COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR DIALOGUE AND SOCIAL HARMONY
Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, Goa, on 5th April, 2018
AS REPORTED BY THE GOAN
Spiritual leaders’ clarion call to stand up for social harmony
06th April 2018, 04:14 Hrs
Spiritual leaders representing various faiths on Thursday expressed their deep worry and concern at the way forces of hate and division are striving to polarise the Indian polity, while giving a call to all men and women of goodwill to stand up for social harmony, asserting that the country cannot progress simply with slogans and promises.
A statement issued at the conclusion of Collective Action for Dialogue and Social Harmony organised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) in collaboration with the Agnel region of the Society of Pilar and Bhartiya Sarva Dharma Sansad expressed its deep distress at the communal tensions that they have seen in recent days in West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan and other states.
The statement signed by the CBCI Secretary General Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, President of Bhartiya Sarva Dharma Sansad Sushil Goswamy Maharaj, Chief Iman of India and President of Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chairman of Bangla Sabhi Gurudwara Paramjit Singh Chandok, International Mahavir Jain Mission president Vivek Muni and founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre Bikku Sanghasena strongly condemned those who are seeking to inject the poison of hatred in the society.
“We reiterate every Indian has his dignity and respect and the right to decide what one eats, to marry the person of one’s choice, to choose the education one selects and the freedom to practice whatever faith one wishes to profess. We take strong exception to anyone taking control of these individual decisions be it on the part of the state or by so called cultural organisations. No one is to be categorised as anti-national or non-patriotic based on his religion, region or belongingness to a community,” the statement added.
Condemning all violence, lynchings and killings and requesting the authorities to take strong and speedy action against those involved in anti-social acts, the spiritual leaders expressed their concern about attacks on educational institutions and places of worship, while denouncing in unequivocal terms the attacks this week on three Catholic Churches in Rourkela, Odisha at a time when the peaceful Christian community was celebrating their feast of joy, Easter.
“We vehemently denounce mobs that go around taking law and order into their hands and appeal that the Constitutional norms and articles be respected and implemented in letter and spirit. Dalits be given their rightful place in society. We emphasise that the rights of the tribals, the marginalised, the workers and the poor be upheld and protected,” they said.
The statement said a nation can progress only when its people live with each other as brothers and sisters, where egoism gives place to selflessness, hate gives way to love, peace replaces violence.
Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao said India has been a country with diverse culture, language, religions over the years, where people co-existed and lived in peace and harmony, while expressing his concern over the violence, riots, attempts at polarising the society taking place in the society.
In his address, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas exuded confidence that the initiative that has been started from Goa will culminate in a series of meetings all over the country to create a positive energy to overcome hatred.
Iman Umer Ahmed Ilyasi stressed on the need to join hands to spread peace, love and brotherhood amongst the people, while Sushil Goswamy Maharaj said those who issue statements that Muslims should go to Pakistan are insulting the entire community, demanding to know why should Muslims go to Pakistan.
AS REPORTED BY THE TIMES OF INDIA
Religious heads to join forces to discuss Social Harmony
MARGAO: Spiritual leaders of six major religions in the country on Thursday expressed their deep distress regarding the recent communal tensions in Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan and other states in the country. They further denounced in unequivocal terms the attacks this week on three Catholic churches in Rourkela, Odisha ‘at a time when the peaceful Christian community was celebrating their feast of joy – Easter.’
They also condemned ‘all violence, lynchings and killings and requested the authorities to take strong and speedy action against those involved in anti-social acts.’ They vehemently denounced ‘the mobs that go around taking law and order into their hands and appealed that the Constitutional norms and articles be respected and implemented in letter and spirit.’ They strongly condemned ‘those who are seeking to inject the poison of hatred into our society.’ They appealed to ‘all men and women of goodwill to stand up for social harmony.’
The religious heads representing the faiths of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism such as Sushil Goswamy Maharaj, President of Bharatiya Sarva Dharama Sansad; Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of India and President of All India Imam Association and Imam Council of India; Most Rev Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI); Vivek Muni, President of International Mahavir Jain Mission; Paramjeet Singh Chandok, Chairman of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and Bhikku Sanghasena, Founder of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Ladakh publicly expressed their ‘deep worry and concern at the way the forces of hate and division are striving to polarise the Indian polity.’
They reiterated that ‘every Indian has his dignity and respect and the right to decide what one eats, to marry the person of one’s choice, to choose the education one selects and the freedom to practice whatever faith one wishes to profess.’ They further took strong exception to ‘anyone taking control of these individual decisions be it on the part of the State or by so-called cultural organisations. No one is to be categorised as anti-national or non-patriotic based on his religion, region or belongingness to a community. Our county cannot progress simply with slogans and promises. A nation can progress only when it’s people live with each other as brothers and sisters, where egoism gives place to selflessness, hate gives way to love, peace replaces violence.’
