Jain women to march in si­lence for holy moun­tain

Are de­mand­ing that the Jhark­hand govt de­clare it a place of wor­ship

Mid Day - - CITY - CHAITRALY DESH­MUKH chaitraly.desh­mukh@mid-day.com

PUNE: Women from the Jain com­mu­nity are plan­ning to take to the streets in protest to save Mount Shikharji, in Jhark­hand. The Jain com­mu­nity across the coun­try is plan­ning to come to­gether to ap­peal to save the moun­tain.

En­tan­gled in red tape

It has been three years and the Jhark­hand Chief Min­is­ter Raghubar Das’s com­mit­ments are still en­tan­gled in red tape and bu­reau­cracy, the com­mu­nity said, and there has been no for­mal ac­tion by the govern­ment to move the mat­ter fur­ther. The lack of ac­tion by the Jhark­hand govern­ment in declar­ing Shikharji ‘a place of wor­ship’ is lead­ing to the com­mer­cial ex­ploita­tion and un­planned, ram­pant ur­ban­i­sa­tion of the moun­tain, vi­o­lat­ing the spir­i­tual sanc­tity of the place, the com­mu­nity said.

On Satur­day, Jain women will be step­ping out in a silent protest. On Mon­day, the en­tire com­mu­nity mem­bers will take out a silent march in Pune city be­gin­ning 8.30 am from Oswal Bandhu Sa­maj area in Swar­gate till Coun­cil Hall in Pune.

Yo­gesh Par­mar, a Jain com­mu­nity mem­ber, said, “Save Shikharji is a not-for-profit move­ment to ex­pe­dite the ac­tion to save Shikharji. We want the Jhark­hand govern­ment to de­clare it as ‘a place of wor­ship’.

For a pos­i­tive life

He added, “Peo­ple who want to ex­pe­ri­ence spir­i­tual awak­en­ing and live a pos­i­tive, peace­ful life un­der­take the pil­grim­age on foot through the Mad­huban for­est, which is un­for­tu­nately be­ing ne­glected at the mo­ment and is at risk of be­ing com­mer­cially ex­ploited. We must act now to save it.”

An on­line pe­ti­tion, too, have been started called #SaveShikharji.

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