Mahavir Jayanthi Celebrations at Bangalore - Injustice to Jains
Bangalore (Karnataka), 15 March 2010: While th entire world will celebrate Mahavira Jayanthi (Janmakalyanak) on 28th March 2010 with all the gatherings, processions, meetings and functions, the Jains of Bangalore might not be able to do that and might be restricted to having their celebrations only with in the four walls of the temple or their houses. This is because of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) elections that is scheduled to be held on the same day. The election conducting body in Karnataka the Election Commision of Karnataka and the BBMP have not taken Mahavir Jayanthi into consideration while declaring the dates for the elections. By this the Jains of Bangalore will be denied their right to vote under Indian constitution as they will be involved in religious celebrations.
At the same time as it is an election day in Bangalore , people will not be allowed to make gatherings, hold meetings and take out processions as per the election code of conduct. This is in denying the religious rights of the Jains on the biggest festival of the community. Mahavir Jayanthi is a declared holiday under the negotiable instruments act both by the Government of Karnataka and Government of India. As per the indian constitution elections cannot be conducted on such days as it will lead to denying the rights of the citizens.
Inspite of all the above facts the Election commission of Karnataka and the BBMP are moving ahead with conducting the elections. If it was a festival day for any other community might be the authorities would have thought twice before announcing the dates of the election and in every possibility they would not have move ahead with conducting the election.
Since Jains are a micro minority and not a deciding factor in the election process we have not been taken into consideration while deciding the dates of the elections. Adding to this as per the election proceedings there should be a gap of 10 days from the day of withdrawal of nominations and the date of elections. However as per the announced schedule there only a gap of 9 days between the two.
Taking the above points into consideration Jain Yuva Sangathan, All India Swethambar Jain Samaj and other Jain organisations have filed a public interst litigation in the High Court of Karnataka and have the made the Election Commissioner of Karnataka and Commissioner, BBMP as the respondents. According to the petitioner, their community constitutes 10 per cent of the population of Bengaluru and urged that no election should be conducted on general holidays.
During the Initial hearing a division bench headed by Justice V. Gopala Gowda dismissed the PIL stating that election to the civic body has been pending for almost four years and it is impossible to consider the plea when the SEC’s calendar of events for the polls is in motion. However, the court gave the Samaj the liberty to approach the SEC.
Another petition is pending for hearing and will come for hearing on 15th March 2010 at court hall no. 2 at the High Court of Karnataka. The Jain samaj in hoping to get some positive results.
In the mean time it is the duty of every Jain to rise to the occasion and support the petitoners to fight the case. Please send in your replies and words of support by replying at the following blog: http://justiceforjains.blogspot.com or by mail to justiceforjains@....
WWW.JAINHERITAGECENTRES.COM has a taken up this initiative to launch the above blog and support the petitioners in their fight for JUSTICE TO THE JAIN COMMUNITY. Special thanks Mr. Rajesh Bhantia , president of Jain Yuva Sanghatan for providing inputs to launch this blog.
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Please Note: This blog is not intended to instigate the religious feelings of any community nor is it against the feelings/sentiments of any community rather it is aimed at helping the Jains in getting justice and the support the people fighting out the case.