BHOPAL -- When Jain monk Tarun Sagar addressed legislators in Haryana Assembly on Friday, it was widely reported, termed as the 'first' such instance and some of his comments were criticised on social media.
But that was not the first such visit. Another Jain monk, Acharya Vidyasagar had delivered a discourse in the Madhya Pradesh assembly barely a month ago.
The widely respected Vidyasagar along with 38 other Digambar monks of his 'muni sangh' had been invited to Assembly by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other lawmakers.
Speaker Sitasaran Sharma, CM Chouhan and Congress leaders personally walked to the gate to personally welcome the monks when they arrived on July 28.
The legislators had also sought blessings from the revered monk. Later, Acharya Vidyasagar delivered a discourse, which the lawmakers heard in rapt attention. There was no controversy, then. Digambar Jain monks shun clothes, unlike Shwetambars who wear white clothes.
Acharya Vidyasagar raised several issues during his 40-minute discourse. Especially, he expressed concern about the commercialization of higher education, especially, the medical education, and urged government to take action in this regard.
Vidyasagar urged the ruling party members and opposition to shun their differences towards common good of people. Also, he stressed the need to instruct children in their mother tongue though he supported studying English, too.
After the speech that was held on Assembly premises, he had inspected other parts of the building too. It was said by lawmakers that there was a 'vastu dosh' in the Assembly building earlier and hoped that the monk's visit would now correct it.
The official press note of the Department of Public Relation of MP government on the day read as, "Prajatantra ke aakash mein satta aur vipaksh paraspar sahyog bina uncha nahin ud sakte" (Need proper coordination between ruling party and opposition to fly high on the firmament of democracy).
"We thank the monk for his visit that has blessed us all and purified the place", said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the occasion. In fact, whenever Acharya Vidyasagar visits Bhopal, top politicians along with citizens rush to seek his blessings.