`Two hours session on “interreligious harmony” was held at Don Bosco Theological Centre (DBTC), Kavarapettai, on 26 November 2019, organized by the members of the Tamil Iraiyeyal Mandram under the able guidance of Fr. Suresh Felix SDB. Mr. Pralayan Shanmugasundaram Chandrasekaran, a playwright, theatre director and the founder convener of Chennai Kalai Kuzhu was the Chief Guest. The session took off with an inspiring prayer service led by Bro. Paulraj SDB, and welcome address offered by Bro. Vianney. Rev. Fr. Bellarmine, the Rector of DBTC felicitated the chief guest Mr. Pralayan.

    Bro. Sugan SDB and Bro. Arockiaraj Michael SDB delivered their talks on ‘Religious harmony in India from Historical background’ and ‘Religious Harmony from the Catholic Church’s Perspective,’ respectively. The first speaker Bro. Sugan hinted upon Mogul Emperor Mohammed Jalaaludin Akbar’s view on religious harmony, Swami Vivekananda’s speech on religious harmony and the presence of good elements in inter-religion spiritual practices and concluded with Maha Kavi Barathiyar’s poem on dreams of Indian society. Bro. Arockiaraj exhorted in his talk that religious harmony should build up humanity and thereby should eradicate all forms of divisions. The Church form 19 th century, 20 th century and at present works towards religious harmony, through various meetings and joined efforts to promote humanity.

    In the keynote address on Religious Harmony, the chief guest presented the following details: i. the origin and meaning of the word ‘secularism’ in Europe and its understanding in India; ii. the true minorities in India and their agenda; iii. reservation in India at various levels and their implications; iv. history of India before and after independence and the emergence of violence; v. the denial of justice, and misuse of power and money; vi. who are real Indians and their identity? His talk came as a thunderbolt explaining the present political situation in India and the inability of the opposing to resist all these problems. He also emphasized the pressing need to understand the hidden agenda and the need to read the politics critically. India as a country has been very tolerant towards people of all languages, cultures and religions in the past. Will it be so in the future was the parting question to all. Further discussion and clarification on the theme were thrown open to the floor and the main speaker responded to the focused queries with enlightening replies.

    Kavarapettai – Becchi

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    Dominic Matthews

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