Jains distribute booklets, try to justify Santhara ‘logically’

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2015 15:58 IST
Jain community members at a rally to protest against the ban on Santhara in Bhopal. (Mujeeb Faruqui/ HT Photo)

When a soldier sacrifices his life for the country why he is called a martyr, not a criminal? When hundreds of mountaineers don't ever return why they are not accused of committing suicide despite the fact they risked their life?

These are some of the questions which figure in a booklet being distributed in Bhopal as part of Jain community’s protest against Rajasthan high court’s recent judgment which termed Sanlekhna or Santhara as a suicidal act.

Needless to mention, the booklets comes with several ‘logics’ to justify Santhara.

Through these questions, writer and Jain saint Dhyansagar Maharaj tries to compare a soldier, a mother, a patient, a mountaineer and a sportsperson, who risked their life for different reasons, with a person, who embraces Santhara.

The questions suggest if Sanlekhna is termed as suicide then why does a soldier who lays his life for the sake of country is declared a martyr and not a criminal? Why does a mother who sacrifices her life to protect her children at the time of earthquake or for that sake a mountaineer who doesn’t come back alive are not treated as a criminal?

Meanwhile, talking to HT, a community leader Pankaj Jain said, “The basic motive of comparison and raising questions is to make the people aware about the age old and scientific practice of Santhara. Ban on Santhara is unacceptable to us.”

Retired justice NK Jain said, “The Rajasthan high court’s judgment is unfortunate. Nobody can ban any religious ritual. The judgment is neither factually not legally correct.”

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