Mumbai: A section of the Jain community have written to the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commision (MSHRC) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting against the screening of a film, which they say hurts their religious sentiments.
The film '1080 The Legacy of Mahavir' is scheduled to be released later this month in the city.
Controversy mars over Lord Mahivir movie
The complaint by the Shree Mumbai Jain Sangh Sanghathan says that the actors in the film 'are not close to the lifestyle, practices and rituals followed by Jain monks'. The complaint further says that the religious leaders of the Shwetamber Murtipujak sect have condemned the portrayal of Tirthankars or teachers, and Jain sadhus. They have claimed that the film violates their human rights within the meaning of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
"The film infringes upon the fundamental rights of the Jains to freely profess, practice and propagate their religion," says the complaint. "Our sect firmly postulates that not only the spiritual attributes but also the physical traits of a Tirthankar are nonpareil, rendering them unworthy of depiction in any way by any ordinary human being...A film in which actors are playing the role of omniscient Tithankarand divine monks exactly causes grave offence to all Jains."
The '1080 The Legacy of Mahavir' film
The Sanghathan said that it represents 175 Jain Sanghs with over 1.9 million members. The movie, according to the complainants, has been influenced by Acharya Jinpiyushsagarsuri of the Khatar Gachch sub-sect in the Shwetamber Murtipujak sect. The movie tells the story of three religious leaders who lived in the 11th century in Gujarat. The leaders fought corruption and sought to uphold the teachings of Bhagwan Mahavir, the 24th and last Tirthankar of the Jain religion.
A trailer of the movie was released on October 11 by the producers. The complainants have called for a ban on the movie and its screening across theatres and online platforms.