All My Jain Friends
You believe in Non-violence, while I believe that non-violence is impractical and impossible. Surely we differ in a fundamental way.
Despite our different fundamental beliefs, we must learn to not step on each other's toes and live together as friends and more importantly as citizens of one country. I am ready to respect your belief system to the extent that you respect mine. I have no desire to interfere in your belief system as long as you do not interfere in my system of belief.
To achieve and strengthen this mutual coexistence, I appeal to you as follows:
Hope that you will kindly take the above appeal in the right spirit!
While we are talking, may I raise an issue which in my humble opinion needs your community's urgent attention! Recently, about 100 persons died in Petlawad, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh when explosives kept in a shop exploded. Owner of the shop was a Jain. There is no doubt that he violated all norms and laws in storing explosives in his shop located in the busiest part of the town. I have not yet heard a single word of condemnation against the owner of that shop from any leaders of the Jain community.
Why do your ideals of non-violence become silent at such times?
I have raised the above issue not because I have anything against the Jain community. I raise the issue as your friend and well-wisher. It pains me to see an undercurrent of public opinion swelling up against Jains. Political parties like Shiv Sena and MNS have sensed it and are trying to exploit it to their advantage. This can be dangerous in the long run for a small community like Jains.
It is high time that the Jain community does some serious introspection.
I do not accept Jain religion or Jain philosophy or non-violence or vegetarianism. But some of my good friends are Jains and I do not want any harm to come to them. I can sense some smells in the wind, which make me worried. Hence, this humble appeal from a friend and well-wisher. Hope you do not mind and take it in the right spirit!
With best wishes and regards,
16 September 2015
Please write to me your comments about the above article.
ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer and a lawyer by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and a legal and management consultant by profession.
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