Mumbai: Jain Community To Prioritise Voting Over Annual Ritual Ceremony During Lok Sabha Elections

Mumbai: Jain Community To Prioritise Voting Over Annual Ritual Ceremony During Lok Sabha Elections

Jains have decided to compromise their visit to their native villages and stay back in Mumbai to cast their vote

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 10:25 PM IST
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Voting In India | Photo Credit: PTI

As Mumbai is gearing up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the elections brought a tricky situation for the Jain community as the voting day clashes with Jain’s annual religious ritual, which is celebrated in their respective native villages. Having to choose any one of them, Jains have decided to compromise their visit to their native villages and stay back in Mumbai to cast their vote and participate in the festival of democracy.

Clash Between Observing Ceremony And Voting Dates

In the fifth phase of voting, 13 constituencies will vote for their candidate including the six constituencies of Mumbai on May 20. Every year around this time, the Jain sun communities observe their annual ‘dhvajarohan’ ceremony at their native villages in Gujarat. Followed as one of the most important rituals, the Jains travel to their villages and attend the rituals without fail but this year the elections have left them in a worry as it coincides with their ritual ceremonies and they have to choose from either travelling to their native and attending the religious ceremony or staying back in Mumbai to cast their vote.

Community Urges Members To Exercise Their Rights

However, many of the Jain communities have come up requesting the members to prioritise elections over the religious rituals and cancel or postpone travelling on the voting day. A Jain sub community in Mumbai including people from a small village of Kutch was the first to postpone the rituals to next year to allow people to stay in the city on the voting day.

Every year around 450 people from Mumbai go to their native village to participate in a lucky draw, which allows individuals from the community to host the ritual, but this year the community has decided to postpone the draw and will carry forward the ritual next year.

Don Murtipujak Jain Sangh's Initiative

Kishore Chheda, a member of the Don Murtipujak Jain Sangh, told the Free Press Journal that, “We attend the ritual every year but the ritual of democracy comes only once in five years and keeping the country first, we have postponed the ritual to next year so this year around 450 people from our village will stay back in the city and will be able to vote.”

Kiran Vira from the community said, “A lot of people had already booked their tickets to travel for the ritual but after our decision, everyone cancelled their tickets. Instead of the people coming from Mumbai, the rituals will be carried out by the 14 families of our community living in the village and those who were supposed to host the ritual, will be given an opportunity next year.

After the village’s initiative, Jain communities across the country have appreciated them and have followed the drill. Multiple sub communities have also come forward requesting their members to avoid travelling for the rituals or plan their travel in a way that they can cast their votes in Mumbai.

Jain Mahajans In Mumbai Encourage Community To Prioritise Voting

The Kutchi Visha Oswal Deravasi Jain Mahajan Mumbai and Kutchi Visha Oswal Sthanakvasi Jain Mahajan also appreciated Don village’s initiative and also requested all the sub communities to prioritise voting over religious ceremonies.

“The population of our community is very less across the country but we are a major contributor to the country’s GDP. However, we have less representation when it comes to voting. Voting is not only our responsibility but our right and we should pledge that we will definitely cast our votes religiously and aim for 100 percent voting from the community,” read the community’s message to the members.

Team Vagad Urges Community Members To Prioritise Voting As National Duty

Team Vagad, including the villages of Vagad area of Gujarat has also come forward to request the community members to prioritise casting their votes over religious ceremonies. “Voting is our national duty and as a sincere citizen we should not miss out on voting. Everything else is subordinate. With our appeal we are sure that all the members of our communities will obey us and put elections first,” said Laxmichand Charla, chairman of Team Vagad.

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