The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has come out in support of the Jain community's controversial tradition "Santhara" which was recently banned by the Rajasthan high court after it called the custom "tantamount to suicide attempt".
"Santhara is an age old tradition among the Jain community and has religious significance. We, in principle, are against the HC pronouncement of banning this tradition. We are with the Jain community and would hold talks with them and express our solidarity on this issue with them," said Maulana Wali-ur- Rahmani, AIMPLB general secretary. He was in the state capital to attend a programme along with another member and renowned Muslim cleric Maulana Sajjad Nomani.
Both representatives of the AIMPLB expressed concern over growing incidents of religious intolerance.
"Recent incidents have posed a threat to the secular fabric of the nation. Some traditions are being forced upon the nation by some governments. Most of these traditions are close to religion, so as it is hard to distinguish between religion and tradition," said Maulana.
He said that Article 28 of the Constitution promises a secular state to Indian citizens and that some of the government's recent steps are against its spirit.
"The government should have no religion or culture according to our constitution. We would approach the Supreme Court if need arises," they said.
The representatives also said that the AIMPLB aims to establish dialogue between various sects and communities and develop to bring harmony in society.