Monday, 17 February 2014

Jains officially a religious minority in India: Will Pravin Togadia, a Jain, target minorities now?

Pravin Togadia, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, who has targeted minorities and made extremely inflammatory speeches in the country, is himself a minority now.

Togadia, who is a Jain, has repeatedly made incendiary comments against religious minorities across India.

Once he said that if he became the Prime Minister, he would take away electoral rights from Muslims. Togadia has made public speeches that minorities should be economically boycotted.

VHP is known for being a right-wing organisation but Togadia's fanaticism is unmatched. An interesting aspect is that Togadia doesn't speak about the fact that he is a follower of Jainism. His supporters are active on cyber space too.

Any mention that he is a Jain is quickly removed from his Wikipedia page, citing that 'it is not important in context to the article'. He apparently considers Jains as part of Hinduism, though leading Jain saints and seers, strongly vouch for Jainism as an independent and older religion.

While Digambar Jains generally use 'Jain' as surname, the Shwetambaras who are more in Gujarat, use their caste or original surnames, rather than using the religion. On the movement for giving Jains, a religious minority status, he has remained silent.

Togadia is notorious for his hate speeches but the lawmakers have been soft on him. He has targeted Christians for their missionary activity and for 'conversion' of Hindus. The truth is that Christians convert few people in India, compared to the conversion by Jains in rural and tribal parts of India.

In one Gujarat district, Panchmahal, lakhs of Dalits and Tribals were converted. The sudden rise of Jain population in India in the last two decades shows it. Since the central government has bestowed minority status on Jains, we haven't heard much from Togadia.

Seems he doesn't want to touch the topic. But it is interesting to see if he attacks minorities again, and will someone ask him about his being a 'minority' in India.

Popular Posts