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The Wire columnist Ghazala Wahab claims Jains are Hindus but they demanded minority status because of financial bonanza

Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are closely related with Hinduism, all of them originated in India, and there are lots of similarities in these religions, but they are separate religions

Based on the mistaken notion that Jainism and Hinduism are one and the same, The Wire columnist Ghazala Wahab has questioned the basis for Jains being granted minority status in India. She took to Twitter to mock Jains, alluding to a piece about a Jain father-son duo litigating the Kashi and Mathura lawsuits on behalf of Hindus, asking that if Jains and Hindus are the same, why are they classified as minorities.

A screenshot of the tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, Ghazala Wahab brazenly claimed that Jains sought minority status in order to avail the financial bonanza provided by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

A screenshot of the tweet.

Ghazala stated that Jains were included in the minority category because they wanted to avail the financial benefits which are provided to the minorities by the minority affairs ministry. Ghazala Wahab mocked Advocate Hari Shankar Jain and his son Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who are the arguing counsels from the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi and the Krishna Janmabhoomi cases.

Hindus and Jains are not the same

Although Jainism shares many beliefs with Hinduism and Buddhism due to their shared cultural background and ancient history, it is universally accepted that the Jain faith is a separate religion. Hinduism believes Brahma, the creator, created the Universe; meanwhile, Jainism thinks the Universe is everlasting and almighty. Hinduism likewise believes in nonviolence; yet, if violence is absolutely essential to gain triumph over evil, it is tolerated to some extent, whereas Jainism exclusively believes in nonviolence.

Many deities are worshipped in Hinduism, but in Jainism, 24 Tirthankars, as well as other celestial creatures, are worshipped as DemiGods. Mahavira was Jainism’s 24th Tirthankara. In Hinduism, the Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis, and other holy texts are revered, but Jainism has its own sacred texts, such as Agamas and Sutras.

Though these are the distinctions, there are many commonalities as well. Reincarnation, or the cycle of life and death, is a belief shared by Hinduism and Jainism. Both Hinduism and Jainism emphasise eating a vegetarian diet, and both religions value meditation. However, they are still different religions.

Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are closely related with Hinduism, all of them originated in India, and there are lots of similarities in these religions. While some people do consider them to be part of Hinduism, in general, and the adherents of these religions agree that these are different religions.

It is notable that officially also Jainism is a separate religion, the census of India lists it as one of the religions that people can chose while submitting data for the decadal census, and census data includes the percentage of Jains in India.

As Jains constitute just around 0.4% of Indian population, it was a logical move to grant them minority statue.

Minority status of Jains

The Government of India granted the Jain community in India the status of “minority religion” in January 2014, in accordance with Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act 1992. The Jain desire for minority status dates back over a century when in British India, the Viceroy and Governor-General of India Lord Minto granted representation to significant minorities in the Central Legislature.

In a Memorandum to the Constituent Assembly in March 1947, the Representatives of the Jain Community presented a strong argument for the recognition of the Jains as a minority religious community. In 1993, the National Minorities Commission proposed that Jains be recognised as a religious minority community.

Jains were granted minority status by the government in January 2014. The community, which makes up a small percentage of India’s population, is now on a level with five other minority groups: Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Parsis.

However, Jains have repeatedly emphasised their long-standing concern that Muslims have received a disproportionate amount of minority advantages. According to a source, the Muslim community has been the primary recipient of minority affairs ministry scholarships, which make for the majority of the ministry’s yearly budget of over Rs 3,000 crore (2014).

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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