. Narendra P. Jain was born on 21st December 1930, and passed away on November 23, 2015 in Indore, India. He was educated at the University of Bombay, India and University of Cambridge, U. K. Dr. N. P. Jain was a distinguished Indian Diplomat for thirty six years vintage who had been India’s Ambassador to Nepal, European Union, U.N., Belgium, and Mexico apart from Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. In 1967, he joined the Ministry of Commerce as Director, overseeing trade and economic relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. During 1974 to 1979, he was the Joint Secretary and later Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. In 1985, the Mexican Academy of International Law and Diplomacy honored him with a doctorate in International Relations.

In his post-retirement years spent in Indore, Dr. Jain advised leading Indian corporations in steel, hydroelectric power, banking and agriculture economy sectors besides being a member of the 60-person Think Tank at the UN Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. He was a globally oriented economist and environmentalist who made recommendations on integrating environmental factors to sustainably develop the world economy. He was a scholar, poet, and a published author who wrote several books including his autobiography in Hindi, ‘’Jeena Isi Kaa Naam Hai’’ in 2015. He used his knowledge and skill sets for promoting higher education in India and abroad, including International School for Jain Studies. In June 2015, he lectured at the University of California, Riverside on ‘’Emerging Dimensions of Human Resource Management.”

From childhood, he was engrossed in learning about Jainism, and lived its core principles such as communicating the truth, adhering to non-violence, promoting peace, and practicing forgiveness. He was an articulate orator on Jain religion and philosophy. He was the chief guest at the World Jain Congress held at Leicester in U. K. in June 1988. Dr. Jain was on the steering committee of the World Forum of Jains, a key note speaker at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993, and an active participant in the UN Millennium Summit of Spiritual Leaders in New York in 2000. Dr. Jain along with Late Dr. L. M. Singhvi attended the 2007 JAINA Convention in Edison, NJ, and inspired JAINA to take the lead in convening Jain Diaspora Conferences at each future JAINA Convention by inviting leaders of Jain communities in over 35 countries to share common concerns. His urging helped nurture the concept of the Global Jain/world citizen who exemplifies the Jain Way of Life through engagement in international humanitarian service.

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