oppn parties A Life Sacrificed to Religious Rituals

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
A Life Sacrificed to Religious Rituals

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A 13-year old Jain girl in Hyderabad died of cardiac arrest two days after breaking her 68-days long religious fast. It is true that religion is a personal matter and every person is entitled to decide what is good for her or him. But that is applicable for a person who has attained majority. A 13 year old cannot decide what is good for him or her. To subject such a young person to such a torturous fast is a social evil. It also violates several laws. Sadly, this practice of subjecting children to dangerous religious rituals is being followed by adherents of most religions and throughout the world.

The Jains are very religious people and steadfastly follow the rules of the closed knit community. This is good as it makes them lead a disciplined life. But some things should be decided by the community itself to rid it of unwanted tragedies. Allowing children to undertake prolonged fasting is one of these. The community should prohibit anyone below 18 years of age from conducting any strenuous religious ritual. Apart form causing health risks to children, the fasting also causes mental trauma and interferes with their studies. A child should not be made to ape adults.

The Gods are not appeased if the elders of the family do not care for the children and allow them to undertake such life threatening fasts. This girl had fasted to bring good luck to the family. That obviously means that the family acquiesced in her decision. It was wrong on part of the family to do so. Some families take pride in putting their children at risk in performing such religious rituals. No religious texts allow children to do so. The Jain dharma gurus should take the lead in creating aw+areness and prohibiting such evil practices.