New Delhi, August 20: In the backdrop of the growing communal rift in the society, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s call for Peace and Humanity witnessed leaders of different religions coming together on one stage here on Saturday. In one voice, they supported the need for an intensive campaign for establishment of peace and humanity in the society.
Speaking at the inaugural of Jamaat’s 15day nationwide Peace & Humanity campaign (21 Aug – 4 Sep), eminent social activist and writer Ram Puniyani said: situation is worsening. Communalism of all religious groups is bad. Today communalism of Hindus calls itself nationalism. GauRaksha is a political tool.Supporting the campaign, he said: “Today lots of wrong things are being spread against Muslims and Christians. Therefore, common people need to be approached in order to remove their misunderstandings.”
Representing the Jain community, Kastur Muni, patron of Vishwa Ahimsa Sangh said, “Our thoughts and words should not trouble others; they in fact should please us and others.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr John Dayal, Secretary-General of the All India Christian Council said that it should be clear that minorities are not seeking unity against Hindus. There is no default religion of India; but what happens at the launch of a war plane or a government project, is open for all to see.DrDayal, who is former president of the All India Catholic Union, stressed to revive spirit of Constitution of India. “There is a need to revive spirit of Constitution; we want rights of equality. There is no difference between my patriotism and your patriotism,” he said referring to incidents where saffron groups and leaders have questioned patriotism of Muslims and Christians.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, vice president of Jamaat and national convener of the campaign, said, “Some forces want to divide the society; they actually want to push the society to a civil war. This is dangerous indications and all people who believe in peace and humanity must stand up to save the society and the country.”
In his speech, Navaid Hamid, national president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, strongly criticized Sangh ideology. “Sangh is not an institution; it is actually an ideology. As long as this ideology persists, peace and humanity will remain in danger. Until and unless this ideology is crushed, peace can’t be established in the society,” said Hamid.
He also criticized the upcoming New Education Policy formulated by the current BJP-led NDA government.
Magsaysay awardee and eminent social activist Dr. Sandeep Pandey highlighted the division in the society in Gujarat post 2002 riots.”One partition took place in 1947 but the second one has now taken place in Gujarat – where Hindu areas have no Muslim resident and Muslim areas have no Hindu resident.”
“There is an urgent need to promote co-habitation where all should reside together. They are creating walls in minds. Efforts are being made to divide us and incite violence,” he said.
Ayodhya saint and peace activist Yugal Kishore Shastri also spoke on the occasion.
In his presidential address the President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalauddin Umari “Peace and security is an essential condition for the people of our nation to prosper and for India to forge on the path of development”. The JIH President dwelled on the need for such a campaign by saying that: our nation of 1.25 billion people is the largest democracy in the world. India is home to people belonging to all major religions of the world. This unique diversity is also its core strength. As despite the differences in language, race and religion, the thread of humanity binds all the countrymen together. However it is a matter of grave concern that some extremist ideologies propounded by communal and fascist forces are quickly gaining ground in society. Some opportunist elements are trying hard to disrupt our age-old social fabric for their own petty political, financial and cultural gains. The need of the hour is therefore to take appropriate steps to bridge this widening social rift, and create an environment of mutual trust and cooperation. Irrespective of political or ideological inclination, we need to unite together to work against communalism on a broad social level.
At the end, Jamaat conferred Sadbhavana Award upon four persons for their outstanding work in the field of communal harmony. The awardees were Ram Puniyani (Mumbai), Sandeep Pandey (Lucknow), JS Bandukwala (Vadodara) and Yugal Kishore Shastri (Ayodhya).