Jainism in India

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

Indian Jains
Jain flag
Jain Temple Ranakpur.jpg
Chaumukha Jain Temple
Total population
4,451,753 (2011)[1]
0.40% (of the total population of India)
Aadinath Swami
Regions with significant populations
Madhya Pradesh567,028
Languages of India

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

Per the 2011 census, there are 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 has been far greater on the Indian population than these numbers suggest. Jains can be found in every states and union territories, varying from large societies to smaller. The state of Jharkhand, with a population of 16,301 Jains also contains the holy pilgrimage centre of Sammed 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, the Supreme Court of India ruled 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]

Status in India[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

District wise Jain population percentage India census 2011
States having more than 100,000 Jains in 2011 India Census[20]
State Jain Population (approximate) Jain Population (%)
Maharashtra 1,400,349 1.246%
Rajasthan 622,023 0.907%
Gujarat 579,654 0.959%
Madhya Pradesh 567,028 0.781%
Karnataka 440,280 0.721%
Uttar Pradesh 213,267 0.107%
Delhi 166,231 0.99%
Literacy in India by religion[21]
Religion Literacy Rate
Jain 94.9
Christian 84.5
Buddhist 81.3
Sikh 75.4
Hindu 73.3
Muslim 68.5

See also[edit]


  1. "Census of India".
  2. "National minority status for Jains". The Telegraph.
  3. "Jains become sixth minority community". dna. 21 January 2014.
  4. Glasenapp 1999, p. 15.
  5. Dundas 2002, p. 12.
  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. Glasenapp 1999, p. 24.
  8. Dundas 2002, p. 17.
  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.
  13. S.S. Negi (11 August 2005). "Jains, Sikhs part of broader Hindu religion, says SC". Tribune. Retrieved 11 August 2005.
  14. "CASE NO.:Appeal (civil) 4730 of 1999 PETITIONER:Bal Patil & Anr. RESPONDENT:Union of India & Ors. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/08/2005".
  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".
  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". livemint.com/.
  18. "Jains granted minority status". The Hindu. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  19. "Eye on votes, UPA gives Jain community minority status". Hindustan Times. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 August 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. "Jains most literate in North, Muslims the least". Hindustan Times. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2021.


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