Estd. 3rd April, 1899

History

Introduction

The Jains are an ancient community of India. They had a glorious past. They have made great and indelible contributions, to the all-round development of the Indian Nation. In the fields of art, culture, literature, architecture, Philosophy, trade and industry. However, a decline started after the thirteenth century and it was at its nadir in almost all the fields in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Establishment of the Sabha

Those Jain visionaries, who were moved by the poor and pitiable positon of the then Jain community, were prompted by an ardent desire to promote the interests of the community. They established a representative institution, then called “Dakshin Maharashtra Jain Sabha” on 3rd April, 1899 at shri kshetra Stavanidhi (Belgaum District, Karnataka State, India). They had before them, the lofty and laudable goal of starting renaissance in social, cultural, educational and industrial fields of the society. Thereby they hoped to regain the past glory by rejuvenating and activating the society towards the achievement of all-round development.

Initial problems and efforts made to solve them:

Immediately after its establishment, the Dakshin Maharashtra Jain Sabha had to face several social problems. It was very essential to inculcate among the people the importance of religion, education, social reforms, persuasion of saints and priests of the monasteries for constructive work, enlightenment of the women folk, removal of blind beliefs, etc.

A first constructive step in this direction was in the educational field, by way of starting, “Dakshin Maharashtra Jain Vidyalaya”at Kolhapur on 24th March, 1902. A monthly periodical, the mouth of Sabha by name ‘Shri Jinavijay’, both in Marathi and Kannada, was also started in 1902 to propagate the ideals of the institution.

The Sabha has a historic mission of promoting harmony and unity among all the sub-castes of Digambar Jains, so also it worked for the re-settlement of out-castes in Jain religion and gave an impetus to progressive thoughts by encouraging matrimonial and other affairs among the sub-castes.

It has undertaken the work of protection, preservation and development of Jain Pilgrim Centers in its jurisdiction ‘Shree Kshetra Stavanidhi Committee’, one of its wings, established in 1903, for the purpose. It is still active in this respect. A preacher’s front looks after religious propagation through the medium of perching and musical narrations.

Besides religious and educational reforms, a special drive for social reforms, especially in respect of matrimonial and dowry systems, was undertaken.

Encouragement for widow re-marriages and efforts to get the bans lifted on Jain palanquin processions, worships and free movements of sages and saints were a few of the highlights of the programmers.

Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha-our Alma mater:

Right from its inception in the year 1899, the Sabha has rendered its sincere, humble and unabated service to the society. Its strength lies in its democratic way of working, its sincerity of purpose and its usefulness to the society. It has stood the test of time and it marched towards its centenary year, 1999. When it completed a hundred years of useful service to the society craved for co-operation and participation of all right-thinking personalities of the society. In response to the same many people participated actively in constructive co-operation and help to accelerate the pace of progress of the institution. By that way, Realization of social welfare, became easier and more pleasant, as more people worked hand in hand. There by quite many members and donors observed the Centenary celebration of the Sabha in a befitting manner.

Working of The Institution -

Due to the linguistic formation of states the jurisdiction was divided in multistate as such, the name i.e. Dakshin Maharashtra Jain Sabha of the institution in the beginning was changed to “Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha” in the year 1962. The institution is registered under the Societies Act 1860, as also under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950. The jurisdiction of the institution as provided in its constitution is the whole of South India. Its ideals are to promote the social welfare and upliftment of the Jain Society in this area in respect of education, culture, economy and religion.

The General Body Session of all members of the institution called “THE ADHIVESHAN” is convened every year at different places. The yearly accounts and other routine work are sanctioned in the yearly sessions. However, the office bearers and other members of the Executive Committee of the Sabha and its branches are elected once in three years at the respective sessions. The Trustee committee regulates the movable and immovable properties of the Sabha.

This institution is aloof from politics.

