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Old 11-10-2014, 05:25 PM posted to
Kpgee Kpgee is offline
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Default Jain monks say non-vegetarian food should not be permitted in Palitana

A religion which requires vulnerable defenceless beings to be slaughtered has to be considered a violent and primitive one. There is no personal sacrifice in these barbarous acts. In murdering an innocent and calling it sacrifice. We are not living in the dark ages, in ignorant superstitious times. Non violence is the only way for peace and progressive compassionate living and refusing to harm any being, human or otherwise is a beautiful evolutionary step forward. I applaud and support the monks of Palitana.

On Monday, 7 July 2014 20:24:01 UTC+1, Dr. Jai Maharaj wrote:
The vegetarian town: They wouldn't hurt a fly but the

Jains upset Palitana with meat-free plea

Monks say that non-vegetarian food should not be

permitted for sale in Palitana, but Muslims say the

demands amount to discrimination

By Andrew Buncombe

The Independent

Sunday, July 6, 2014

For hundreds of years, followers of the Jain religion

have been lured to the quiet town of Palitana. In the

adjoining hills of Shatrunjaya are located countless

sacred temples and it is said that every Jain should make

a pilgrimage to them once in their life.

But in recent weeks Palitana, located in the western

Indian state of Gujarat, has become the site of an

unlikely controversy after Jain monks launched a hunger

strike - threatening to fast unto death - and demanding

the town be declared a vegetarian zone.

The monks say that non-vegetarian food - in which they

include eggs - should not be permitted for sale or

storage anywhere in Palitana. They have also called for a

ban on the ritual slaughter of animals and want an

estimated 260 butchers' shops to be closed.

But local Muslims say the demands by the monks

discriminate against them. Most Muslims eat meat and eggs

as part of their diet and say it is essential they are

able to offer sacrifice during specific religious


The monks have for now called off their hunger strike

following an assurance by local politicians and officials

that the matter would be looked into promptly. But the

controversy has not gone away and the monks have said

they will restart the hunger strike if their demands are

not met. "Every religion has its own sacred places, what

you call holy cities or pilgrimage sites. Jains too, have

a lot of sacred places, but Palitana is the most

important," Virag Sagar Maharaj, the monk who is leading

the protests, told The Independent.

He claimed the founder of the Jain religion, Adinath, had

visited Palitana millions of times and climbed into the

hills. He added: "Now, with his divine presence here in

Palitana and that of several other Jain saints, how do

you expect us to tolerate violence in this city?"

Jainism is one of India's oldest religions and its

adherents today total about five million. Followers of

the religion are supposed to adopt a strictly vegetarian

diet that also excludes onions, garlic and root

vegetables. All are required to follow the principle of


In Palitana, as elsewhere, devout Jains will often carry

peacock feathers with them when they walk to sweep ants

and insects from their path, so as not to harm them. In

India, Jains have the highest rate of literacy of any

religion and its members are often successful business

people and traders.

Officials say that Muslims are about 20-25 per cent of

Palitana's population of 65,000. Reports suggest that

there are also considerable numbers of non-Muslims who

would also like to eat meat if they were permitted to do


Leaders of the local Muslim community have held their own

meeting with officials to try and ensure meat-eating and

slaughter of animals is not banned in Palitana.

"If we don't offer sacrifice we will not remain Muslims,"

Razaq Ismail Saiyad, president of a Muslim association in

Palitana, told the Indian Express newspaper.

Efforts by the Jain community to have Palitana declared

hinsa-mukt, or violence-free, date back a number of

years. They have even offered financial compensation to

restaurants and food vendors who sell meat or eggs to

change their trade.

In 1999, local officials declared that a one-and-a-half

mile stretch of road leading towards the temples should

be made a vegetarian-only zone. Pravin Solanki, a

government official, said the municipal authority was

discussing whether to extend the zone. Mr Maharaj, the

monk, said local officials had given assurances they

would support his demand: "If this doesn't happen we will

sit on hunger strike."

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Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi

Om Shanti

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