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Jain community members from across the country, aggrieved over the overzealous attempt to commercially exploit in an unplanned manner the sanctity of Mount Shikarji (also known as Parasnath Hills), have launched ‘Save Shikharji Campaign’ nationally and urged every citizen of the country to join hands in preserving & promoting the spiritual abode and holiest place of Jains by signing the petition at www.SaveShikharji.com and also sharing it on social media using #SaveShikharji
The Shikarji mountain range, located in Giridih district of Jharkhand, India, has been of spiritual, cultural and religious importance to our nation even before the beginning of modern history. Inscriptions in Sanskrit older than 16th century only validates them. Mount Shikarji is a national treasure where 20 of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras along with many other monks attained Moksha thousands of years ago and even today people perform Parikrama around the entire Parasnath hill (a round trip of 27 kms).
In September 2015, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Raghubar Das, had publicly committed to develop Shikharji as ‘an international seat of spiritualism and enlightenment’. He even welcomed a Jain delegation and showed keen interest to provide infrastructure without disturbing its sanctity to preserve the holiness and sanctity of the hill. Even after three years these commitments remain unfulfilled and this lack of action from Jharkhand Government is worrying Jain Community Members. On the contrary, there are visible signs of commitment being reneged and concerted attempts being made to exploit Mount Shikharji commercially through rampant urbanization which is virtually threatening the spiritual sanctity of the holy place.
Against this backdrop, the Jain Community Members are of the view that reestablishing the sanctity of such a holy hill is the need of the hour and for this to happen it is of paramount importance to declare Mount Shikharji ‘a place of worship’ through an act of legislation as done in the case of many famed temple towns across the country. By doing this Mount Shikharji will stand to gain more and will go a long way in achieving the following - Conserve nation’s spiritual abode & cultural treasure; Promote peace, tolerance & acceptance; Preserve history & protect it from vandalism; Help protect the sensitive ecology & wildlife of Madhuban forest range; Increase livelihood of local economy by outgrowing their dependence on forest & wildlife and importantly pave way for human beings to be more spiritually inclined to attain nirvana.