JAIN COMMUNITY'S ROLE IN PEACE,EDUCATION AND SERVICE WITH BUSINESS
Business is in their blood. Peace is their badge. The combination makes the Jains an extraordinary community in India. They follow the tenets of Lord Mahaveera and other Teerthankaras.The Jains are spread all over the country.The secret of their success lies in their adaptability. The place they move into becomes their home. They imbibe the local culture and tradition without losing touch with their own. Today their presence in businesses such as textiles, silk, jewellery exports and steel trade is substantial. Their role in stock exchanges is often dominant.Perhaps, it’s their seemingly obvious ‘business-only’ approach to social life that has left them apparently deprived in politics. Men in power know that Jains rarely take to demonstrative protests and in any case, their numbers don’t seem to matter in today’s pattern of electoral politics. Their interest in trains seems to be an exception. Occasionally, the community in Karnataka comes up with demands for trains to Rajasthan with stops at various towns of importance to the community. Two new trains were introduced last year.
Jains involvement in social activities is another matter. The Jain organisations in Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore are notable for their community work. The beneficiaries of these activities are mostly people from other communities. In Karnataka, organisations like Jain Yuva Sangathan, Jain Youth Association, Jain Youth Federation, Rajasthan Youth Association,Bhagwaan Mahaveer Jain College,B B U L Jain Vidyalaya,Bhagwaan Mahaveer Jain Hospital and Karnataka Marwari Youth Federation are engaged in charitable activities of all kind. They hold free camps for eye check-up, for giving away artificial limbs (Jaipur foot) and for donating school books to needy children. These organisations have also adopted some government and corporation schools for general assistance.
Generally speaking, Jains are economically well placed. One reason for this is that most of the successful entrepreneurs in the community would willingly lend a helping hand to those who are in need of such support. In any case, as far as the governments go, Jains are a minority. (They are around15 million worldwide. In Karnataka alone, they are as small as about 7 lakhs, and there are about 40 lakh followers of Jainism in the four major cities of Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi.) Benefits meant for minorities are available to Jains.But there are many instances where Shwetambars have not accepted such benefits.
Jains have clearly recognised the need to excell in education as much as in business. This is evident from the fact that they have recently formed the Federation of Jain Educational Institutions of India to give shape to their ideas and dreams. There is, however, one member of the community whose initiatives in Karnataka has made a difference to the state as a whole. Veerendra Hegde, the Dharmadhikari of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, a famous piligrim centre in Dakshina Kannada district is in many ways a very special kind of person. Though a Jain himself, Hegde has been administering a Hindu temple where the presiding deity is Lord Manjunatha. Parts of Karnataka have well-known colleges of higher education and hospitals which came up because of Hegde’s efforts. The excellence of his institutions and indeed the quality of his leadership have attracted the admiration of people from all walks of life, including academics, economists and thinkers.
The one-thousand pillared Basadi at at Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district, also known as the Jain Kashi of the South, towering statute of Gomateshwara in Karkala, three Basadis and a Jain mutt in Narasimharajapura and the famous Jain temple of Parshwanatha-Padmawati at Humcha in Shimoga, apart from Bahubali in Shravanabelagola are historic landmarks in Karnataka. A massive Jain temple alike FAMOUS PALITANA IN GUJARAT is coming up at Devanahalli, near to the international airport in Bangalore..
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