They made these remarks during the conference titled ‘Collective Action for Dialogue and Social Harmony Youth of India: Looking Forward’ jointly organised by the CBCI, Society of Pilar, Agnel Region and Bharatiya Sarva Dharama Sansad at the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on Thursday noon on the occasion of the celebrations of the sixty years of the first institute of the Agnel region in Bandra-Mumbai and forty years of the educational complexes at Verna-Goa, Vashi-Mumbai and Delhi.
AS REPORTED BY NAVHIND TIMES
Inter-religious meet denounces communal violence, calls for unity
Posted by: nt April 6, 2018 in Goa News
With growing instances of communal violence in the country, an inter-religious meet of leaders from Muslim, Jain, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Catholic faiths denounced the violence and called for building goodwill and social harmony.
The leaders of all the six faiths signed a declaration condemning the violence, urging authorities to take speedy action and the society to stand up for soc ial harmony.
President of the Bhartiya Sarv Dharm Sansad Sushil Goswami Maharaj, chairman of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara Paramjeet Singh Chandok, president of Imam Council of India Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, president of International Mahavir Jain Mission Vivek Muni, founder of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Ladakh Bikku Sanghasena and secretary general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) were on the panel of speakers at the meet.
The chief guest Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao said that “there are many social problems the country is facing including unemployment, crime, child marriage, violence against women and corruption. But communal violence is dangerous and builds on distrust.” The Archbishop said the country is facing threat of terror and extremism in the name of religion that creates a climate of fear.
Bishop Mascarenhas said, “India was built a secular multi-religious peaceful society. This was not an accidental decision but was a choice that Indians made. Today there is a certain tendency to look at ourselves different from others, thereby destroying the unity in diversity model and making it intolerable.”
The speakers at the meet called for unity and social harmony and urged people to put the country first and not religions. Goswami Maharaj said that India has a culture that accommodates everyone. Imam Ilyasi urged people to be compassionate and to keep humanity alive. “Today there are over 70,000 deaths that happen in ambulances in India because there is no place for the vehicle to move. I urge you in the name of humanity to give them way to go to the hospital and while doing so say a small prayer for the health of the person in the ambulance,” he said.
Bikku Sanghasena called for developing a new vision for the country, one that promotes a global family and respects religions without creating any differences. Parmajit Chandok called for more dialogues of the kind to “sit alongside brothers of other faiths and build the spirit of love, peace and brotherhood.”
AS REPORTED BY HERALD
Inter-religious conference sends message of peace and unity
MARGAO: The Collective Action for Dialogue and Social Harmony on the theme “Youth of India: Looking Forward” organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) in collaboration with the Society of Pilar and Bharitya Sarva Dharama Sansad sent a message of peace and unity to the country.
The members of the Sarva Dharma Sansad and CBCI have conveyed a message of peace, harmony, love and brotherhood to India and Indians. The gathering of religious representatives has vowed to stop the spread of hatred and divide on communal and religious lines in the country.
Vivek Muni Ji Maharaj of the International Mahavir Jain Mission, Bhikku Saghasena, Founder Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Ladakh, Paramjit Singh Chandok, Chairman Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi, Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President, Imam Council of India, Goswami Sushil Ji Maharaj, President, Bharatiya Sarva Dharma Sansad, Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao as chief guest, Bishop Thedore Mascarenhas and others were present at the dialogue.
In his address, Vivek Muni Ji Maharaj said that the topic taken up for dialogue is the need of entire nation and the world. “The message of religions has been of love, nonviolence, brotherhood and India won’t go ahead without the concept of unity in diversity.”
Bhikku Saghasena the Founder Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Ladakh said that the dialogue is very rightly timed and is much needed now. “My earnest desire is that Goa remains and prospers as the centre of peace and harmony for the country and the world as we have been able to achieve science breakthroughs but not brotherhood and peace in the country,” he said.
He also said that dialogue is the only way for restoration of peace in the country.
Paramjit Singh Chandok said that the Sarva Dharma Sansad would make efforts to unite the communities and stop fights that threaten the unity of the country.
Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi called for strengthening India. He informed that in India, over 70,000 deaths occur in ambulances as they don’t reach to the hospital in time due to various reasons on roads and called on to the people to have compassion for the people.
Goswami Sushil Ji Maharaj said, “The prime minister’s vision of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas has been well accepted and inculcated by the Indians, but the environment fear threatens the whole motive of the slogan.
“My Sanatan Hindu Dharma says that we have to walk together. However, the environment today has fear and no one understands what is it about? Our biggest duty is to keep the environment of fear away,” he said and exhorted the people to reject violence in the name of religion.
Appreciating the works of the Church and Missionary run schools, Sushil Ji Maharaj said, “What would the state of the country be if the schools run by missionaries were not there; therefore, I congratulate them for their effort in education.”
The Sarva Dharma Sansad vowed to stand against any religious trouble to the countrymen.
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao expressed his displeasure over the rising communal unrest in the country and called on the gathering to walk the talk to keep the communal harmony.
“India will not break again. We will sow the seeds for a new country of unity on the Goan soil,” said the religious representatives in conclusion.