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UNITEA IN DIVERSITEA INDRANI DASGUPTA The lake, the mosque and we the people all set the stage of Unitea in Diversitea programme on 4th February at Lake Masjid Kolkata. United Nations is organizing the week on Diverse faith united by values. The main objective of this event is to promote peace, respect and harmony in our world. The flowering cultural and religious pluralism in our world means that interfaith engagement becomes ever more important today. To this The Indian Pluralism Foundation arranged a tea party with discussion on harmony by different religious leaders of Kolkata at Lake Masjid. OPEN DOORS OPEN MINDS The world has entered a period when the habitual political landscape is being redrawn. Not only new risks are emerging but old ones are resurfacing again, even though everyone thought they were gone for good. In times of uncertainty, stability depends on how strong and broad the universally recognized framework of law is. In India, our constitution, the legal document of our country directs her citizens to be identified by one recognition and that is we the people. One of the day’s speakers mentions that this very concept “we the people” is our country’s religion. To appreciate his statement every Indian citizen today will accept this phrase as their religion and they should keep their doors and minds open to all. Sikh priest Mr. Aluwalia tells the audience that Punjab is the state where mosques, temples and churches are found not in numbers only but those are also famous for constructions. The Buddhist monk Tshering caught the day’s attention by his own personal simplicity, broad smile, manner of tolerance and benevolence. Yes, Buddhism teaches and preaches the principles of non violence and love to all. Tshering also represents himself as the replica of his religious teachings. Likewise Father Martin P. emphasizes on the concept of Christian love. All of us should love one another. Love begins in home. Next we should love our neighbours. In such manner love should spread all over. Hatred is not at all desired. Only love can remove the barriers of differences. Love can establish in our mind the concept of “we feeling” by removing the concept of ‘they feeling.” Mr. Dipankar, Mr. Vimal Kumar Saha and Mr. Arijit also explain the situation of religious differences from their own viewpoint. Haj Committee Secretary Mr. Mukhtar says that food habit of a particular religion can never be the issue of politics. Those who are instigating in the society the issues like this they can never be the friends of our society. Sia leader Mr. Javed Rizvi has his own family tradition of being benevolent to other religions. His Father was also an eminent scholar both in Islamic and other religious studies. Mr. Rizvi who has come along with his younger brother is also an example of Islamic elite culture that bears its own elegant view. Certainly his valour reveals that he can save every situation, every human being in peace as well as in conflict. In conclusion we can say that peace begins with a smile. I cannot kill you because you are on the other side of the river and above all we should never forget that we have been created for greater things, to love and to be loved. A tea party in the courtyard of a Mosque is a rare experience to the invites from different walks of life .Thank you Owaiz for organizing such an event for the Kolkatans.
SAVE DEMOCRACY SAVE SECULARISM By Indrani DasGupta. Celebration of Commemorating the 69th Republic Day of India, on Sunday 14th January 2018 Indian Pluralism Foundation organized an event ‘Save Democracy Save Secularism ‘at Kalamandir basement. It was a Panel discussion by eminent Religious leaders and awardee, IndiraGandhi Award for National IntegrityMr. Ram Puniyani . The programme began with a felicitation ceremony of the dignitaries . Since the panel discussion was not at all a political one, so Democracy, mainly a political concept was viewed from a different angle. Maharaj Somanand from Ramakrishna Mission order mentioned the story of Chotbaba ( who only wears a cloth made by jute.) in Himalaya who predicted one of the sages of the order that the coming days are not favourable for us, for the Indians.MAHARAJ also cited examples from the life of Swami Vivekananda and said us that what a struggle he had to face to establish the message of RamakrishnaParamhansa as well as the essence of Indian religion in world stage. Father Martin P. current priest of St. Xavier’s , spoke about the pure concept of love. Love yourself, love your neighbour and love the almighty to maintain harmony and peace in a democratic country like India said Father. The Buddhist monk, also a good orator, Mr. Arunjyoti Bhikkhu, naturally impressed the audience with the Buddhist concept of non-violence,. He said the young generation to pay due respect to their parents so that they acn respect any person intheir life. Gautam Buddha, popularly known as Lord Buddha, was a flame of enlightenment who spread the concept of peace with his beautiful teaching guidelines. We the believers of Hinduism always feel proud about Brahmanya Dharma, but Arunjyoti Bhikkhu opened our eyes by mentioning