The Tamil Jains of India

in Module
Published on: 18 September 2018

Mahima Jain

Mahima A. Jain is a freelance journalist and writer. She has worked as an editor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, 'The Hindu', and the 'Hindu BusinessLine'. She writes on environment, business, and culture. Her research focuses on the history, identity and socio-cultural position of Tamil Jains within Tamil society as well as their unique place as a minority within the minority Jain community. In 2015, she was awarded the Nehru Trust for India Collection at the V&A (Jain Art) Fellowship to study Tamil Jain heritage through colonial records. She presented a paper on 'Communicating Heritage: Construction of Tamil Jain Identity in Print and Social Media' in 2017 at the European Association for Study of Religion Conference at University of Leuven, Belgium. You can reach her at

Tamil Jains have been a part of the regional history of south India for over two millennia. From an omnipresent community a millennium ago to a marginalised one in the 21st century, they are today in the predicament of trying to find place for themselves in a world that has forgotten them. My main article will focus on the site of Kazhugumalai, and its significance and relevance as a Tamil Jain site, the challenges it poses, and the solutions it provides.