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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Naked Jain monk offends Facebook

Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times  Raipur, June 29, 2013
First Published: 00:38 IST(29/6/2013) | Last Updated: 02:37 IST(29/6/2013)

A few days ago, when 23-year-old Anshul Jain Rara logged in to his Facebook account, he found it blocked. There was a message on his wall from the social networking giant, asking him to take down “nude pictures” he had posted.

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Rara was shocked. The pictures were those of Muni Shri Punyanandi ji, a Digamabara Jain monk he and his family are ardent followers of. The monks in Digambara (Sanskrit for sky-clad) sect of Jainism do not wear clothes — a symbol of shunning worldly possessions and indifference to earthly emotions such as shame.

“The warning came within 12 hours of uploading the photos. My account was blocked for 48 hours,” Rara, a resident of Jashpur, 400km from here, said. “Facebook has hurt the religious sentiment of our community as it said the pictures exhibited nudity and obscenity.”

The members of community has have questioned the warning, saying it reflected ignorance and complete lack of understanding on part of Facebook.

“They (Facebook) should apologise or we will launch a protest. We're also keeping our legal options open,” Gajendra Jain, the state president of Digambar Jain Mahasabha, told HT.

Rara, whose account was unblocked on June 19, has been warned that if he uploads the pictures again, he will be barred from Facebook.


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