the essence of Buddhism in our daily life. True democracy lies in tolerance. Buddhist concept of tolerance is a method to practice which is very essential for a democratic society. The Jain ambassador in his brief message urged that the concept of democracy cannot be broken , there is no need to save democracy. Democracy always walks in its own pro-people way. He also mentioned that the Head of Jain order in India visit different states of the country by feet and does not use any vehicle. The day’s next attraction was Tarsem Singh , a Sikh by religion also mentioned in his lecture the principles of Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh in safeguarding the democratic essence of India. How the Gurudwara by serving langar to all irrespective of class or caste sets an example of national unity. The contribution of the Sikh brothers in India’s struggle for independence was also appreciated. The day’s main attraction was the speech of Maulana Abu Talib. Friends, Maulana saab delivered a thunderous mind blowing speech where he praised Abul Kalam Azad, the freedom fighter and accused the foreign Press to label the Muslims as terrorists. In India Maulana saab said the Muslims are much stronger than the Muslims in Arab ,because the Muslims here fully enjoy the freedom of speech. He gave us a red alert ‘There is fire in the global arena today that spread out everywhere, but in India we should not come in touch of that fire of violence. We shall save our democracy.” A 19 year old boy Wali Rahmani also eager to establish communal harmony in India. He cited the examples of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi who in a war against the Britishers asked to save a mosque instead of a temple and praised Tipu Sultan that he had his Hindu colleagues with him. Finally Mr. Ram Puniyani alarmed us to not to engage ourselves in the politics of beef. He also cited a number of examples from history that depicted the Hindu Muslim unity and not conflict. How MahatmaGandhi worked throughout his life to save the communal harmony in India. Mr. Puniyani also asked the mass to become conscious about harmony and not to share any leader’s view who instigated the mass to engage themselves in violence. Our heartfelt thanks to the organizers as well as the leaders to gift us the Kolkatans as well as the Bengalees who are now outside Kolkata a beautiful enlightened Sunday morning
At its most fundamental level, Religiously inspired hate violence is an aggressive expression of prejudice against another person or group of people simply because of who they are, or who they are perceived to be. Any crime committed by one human being against another is a tragedy, but a crime that is motivated by hatred under the red herring of Religion and prejudice tears apart the lives not only of the individuals who are targeted, but of the larger group they represent. At Indian Pluralism Foundation we believe in defending faiths and beliefs from tendentious attacks and safeguarding our Democratic way of life as well as working indefatigably towards Justice, Liberty, Equality & Fraternity.
The increasing religious diversity of the INDIA means that inter faith engagement is ever more important. The conversations that take place between people of different faiths and beliefs are at the heart of this. It is through talking to one another that we begin to explore, understand and eventually act. Such conversation, or ‘dialogue’, is a vital part of building the mutual respect, understanding and cooperation that benefits all. Indian Pluralism Foundation is engaged in dialogue and discussion in a number of ways. Local Inter Faith Groups also bring people of different faiths together in dialogue to discuss current issues, historical problems or matters of local concern. Examples of dialogue and discussion include: • A dialogue between two specific faiths on a specific topic, especially where there is historic imperative or current need • Young people of different faiths getting together to talk about their experiences of faith and belief • Informal discussions between people of different faiths in daily life, at school, in the workplace or on campus • A multi faith dialogue between faith leaders discussing common action on a particular issue, such as climate change, the refugee crisis, or hate crime. • Dialogue that takes place through faith-based social action • Dialogue and discussion on line and on social media
Community Cohesion is fundamental and integral to the work of Indian Pluralism Foundation. The root of our work to champion Community Cohesion at Indian Pluralism Foundation is our driving force and desire to build cohesion between people belonging to all Faiths. Cohesion has therefore been an impetus for us within the Organisation Community Cohesion work will continue to be essential to maintaining healthy, tranquil, positive and good community relations and will become even more important to promote harmony amongst communities and societies within our country. This is why we will continue to focus on this area and work towards mutual understanding, mutual respect mutual admiration and mutual learning within regions, villages, districts and cities in the India.