Future Plans

  • The institution presently intends to spread and concentrate on work in the areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra where the Jain population is sufficiently large in number. This will be done by way of registration of members and introduction of the institution’s work in the area.
  • Besides it is deemed that our brethren in the North should have closer contact with us, easy exchange of thoughts and co-operation in various matters. It is quite desirable that all Jains in South and North India should ultimately come under one banner.
  • It is proposed to hold sessions and seminars for the youths. Industrialists, agriculturists and industrial workers.
  • Sincere efforts are afoot to augment the Scholarship Fund to help more and more needy and deserving students during their student-hood. Similarly attempts are being made to establish new hostels at different places and expand the existing ones.
  • Efforts are being made to strengthen the Educational Institutions run by Jain community people by trying to bring them under one banner of a Federation of such Educational Institutions. This will provide and foster a common platform for seeking solutions of problems faced by them.

Past work

For the wide spread of education, the Sabha has started a number of Jain Boardings and Mahilashrams with the provisions of Jain Mandirs, religious teaching facilities, library, Sports, vegetarian food, Scholarships to the poor students, etc.! at the moderate rates are provided. As a result, today a large number of Doctors, Engineers, Advocates, Professors, Merchants, Industrialist are seen in good and graceful position in society.

To promote its principle, aim of education and social uplift, the Sabha has raised a lot of funds like scholarship fund, Life member fund, Samantbhadra Jeevan Sanjivani fund, Award fund etc.

On the occasion of Centenary Celebration of the late Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, the founder of ‘Rayat Education Society’ the Sabha Started a Social Service award. Since then many such awards were started. Now the number has reached about 23. ‘Award’ fund was initiated.

The Central Government of India unexpectedly deleted the name of Jain Community, while Specifying the religions included in the National Minority Commission- 1992: Declaration on 23rd October 1993.

Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha led a successful movement against Central Government to attain national minority status for Jain Community which was un-comparable and unique. The decision of Sabha of creation of Legal Cell under the able leadership of Late Shri Bal Patil for this purpose was very accurate. He was renowned author, journalist, lecturer and active social worker. He was attaining number of important positions in the society. He was bestowed by many prestigious awards. His personality was multifarious and therefore he remained active and successful in accelerating this movement up to the last stage of his life. At the beginning of the movement he came to know that the minority status of Jain community was denied by the Central Government from 1993 after enactment of the National Minority Commission Act of 1992. The name of Jain Religion was deleted from the list of minority religions declared in 1993, even though basically as per constitution of India the name of Jain Religion was included in the list of six minority religions. After review he and other leaders came to know that it was manipulation of Hinduists. Without advocating the real nature of minority status, they misguided Jains and especially Jain Swetamber sadhus and rich- prestigious persons of the community by saying them that why are you showing levity for meagre economic benefits? As a result, such Jains became opponents and some of them submitted representations to Central Government by saying that we need no minority status for our community as like backward communities. Thus, situation became worst. Late shri Bal Patil met such sadhus and personalities to convince them. He advocated them that most ancient Jain religion of India needs religious minority status, to preserve its religious philosophy, culture, literature, social traditions and obtain conveniences and facilities along with rights available as per articles from 25 to 30 of the constitution of India which are safeguard to minority religion. Economic benefits will automatically come after having minority status. This type of advocacy by Late Shri. Bal Patil convinced all the sections of the Jain community and they Voluntarily and unitedly joined this movement.

The National co-ordination committee was formed to speed up this movement. The whole Jain Community struggled unitedly for more than two decades to achieve this goal and ultimately Jains succeeded in obtaining religious minority status through peaceful approach by crossing number of hindrances (Created by Hinduists). Dr. Manmohan Singh ministry gave approval to this minority status and declared it on 27th January 2014 in Govt. of India’s Gazette. Jain society expressed sense of gratitude towards Government of India on this occasion. It was great success which came through Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha’s strong movement led by Late Shri. Bal Patil and leaders of Sabha.

