Jainism in India

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Indian Jains
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Total population
(57,15,753 (0.45% of total india population)[1])
Regions with significant populations
Languages of India

Jainism is India's sixth-largest religion and is practiced throughout India.[2][3]

As per 2001 census, there are only 4,451,753 Jains in the 1.21 billion population of India, the majority living in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, however, the influence of Jainism is far greater on Indian population that these numbers suggest. Jains can be found in 34 out of 35 states and union territories, with Lakshdweep being the only union territory without Jains. The state of Jharkhand, with a population of 16,301 Jains also contains the holy pilgrimage centre of Shikharji.


Jain doctrine teaches that Jainism has always existed and will always exist,[4][5][6][7][8] Like most ancient Indian religions, Jainism has its roots from the Indus Valley Civilization, reflecting native spirituality prior to the Indo-Aryan migration into India.[9][10][11] Other scholars suggested the Shramana traditions were separate and contemporaneous with Indo-Aryan religious practices of the historical Vedic religion.[12] In August 2005, Supreme Court of India gave verdict that Jainism, Sikhism (and Buddhism) are distinct religions, but are inter-connected and inter-related to Hinduism, so these three are part of wider broader Hindu religion, based on the historic background on how the Constitution had come into existence after.[13][14] However, in the 2006 verdict, Supreme Court of India found that the "Jain Religion is indisputably not a part of the Hindu Religion".[15][16]

Accorded National minority status for Jain

On January 20, 2014, the Government of India awarded the minority status to the Jain community in India, as per Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act (NCM), 1992. This made the Jain community which makes for 4.5 million or 0.36 percent of the population as per 2011 census, the sixth community to be designated this status as a "national minority", after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.[17] Though Jains already had minority status in 11 states of India including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, in 2005 a petition was filed with Supreme Court of India, by community representatives, which was also backed by the National Minorities Commission. In its judgement the court left the decision to the Central government.[18][19]

Jainism by state

Jainism as a religion exists throughout India. Jainism also varies from state to state, but the core values are the same.

Census of India, 2011

States having more than 100,000 Jains in 2011 India Census[20]
State Jain Population (approximate) Jain Population (%)
Maharashtra 14,00,349 1.246%
Rajasthan 6,22,023 0.907%
Madhya Pradesh 5,67,028 0.781%
Gujarat 5,79,654 0.959%
Karnataka 4,40,280 0.721%
Uttar Pradesh 2,13,267 0.107%
Delhi 1,66,231 0.99%
Religion Literacy Rate
Jain 94.1
Christian 80.3
Buddhist 72.7
Sikh 69.4
Hindu 65.1
Muslim 59.1

See also


  1. "Census of India". [1]. External link in |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "National minority status for Jains". The Telegraph.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Jains become sixth minority community". dna. 21 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Helmuth von Glasenapp,Shridhar B. Shrotri. 1999. Jainism: an Indian religion of salvation. P.15 "Jainas consider that religion is eternal and imperishable. It is without beginning and it will never cease to exist. The darkness of error enveloping the truth in certain, periodically occurring aeons clears up again and again so that the brightness of the Jaina-faith can sparkle again anew."
  5. Dundas, Paul. 2002. The Jains. P.12 "Jainism is believed by its followers to be everlasting, without beginning or end..."
  6. Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. Narendra Bhandari. Samaṇ Suttaṁ. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti. “The Historians have so far fully recognized the truth that Tirthankara Mahavira was not the founder of the religion. He was preceded by many tirthankaras. He merely reiterated and rejuvenated that religion. It is correct that history has not been able to trace the origin of the Jaina religion; but historical evidence now available and the result of dispassionate researches in literature have established that Jainism is undoubtedly an ancient religion.” Pp. xii – xiii of introduction by Justice T.K.Tutkol and Dr. K.K. Dixit.
  7. Helmuth von Glasenapp,Shridhar B. Shrotri. 1999. Jainism: an Indian religion of salvation. P.24. "Thus not only nothing, from the philosophical and the historical point of view, comes in the way of the supposition that Jainism was established by Parsva around 800 BC, but it is rather confirmed in everything that we know of the spiritual life of that period."
  8. Dundas, Paul. 2002. The Jains. P.17. "Jainism, then, was in origin merely one component of a north Indian ascetic culture that flourished in the Ganges basin from around the eighth or seventh centuries BC."
  9. Larson, Gerald James (1995) India’s Agony over religion SUNY Press ISBN 0-7914-2412-X. “There is some evidence that Jain traditions may be even older than the Buddhist traditions, possibly going back to the time of the Indus valley civilization, and that Vardhamana rather than being a “founder” per se was, rather, simply a primary spokesman for much older tradition. Page 27”
  10. Joel Diederik Beversluis (2000) In: Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality, New World Library : Novato, CA ISBN 1-57731-121-3 Originating on the Indian sub-continent, Jainism is one of the oldest religion of its homeland and indeed the world, having pre-historic origins before 3000 BC and the propagation of Indo-Aryan culture.... p. 81
  11. Jainism by Mrs. N.R. Guseva p.44
  12. Long, Jeffrey D. (2009). Jainism: An Introduction. New York: I.B. Tauris. pp. 45–56. ISBN 978-1-84511-626-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. S.S. Negi (11 August 2005). "Jains, Sikhs part of broader Hindu religion, says SC". Tribune. Retrieved 11 August 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "CASE NO.:Appeal (civil) 4730 of 1999 PETITIONER:Bal Patil & Anr. RESPONDENT:Union of India & Ors. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/08/2005".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Supreme Court of India Committee Of Management Kanya ... vs Sachiv, U.P. Basic Shiksha ... on 21 August, 2006 Author: D Bhandari Bench: S. B.Sinha, Dalveer Bhandari".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. para 25, Committee of Management Kanya Junior High School Bal Vidya Mandir, Etah, Uttar Pradesh v. Sachiv, U.P. Basic Shiksha Parishad, Allahabad, U.P. and Ors., Per Dalveer Bhandari J., Civil Appeal No. 9595 of 2003, decided On: 21.08.2006, Supreme Court of India
  17. PTI. "Govt grants minority status to Jain community". http://www.livemint.com/. External link in |work= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Jains granted minority status". The Hindu. January 21, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Eye on votes, UPA gives Jain community minority status". Hindustan Times. January 20, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-01.html/