Debate Continues Over Minority Status of Jains

May 11, 2006

Source: Ahmedabad Newsline

On May 11, 2006 Ahmedabad Newsline reported, "The Centre may be mulling over according Jains the status of a religious minority, but several leaders of the community have opposed the decision saying that Jains are a part of the Hindu community. Their argument: 'Hindus are not in the minority and thus there is no question of Jains accepting the minority status.' Despite Minister for Minority Affairs A R Antulay's statement that he had held talks with 'various Jain organisations' and that 'there was consensus in the community' over the issue, many Jain leaders in Gujarat feel the Centre has taken a hasty decision without getting an across-the-board consensus from the community. In fact, there is reportedly a difference of opinion on the issue among the various Jain sects themselves. While the Shwetambars are opposing the proposal tooth and nail, the Digambars are divided about it, as are the Sthanakwasis. However, the Terapanthis are in favour of the minority status."