The Print, recently carried an article titled “A naked Jain monk spoke in Haryana assembly, but a Muslim can’t offer namaz in public?”
A naked Jain monk spoke in Haryana assembly, but a Muslim can’t offer namaz in public?
— ThePrint (@ThePrintIndia) May 9, 2018
The title itself reveals that the author has failed at attempting an oxymoron and just proved her pseudo-secular credentials. The author has tried to equate an invited speech to the assembly by Muni Tarun Sagar Ji Maharaj to a coordinated praying in a public space without proper approvals from the authorities. I would like to point out to the author that there is a difference between an invitation and a coordinated collection in carrying out a religious prayer. In the case of Muni Tarun Sagar Ji Maharaj it was an invitation, in case of offering namaz it was a coordinated collection in a public place without permission or invitation.
The author has made use of terminologies like “A naked Jain monk” and “… in the nude” which aims to taunt a religious minority and is tantamount to hate speech. The lack of respect to a much revered and adored religious head known for his “Kadve pravachan” is quite palpable. While the author proclaiming to be an atheist, taunts the choices of a religious minority which is quite crude and unbecoming of whatever profession the writer has.
The Jain community is a minority in India and it follows their many principles among the forefront of which is non violence and the community prides itself in being among one of the most educated communities in India. The high headed author has sneered at the leader of a non violent minority community in poor taste and is overtly insensitive to the emotions and ways of life of a Jain ascetic, while being overly sensitive to another. The fact is that Jain Maharaj Ji chose to not wear clothes as a symbol of renunciation of all material things and nothing more, a principle that appears to be alien to the writer. And to reiterate, the choice of Jain Muni’s is in no way causing neither any obstruction to the society nor is an imposition on societal values.
Maharaj ji, by speaking to the assembly, brought to forefront the idea of India, the idea that minority communities with small populations have representation and that they have both the virtue and skill to impart philosophical knowledge to public leaders without any forceful imposition. This idea of calling Maharaj ji was thought and brought forth by Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, and the audience included the CM Manohar Lal Khattar. In his pravachan, Maharaj Ji had suggested three pronged approach to curb female foeticide and also that there must not be any differentiation between boys and girls among other topics. While the author is quick to blame the society, the author chooses to remain mum on the drastic improvement in the sex ratio in the state of Haryana, as it probably does not suit the columns’ agenda.
The author finds religious events of Hindus obstructive and annoying and in the same flow she completely misses (read deliberately) naming religious events of other communities. This is the real definition of double standards.
The speech by Muni Tarun Sagar Maharaj ji in the Haryana Assembly did not obstruct any traffic, the respected members of the assembly had gathered on their own free choice and will to listen to the words of a minority leader and nobody outside the assembly hall was forced to watch or hear. Maharaj ji did not cause any disruption in any way, while the offering of a namaz in a public place does exactly that.
What does a single invited speech event to a closed hall have in comparison to offering of prayer in a public place which, unless stopped, would be a recurring nuisance to the public 52 times in a year? None, exactly.
In my opinion, if the author wishes to take a leaf from her own article, it should be that all the prayers and speeches, including namaz, should be conducted in closed areas and when in public, should have proper clearance from the authorities.