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On My Radar: Jains Don’t Want Their Holy Shrine To Be A Tourist Spot

NewsOn My Radar: Jains Don’t Want Their Holy Shrine To Be A Tourist Spot

Jains Don’t Want Their Holy Shrine To Be A Tourist Spot
Tourism helps in the development of the economy and infrastructure. But the Jain community has been protesting across the country against their main religious shrine Sammed Shikharji in Jharkhand’s Girdih district having been listed as a “tourist destination”. Atop Parasnath Hill, Sammed Shikharji, is considered to be the biggest pilgrimage site by both the Digambar and Svetambar sects of the Jains. Sammed Shikhar falls in the eco-sensitive zone of Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary. Jains are a small minority but influential business community, about one per cent of the country’s population. Reacting to the protests, the Modi government has halted all activities in the larger Parasnath Hills sanctuary. It has asked the Jharkhand government to act strictly against banned practices such as consumption of liquor or “defiling of sites of religious and cultural significance” or damage to the ecology. Members of the Jain community say that any tourism activity will hurt the shrine’s sacredness. “We want ‘development’ of the religious shrine area and everyone is welcome to visit it, but we do not want this area to become a ‘tourist spot’ as it would bring in all kinds of food stalls, including non-veg, and activities, and this would spoil the shrine’s holiness and hurt our religious feelings,” J.K. Jain, former Congress Rajya Sabha Member, who is closely associated with the Jain community’s religious institutions across the country, told The Sunday Guardian. Jain community leaders somedays ago met Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav and told him that they fear that designating the place as a “tourist destination” may “hurt its sanctity”.The Union Environment Ministry has now asked the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress government to suggest how it can be “modified”. The National Commission for Minorities has taken note of the issue and will meet on 17 January to make recommendations to Central and Jharkhand governments.

ICCR To Offer Music Classes To Foreigners Abroad
Indian dance and music is getting popular among foreigners–thanks to a great extent to Bollywood. But the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is concerned about “distortions” as there is a mushroom growth of training centres in many countries. The ICCR is, therefore, thinking of become an “accrediting agency” to ensure “authentic knowledge” to foreigners.To test this idea, the ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has started a programme to offer classes at many of its 37 centres abroad. Some days ago, the ICCR organised a joint performance of the winners of the Pratibha Sangam, a first-of-its-kind competition in seven genres in which about 270 young artistes from 25 countries took part, including Odissi dancer Abtin Javid from Iran. They will also be performing at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Indore (8-10 January).

SC Judges, Cats and Theatre
The Supreme Court Bar Association president, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, has revealed that the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, who retired on Thursday, love cats. Justice Nazeer had two cats, one of whichreportedly died about three months ago. Vikas Singh disclosed the cats’ tale at a farewell organised on Wednesday by the Bar Association in honour of Justice Nazeer. The CJI has two cats, Josh and Joshua, one a local breed and the other a Persian. At the farewell event, CJI Chandrachud revealed that during his college days Justice Nazeer was fond of theatre. “He would compose plays, write his dialogues, the songs, render the composition, and interestingly, he was the female lead singer himself in his own play(s)!”

French Town’s Name Goes Feminine
In a New Year’s video message on Twitter, Bertrand Kern, the socialist Mayor of Pantin town outside Paris, has announced that his town’s name will take on the feminine form for a year to raise awareness about gender equality. “Pantin will for a year be called Pantine,” Kern said, adding an ‘e’ to its name to highlight “equality between women and men” and the struggle “to end violence against women.”France ranked 15th worldwide in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2022.A noun can often be made feminine in French by adding an “e” on the end.The Mayor’s office said there would be no changes to road signs on the outskirts of town, or in the municipality’s official communications.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa People Storing LPG In Plastic Balloons, Bags
People in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are storing LPG (cooking gas) in plastic balloons and bags due to shortage in supply of gas cylinders. Social media is abuzz with this dangerous trend. Local media reportssay that people in Hangu city have been living without gas for the past two years. Gas is being sold by filling bags,before sealing the opening with a nozzle and valve,inside the shops connected to the gas pipeline network. People use it in kitchen with the help of a small electric suction pump.

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