Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss the cultural significance of the Parasnath Hills in the state of Jharkhand in the context of recent controversy.

Discuss the cultural significance of the Parasnath Hills in the state of Jharkhand in the context of recent controversy.

Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss the cultural significance of the Parasnath Hills in the state of Jharkhand in the context of recent controversy.

Ans: In Giridih, Jharkhand, the Parasnath Hills are the site of a conflict between the Jains and Adivasis. The Parasnath Hills are seeing Jain-Santhal conflict, with each side claiming it as their own. At the core of the discord is their differing belief systems, the give and take of community living waning, and traditions gradually hardening into opposing positions.

 

Cultural Significance of Marang Buru and Shikharji:

  • During the full moon of the Baisakh month (in May), Adivasis from the Santhal community in Hazaribagh, erstwhile Manbhum, and the larger Santhal Pargana areas in Jharkhand, gather at the base of Marang Buru or the hill deity.
  • The annual custom, dating back generations, begins with a night-long hunt by the Santhal men in the forested hills along the eastern side of the Chota Nagpur It culminates in a two-day tribal session to discuss community problems and resolutions.
  • Marang Buru, where the ritual is conducted, is located on the slopes of the Parasnath Hills, in present-day Jharkhand’s Giridih district, also home to Sammed Shikharji, its highest peak at 1,350 metres, and one of the holiest pilgrimage sites of the Jain Here, followers believe 20 of the 24 Tirthankaras (enlightened beings) attained nirvana.
  • The pilgrimage takes them through the hills, including the site from where the Santhals’ sacred hunt begins. Jain pilgrims are bound by their scripture not to hurt any living creature. There are no lights on the hill, as these attract insects, which the Jains are then in danger of stepping on.