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Punjab government goofs up, prints Buddha’s image in Mahavir Jayanti ad

The advertisement, which appeared in all leading English and vernacular dailies in the state, infuriated members of the Jain community who accused the state government of hurting their religious sentiments.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 17, 2019 22:23 IST
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Aneesha Sareen Kumar
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Punjab government,Mahavir Jayanti,Gautam Buddha
The Punjab government put an image of Gautam Buddha instead of Lord Mahavir in an advertisement published in newspapers on Wednesday to greet people on Mahavir Jayanti.(HT Photo)

In a major faux pas, the Punjab government put an image of Gautam Buddha instead of Lord Mahavir in an advertisement published in newspapers on Wednesday to greet people on Mahavir Jayanti.

The advertisement, which appeared in all leading English and vernacular dailies in the state, infuriated members of the Jain community who accused the state government of hurting their religious sentiments. They demanded an apology and another advertisement with the correct photo. The state government had issued the advertisement to greet people on the birth anniversary of 24th Jain Tirthankara, an apostle of truth, non-violence and righteousness.

Mahavir Sewa Sansthan president Rakesh Jain expressed shock over the government mistake. “We do not have anything against Gautam Buddha, but the picture is half cut and inappropriate,” he said, adding, “The advertisement has been a regular feature since 2007. It was I who requested the then Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government to issue the advertisement every year, but there has never been such a grave error”.

A meeting of members of the Jain community was also held at Guru Nanak Bhawan in Ludhiana to discuss the issue.

Vishwa Jain Sangthan state coordinator Dr Sandeep K Jain also shot off a letter to chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, pointing out the goof-up. When contacted, information and public relations secretary Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said he was out of Chandigarh and not aware of the advertisement published in newspapers. Director, public relations, Anindita Mitra did not respond to calls and SMSes to her on this issue. Other department officials also refused to comment.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 22:21 IST