opinion

Jain temples in the city are open but Hindu temples are closed. Those willing to perform the Pooja have to register their name and participate in the bidding system placing the donation bid, and winners are allowed to perform the puja. Not more than 5 Jains wearing pooja clothes (Dhoti or a Pyjama Kurta without underwear) can do the pooja between 5 am to 7 am. After 7 am till 6 pm, only the darshan is allowed from outside. In many Jain temples, the pooja activity is even allowed a little bit late in current times.

So how is this happening? Is it because the Jain community plays an important role in the businesses and markets that the government has given a secret verbal approval for limited activities? Or is it lobbying done by some Maharaj from the community, sending a bag full of love and sweets to the lathimen, keeping the saheb in the dark, since he doesn’t step out of him home? But the question is, what about the possible virus transmission during the pooja activities inside the Jain temple. I am a Hindu by birth, but practise Jain rituals also, here is my opinion.

Jains while performing the puja have to wear an 8 layered facemask, not because of coronavirus, but to stop the air coming out from our mouth and nose touching the murti, it is a ritual. If that is the case, then any Hindu would wear a layered face mask and should be allowed to enter the temple with control on numbers entering and exiting the temple. If pooja activities are allowed for Jain temples, then it should be allowed for Hindu temples also.

But one should remember that the Jains are a minority, that means you would never find the Jain temple to be occupying even 50% capacity. You will hardly find people in the Jain temples, except early morning hours, again that is also very less. But, just because Jains are in minority, they cannot be permitted while denying the Hindu temples to open. The virus can hit anybody regardless of being in minority or not. The rules of safety are for everyone, and they should be followed by everyone.

A few months back during Jain festival, Paryushan, few Jain temples in a central part of the city were allowed to open for darshan, but in reality, all the Jain temples in the city were kept open secretly for few hours. If shopping marts are open, then why delay opening temples.

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