SANTHARA 2 LAST

Lauding Jainism for its modernity and theory of choice, Lauding Jainism for its modernity and theory of choice,Visvanathan said "Jainism in terms of its theory of choice isa fascinatingly modern exercise, you have a choice twice over,choice first in terms of your individual decisions but choicealso in terms of availability of cosmologies present to you." Singhvi also hailed the contributions of the community,saying "today of course, we are India’s smallest minorityafter Parsis, but the impact and effect of Jain thought ondiverse areas have been disproportionately high compared toits dwindling contemporary numbers." Speaking on the constitutional perspective, Gautam said,"while interpreting Article 25 of Constitution, the SupremeCourt has created a doctrine of essential practices, accordingto which all essential religious practices are affordedconstitutional protection against government action." "The way I see it, if ‘santhara’ can be shown to be anessential practice of Jainism, it has to be protected underthe doctrine of essential practices," Gautam said. Vice Chancellor C Raj Kumar opened the floor withoutgiving his own views on the issue. The vow of ‘Santhara’ is observed by the Jain ascetics atthe end their life by gradually reducing the intake of foodand liquids on the ground that when all purposes of life havebeen served, or when the body is unable to serve any morepurpose, a person can opt for it. PTI AG SJK RKSARC

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