Girilal Jain

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Girilal Jain (गिरिलाल जैन) (1924 – 19 July 1993), was an Indian journalist. He served as the editor of The Times of India from 1978 till 1988. He was sympathetic to Hindu nationalism and authored books on the subject, the best known of which, The Hindu Phenomenon, was published posthumously. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1989.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Girilal Jain was born in a rural village 50 miles (80 kilometeres) from New Delhi. He received a bachelor's degree from Delhi University. He married Sudarshan Jain in 1951. They had a son and three daughters, among whom are the historian Meenakshi Jain and the columnist Sandhya Jain.

He died on July 19, 1993 at the age of 69.[2]

His views[edit]

Khushwant Singh wrote that, towards the end of his career, Girilal Jain's writings showed a "distinct anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Sikh bias."[3] Jain was reportedly fired as the editor of the Times of India as a result of his Hindutva sympathies.[4][dubious ][5]

After retirement, he became an even more vocal supporter of the Hindutva organisations and penned the book The Hindu Phenomenon which was edited and published by his daughter Meenakshi Jain posthumously.[3]

Girilal Jain welcomed the movement for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya as part of the process of Hindu self-renewal and self-affirmation.[6]

He believed that the political-economic order that Jawaharlal Nehru had fashioned was as much in its last throes as its progenitor, the Marxist–Leninist- Stalinist order. He believed that the two major planks of this order, secularism and socialism, have "lost much of their old glitter" while the third, non-alignment, has become redundant.[7][verification needed]

According to him, the concept of nation is alien to Hindu temperament and genius. For, it emphasized the exclusion of those who did not belong to the charmed circle (territorial, linguistic or ethnic) as much as it emphasized the inclusion of those who fell within the circle. By contrast, the essential spirit of Hinduism was inclusivist, and not exclusivist by definition. Such a spirit must seek to abolish and not build boundaries. That is why, he held, that Hindus could not sustain an anti-Muslim feeling, except temporarily and, that too under provocation.[8]

Jain was criticised for his 1982 Times Of India editorial titled "De-Turbaning of Sikhs" for its anti-Sikh bias.[9]

  • A number of Indians have tried to define secularism as sarva dharma samabhava (equal respect for all religions). I cannot say whether they have been naive or clever in doing so. But the fact remains that secularism cannot admit of such an interpretation. In fact, orthodox Muslims are quite justified in regarding it as irreligious. Moreover, dharma cannot be defined as religion which is a Semitic concept and applies only to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Hinduism is not a religion in that sense; nor are Jainism and Buddhism, or for that matter, Taoism and Confucianism.
    • Girilal Jain, "Limits of the Hindu Rashtra", in : Elst, Koenraad: Ayodhya and after, Appendix I
  • As far as I know, Nehru never defined secularism in its proper European and historical context.
    • Girilal Jain, "This is Hindu India", in : Elst, Koenraad: Ayodhya and after, Appendix I

On Peoples[edit]

On Mahatma Gandhi[edit]

  • "I could find no explanation worthy of the Mahatma for his decision to accept leadership of the khilafat movement. The decision, it seemed to me, revealed the great man's proverbial Achilles' heel."
    • page 52, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.
  • "But, he was a bhakt not of Ram in his totality, that is of Ram the warrior also, but of Ram as Purushottam Purusha, that is, of Ram who set the ideal for ethical life."
    • Page 152, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On Muhammad Ali Jinnah[edit]

  • "Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the greatest benefactor of hindus in modern times, if he was not a hindu in disguise."
    • page 56, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On narrowmindedness of rulers of Independent India[edit]

  • "It speaks for the spirit animating the rulers of independent India that even the roads named after Curzon and Hastings in New Delhi have been renamed."
    • page 38, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On Hinduism[edit]

  • "Many Hindu intellectuals are just not able to comprehend the fact that there is no human aspiration or experience which lies outside the range of Hinduism; it provides for even demon-Gods. In contrast, all religions are in the nature of sects, though they cannot be so defined because of their insistence on their separateness and, indeed, hostility to Hinduism"
    • Page 5, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On relation of Hinduism with Jainism and Buddhism[edit]

  • "In view of deliberate attempts in recent decades to project Buddhism and Jainism as separate religions, distinct from Hinduism, it would be in order to deal with them in passing. the attempts have clearly been motivated by the design to separate their followers from the parent body called Hinduism just as Sikhs have been to an extent. Though not to the same extent as in the case of Sikhs, the attempts have succeeded in as much as neo-Buddhists and at least some Jains have come to regard themselves as non-Hindus.
  • In reality, however, Buddhisms and Jainism have been no more than movements within the larger body of Hinduism, not significantly different from Lingayats, Saktas or Bhaktas of more recent times."
    • page 24-25, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On Hindutva[edit]

  • "It is sheer dishonesty or naivete to suggest, as is being widely suggested these days, that Hinduism can admit of theocracy. That is a Muslim privilege which no one else can appropriate."
    • Page 105, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.
  • "Such is the grip of the misrepresentation of Hindutva in anti-Muslim terms that (even) its proponents, including some leaders of the Bhartiya Janata Party, themselves, speak of it defensively".
    • Page 106, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.
  • "The BJP is not a communal party; it cannot be, for the simple reason that Hindus have never been, and are not, a community in the accepted sense of the term. They represent an ancient civilization not known either to draw a boundary between the faithful and the faithless, the blessed and the damned, or to engage in heresy hunting and its counterpart, persecution of other faiths. Hindus are, in western terms, pagans."
    • Page 149, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.
  • "Unlike Islamic fundamentalists, the BJP does not claim to possess a blueprint. It shall have to struggle to evolve an Indian approach to modern problems."
    • Page 105, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.

On Marxism[edit]

  • "Western thinkers had merged liberalism and Marxism to produce the theory of democratic socialism and in the process emasculated both."
    • Page 152, The Hindu Phenomenon, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-86112-32-4.


  1. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Girilal Jain, 69, Editor; Backed Indira Gandhi". The New York Times. 1993-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Khushwant Singh (31 Aug 1994). "Biased view - Book review of Girilal Jain's 'The Hindu Phenomenon'". India Today. Retrieved 26 Aug 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Koenraad Elst (2001). Who is a Hindu?. 7. Are Jains Hindus?. Voice of India. Retrieved 2012-08-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Mahalingam, Sudha (3 July 1998). "Citizen Jain". Frontline. Retrieved 2014-08-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. back page, The Hindu Phenomenon, ISBN 81-86112-32-4.
  7. editors note, The Hindu Phenomenon, ISBN 81-86112-32-4
  8. page vi, editors note, The Hindu Phenomenon, ISBN 81-86112-32-4
  9. "Congressional Record — Extensions of Remarks September 28, 1996" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links[edit]

wikiquote:Girilal Jain

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