Jains protest over Shri Sammed Shikharji

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Jains protest over Shri Sammed Shikharji

Recently, Jain communities across the country are protesting against the state (Jharkhand) government’s decision to declare Sammed Shikharji on Parasnath Parvat (hill) of Giridih district in Jharkhand as a tourist destination.

And at the same time they are demanding that it should be allowed to remain a “place of pilgrimage” as before.

Reason for protest by Jain community

  • They feel that this decision may change the demographic pattern of the audience in Sammed Shikharji.
  • The Jain society says that the sanctity of this place of worship will be disturbed if it is declared a tourist destination. Unethical activities like meat-eating and drinking will also increase here, which will hurt the spirit of non-violent Jain society.
  • The protesters demand that the Jharkhand government rescind its decision to promote Parasnath mountain “as part of ecotourism or any kind of tourism”.
  • Members of the Jain community have also placed their demands before the Prime Minister, urging them to put pressure on the state to withdraw its decision. Apart from this, the National Commission for Minorities has also written a letter to the Chief Secretary of Jharkhand taking cognizance of the matter.

Parasnath Sammed Shikharji –

  • The 1,350-metre-high Sammed Shikharji, or simply Shikharji, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Jains. It is believed that 20 of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras attained salvation here.
  • This hill is also named after the 23rd Tirthankar Parasnath. Every year thousands of Jain pilgrims from all over the world undertake the 27 km long trek to reach the summit.
  • According to the beliefs of the Jain community, Sammed Shikharji is ranked among Ashtapada, Girnar, Dilwara Temple of Mount Abu and Shatrunjaya as ‘Shwetambar Pancha Tirtha’ or the five major pilgrimage shrines.

Source – The Hindu

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