By Mahavir Sanglikar
The supremacy of any community does not depend on its economical progress, financial richness or GDP of that community, but it is measured using various parameters. The richness of any community is in how many intellectuals, scientists, thinkers, philosophers, mathematicians, researchers, artists, authors, actors, musicians, singers, sportspersons, social reformers, social activists, educationalists, professors etc. it has given. If any community, linguistic group or religious group has failed to give such variety of people, it is just a shameful thing for that community.
If any community is engaged largely in unproductive business like trading, money lending, share broking, commission agency, Satta Bazar etc, it is also a shameful thing. Members of such community are just parasites living on others. Such community has no right to call themselves as superiors to others, because they are not. They never can be.
They are like those students, who get distinction in one subject and fail all other subjects.
If you remember any great Jain personality from ancient and medieval history of India, you will find that he was not a Baniya! Baniyas cannot produce great people, as they are unproductive. Have you seen any Rishabh, Krishna, Mahavir, Buddha or Jujus born in Baniya community? Have you seen any Chandragupt, Kumarpal, Maharana Pratap or Shivaji born in Baniya community? Have you seen any Aryabhat, Mahaviracharya, Bhaskaracharya or Newton born in Baniya community?
The great Saman Mahavir appointed 11 great Brahmin Scholars as his chief disciples (Not a single Baniya he found! How can a Baniya be a Scholar?). His followers were from all creeds and he was supported by various kings and queens. His mission was not dependent of Baniyas.
Osho has said in one of his book that the worst thing happened with Jainism was that this great religion became victim of Baniyas. Remember that traders are the least respected people in Indian community.
Kshatriys gave teerthankars, warriors, emperors and great Acharyas, Brahmins gave great acharys and scholars, and even shudras gave great Acharyas and kings to Jain community and mankind. What was the contribution of Baniyas? They just started to put ornaments on the idols of the teerthankars. The teerthankars who had renounced all the worldly things! They started auctions in Jain temples. They made their religion a business!
If you are a Jain and call yourself as a Baniya, it is a very sad and shameful thing. Jainism has never supported the Vedic idea of Varna (class) system by birth. Even if you are influenced by Varna system and call yourself as a Baniya, remember that you are on 3rd position (third class). Brahmins and Kshatriyas are superior to you. You are just one step ahead of Shudras, but nearer to Shudras. Moreover, you are not loyal to your Jain identity and you want to hide it. But you should hide Baniya identity, not the Jain identity as Jain identity is superior to any other identity.
If Jains wish that Jain community should become superior, they should leave Baniyagiri and should spread in every field of life. Let the world see Olympians, Oscar award winners and Nobel Prize winners, Einsteins, Abdul Kalams, Mother Teresas, Abdul Hameeds etc. from Jain community. It is not an impossible thing, as Jain community has given great persons in past. Even today, we can do it. The first step towards doing it is to ban Baniyagiri and to reject Baniya identity.
There are millions of non-Baniya Jains all over India and when compared to Baniya Jains, they are far ahead in various fields. Even in Baniya Jain communities the people who have thrown away Baniyagiri have made a great progress.
Now it is upon you, which identity you will prefer. Jain or Baniya?