Diwanbahaddur Annasaheb Latthe was the pillar of Sabha who unfortunately died on 16th May 1950. The Gouravanidhi collected to honour Annasaheb Latthe was converted in to Smritinidhi after his death and Latthe Education Society was established on 13th June 1951 in his memory. In this way Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha entered in to the field of education. Today Latthe Education Society is pioneer educational institution in Maharashtra and Karnataka functioning with 39 branches. Then Anekant Education Society of Pune, Shri Aillak Pannalal Digamber Jain Pathshala of Solapur and Shri Deshbhushan Shikshan Prasarak Mandal of Kolhapur were estabhlished in 1962 and today these educational institutions are also functioning efficienty in the region of western Maharashtra. These educational institutions are leaving their impact on this area. With this inspiration Bharatesh Education Trust of Belgaum (1968), Gomtesh Education Society of Belgaum and Mahavir Education Society of Hubli (1972) are also Contributing much in the field of education.

Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha was established on 3rd April 1899. And Jain Mahila Parishad was also came into existence on the same day. Veer Seva Dal was established in 1979 by converting Jain Vidyarthi Mandal (Yuvak Mandal) of 1922 (which was established in Silver Jubilee Conference of Sangli) into it. Graduates’ Association was established in 1989 and Veer Mahila Mandal in 1995. Activities like providing Volunteers for Jain public functions, conducting religious pathashalas, starting minority educational institutions, students counselling, agriculture, industries, creation of literature and research in it, publication of books, etc. of these branches gave recognition to D.B.Jain Sabha as a National level Institution.

Veer Seva Dal played very important role in organizing and planning of hundreds of yuvak and yuvati volunteers for Bhagawan Bahubali Sahastrabdi Mahotsava (1981) and Dakshin Bharat Vihar of Poojya Acharya Vidyanandji Maharaj and Janmangal Kalash Pravartan in the very initial stage of it. As a result, in a very short period Veer Seva Dal achieved national level reputation. The rise of Veeracharya Babasaheb Kuchnure gave impetus to this organization. He devoted his whole life to Veer Seva Dal. He led number of Volunteers in Panchkalyan Mahotsava, Pooja, Vidhi- Vidhanas, services to Sadhus, Protection of Teerthakshetras, as well in state and national level meetings, functions, mahotsavas and helped lot in smooth organization of those events. Automatically it gave reputation to mother- institute Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha.

In the initial stage of Veer Seva Dal it provided Volunteers to Panchakalyan Mahotsava organized at Hastinapur by P.P. Dnyanmati Mataji after the construction of structure of Jambudweep. This Mahotsava was inugurated by then Prime minister Atalbihari Bajpai, Veeracharya Babasaheb Kuchanure himself Participated in this mahotsava with his 125 volunteers. From this mahotsava sabha- Hastinapur- Veer Seva Dal tied together. This tie-up created very close relations between Sabha and Hastinapur. As a result of the movement of Shri. Bal Patil Jain Community was on the eve of the success in attaining religious minority status and fortunately P.P. Dnyanamati Mataji was also attaining 60 years of her “Aryika Diksha” and 80 years of age during this year. Taking in to account these events shri Digamber Jain Trilok Sanstha, Hastinapur took opportunity, in Conferring “P.P. Ganinipramukh Dnyanamati Mataji Ideal Institution Award” to Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha which is struggling for all-round development of Jain Community for the last 114 years on 18th October 2013, the birthday of Veeracharya Babasaheb Kuchanure. Sabha achieved very precious award of Hastinapur in its post-centenary period. Hon’ble Shri. Raosaheb Patil, President of Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha and his co-authorities accepted this valuable award by the auspicious hands of shriman Rajkumar Jain of Delhi, Hon’ble Ex.-M.P. Shri. J.K. Jain and Hon’ble Vice- Chancellor Suresh Jain of Teerhankar University. “Jain Sanghostus Mangalm” is the motto of Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha and so Sabha is taking sincere efforts for multi-dimensional development of Jain Community since 1899. Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha offers heartily thanks to Trilok Shodh Sanstha and P.P. Ganini Pramukh Dnyanmati Mataji for Conferring this award.

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