Founded on the conviction that all faiths are valid and sacred, that a harmonious relationship between them can be achieved and that a dialogue between them and a confluence of civilisations in a global harmony are more desirable goals than a situation of conflict and confrontation, the Indian chapter of Global Foundation for Civilisational Harmony (GFCH) was launched at Chinmaya Mission Hall in New Delhi on January 22.
The inaugural ceremony witnessed the presence of the Dalai Lama, founder of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Swami Dayanand Saraswati, former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, founder of the Art of Living Sri Sri Ravishankar, renowned yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Jatthedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, Swami Mitrananda, Jain Muni Sumermal, Paramhans Nityanand, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Mohammod Ali Madani, Rabbi Ezekiel Issac Malekar and Swami Prajnan Mitranand of Mata Amritanandamayi Muth. In order to bring the maximum spiritual, political and social personalities at one platform to find out the ways for world peace and harmony, the senior thinkers, intellectuals, former judges and industrialists have formed the GFCH. The message which emerged from the meeting is that the more love and compassion is spread in the world, the more people would come closer, brotherhood would increase and people would be happy.
?Where there is righteousness in heart, there is beauty in character. Where there is beauty in character, there is harmony in home. Where there is harmony in home, there is peace in the world,? said Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Elaborating on the composition of enlightened society, Dr Kalam said harmony between civilisations has to find its way through society, family and the individual with religion taking a complete back seat. ?The first thing we need in such a society is education with value system. For righteousness can be inculcated in the child by a mother, father and the primary school teacher. The next step involves transforming religion into a spiritual force,? he added. Dr Kalam also talked about the beauty of giving. ?You have to give to others. Giving is such a beautiful thing,? he added.
The Dalai Lama said: ?War legalises violence. It is the worst kind of violence. In the last century, we saw violence brought about a lot of suffering. Let this be the century of peace. Let conflicts be solved through talks. The concept of a war is outdated. To achieve peace, the feelings of ?I? and ?me? should go, as they are the cause of ego. When the ego is killed, hatred vanishes and there is peace in society,? he said adding that to achieve this the onus is on the individual. ?Develop warm heartedness and compassion. Consider the other person a part of yourself. Think that as an individual, my happiness depends on the whole community. In other words, to gain maximum benefit from society, we have to take care of other human beings,? he added.
Presiding over the function Swami Dayanand Saraswati said the conflicts develop due to selfishness. He said everyone ought to work for welfare of others as per his/her capacity and the inter-religious dialogue should be with open mind. Sri Sri Ravishankar said the prevailing conflicts are raging because of lack of wisdom. ?In this era of globalisation, only wisdom has not been globalised. We need to globalise it to bring peace,? he said calling upon the people to avoid inter-religious conflicts. He said Naxalism has assumed a very dangerous porportion and some misguided youth in J&K and the north-east are involved in violence, who should be brought back on right track. He called upon the saints to visit all those places, where there is problem and work for restoring peace.
Swami Ramdev described the constitution of GFCH as an important step in the direction of restoring peace and harmony in the world. He delved into the glory of Indian civilisation and declared that it had the power to save the entire world. He called upon the people to respect each other'straditions. Cardinal Oswald Gracias said inter-religious dialogue could play a vital role in world peace. Mahmood Ali Madani from Deoband said Indian culture spreads peace and brotherhood. Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar described India as his motherland, which can lead all. Paramhans Nityanand from America and Jatthedar Joginder Singh Vedanti also spoke on the occasion. Swami Prajnan Mitranand read out the message of Mata Amritanandamayi. Muni Sumermal read out that message of Acharya Mahaprajna. Earlier, Shri Subhash Chandra, chairman of GFCH, talked about the genesis of the foundation. He said some prominent thinkers had extensively debated on the conflicts of different faiths and societies at a meeting held in Ahmedabad in 2006 and the decision to form the GFCH emerged from that.
Prominent among those associated with the GFCH in India are former Lt. Governor of Delhi Shri Vijay Kapoor, chairman of Essel Group of Companies Shri Subhash Chandra, former secretary to the Government of India Shri R. Venkatraman, senior journalists Shri Balbir Punj, Shri Dina Nath Mishra, Shri Chandan Mitra, T.V.R. Shenoy and D.N. Bezbaura, former Election Commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy, justice (retd.) Rama Jois and justice Shri D.S. Tevatia, former general secretary of Lok Sabha Shri Subhash Kashyap, industrialist Shri B.K. Modi, former director of NCERT Dr J.S. Rajput, exponent of Kathak and Bharatnatyam Sonal Mansingh, former chairman of SEBI Shri G.N. Bajpai, former MP Shri Tarlochan Singh and advertising expert Shri Sushil Pandit. (FOC)