Bengaluru, (Karnataka), 7th October 2020: Derogatory editorial by Vishweshwar Bhat editor of “Vishwavani” in one of his editorials on 7th October 2020 has irked the Jain community.
when writing about wearing mask during the Covid-19 pandemic, he has said “Making People wear Mask is equivalent to Making Gommata/Bahubali wear Shorts”.
This has hurted Jain sentiments and has invited wide spread criticism from the Jain community on social media and society across India. Members of the Jain community, Jain activists and religious leaders have criticised this. Jains have demanded for an unconditionally written apology by the editor and an apology in this regard to be published on their newspaper.
His Holiness Jagadguru SwastiSri Dr.Devendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji of Hombuja Jain Math criticised this and has said, “when the entire world is Reeling under Covid-19 and lives of common men on affected this kind of a statement hurting the sentiments of Jain community is uncalled for. They could have given a different caption and instance for their statement. usage of this language is unpardonable. Our Country has not given the freedom of speech to people to crticise anyone religion, God or culture. Should we consider the usage of such derogatory statement as your gift to the Jain Maths and organizations who have felicited you? You should take back your words and apologise immediately”.
Mala Harshendra Jain, a Jain activist from Bengaluru has directly confronted Mr. Bhat. Mr. Bhat has apologised and has assured that they will seek an apology in their successive issue.
– Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS)