Hyderabad, November 18th 2017: Agaaz-e-Baatcheet -a call to ‘initiate a conversation’ on Interfaith; being organised by Rubaroo and supported by the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad, hosted a Inter Faith Leaders Meet, on Saturday at the Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills. The British Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad, Mr Andrew Fleming was also present through the activity and encouraged the youth champions in their initiative.
Agaaz-e-Baatcheet is a weeklong Inter faith event from 12th-19th November 2017 in Hyderabad. The program celebrates religious diversity through community cohesion. It is a secular platform for young people to interpret and reflect deeply upon the underlying message of different religions and religious identities, finding and celebrating the commonalities between them.
The Inter Faith Leaders Meet had Faith Scholars and religious representatives taking part in a Panel Discussion. The prominent panelists included Mr CSR Prabhu, Yoga Practitioner & Retd. Director General, National Informatics Centre; Mr Vinod Jairath, Retd Professor of Sociology, University of Hyderabad; Ms Shobha Gosa, Founder, Young People for Life India; Maulana Omar Abadeen, Islamic Scholar from Al Mahad Ul Islami and Dr Raminder Kaur, Medical Officer and Sikh Researcher.
Speaking on the occasion Maulana Omar Abadeen said, according to Prophet all human beings are part of one family, the family of god and therefore it is our duty to treat everyone as one brotherhood and respect each other. It is our fundamental duty to involve in Inter Faith Dialogue and we as religious scholars need to give highest priority to this. We have to do justice to our relationship with god and with the mankind. There are two important principles in any Inter faith dialogue, one is having faith in our own religion and also accept the reality that there are different religions and faiths. Therefore I say, we have to follow one and respect all, with such an attitude we could build confidence in our system for Inter faith dialogue. There will absolutely be no problem if we respect all traditions, cultures, religions. Interfaith dialogue is not to destroy other religions but to enhance brotherhood and humanity amongst all. It can lay foundation for a common ground for the benefit of mankind. A youth meet on a topic like this is a harbinger to bring a change in India, as you are the future of this country and such meet can help you to understand the diversity and spread the message of love, peace and brotherhood.
Dr Raminder Kaur said, youth is the symbol of vitality and the emphasis for the youth in the last two decades was on enhancing knowledge through education which led to external growth. Now is the time for inner growth, internal emancipation through spirituality and youth should look to develop this within themselves. The various religions in the true sense are different flavours and we have to relish and assimilate the best they offer. In today's world internal cleansing is as important and we need to grow our minds to be broad enough to accept the diversity. We may be rich, have multiple degrees, unless we have humbleness and other good features of divinity, we will not evolve and will never have peace of mind. Right now we are filled with me or mine, one should never have this feeling of our religion being superior to others, because every path is a path to the god.
Mr CSR Prabhu said, in today's world there is lots of conflict because of division, division between religions, within the same religion, between cultures and between science and religion. Science doesn't accept religion and vice versa. However the ultimate truth is one, there is nothing but god, whatever manifestation we see is of god. Once you accept this truth everything else is nothing more than triviality. This is what the youth of today need to know and assimilate. Hinduism is not a religion, it is Sanathana Dharma, it is an umbrella under which several diverse beliefs exist, therefore it is flexible and all embracing. Principles, values, ethics is what it lays emphasis on, which is what all religions follow including atheists, therefore that is what is supreme.
Mr Vinod Jairath said, it's nice that young people are thinking about this issue. When I interact with the youth I find them depressed and disappointed with the divisions, discrimination in the society, they are in fact shocked with the happenings around them. We should respect all religions and not try and glorify our religion alone, as all religion talk about all beautiful things. We should recognise diversity and respect that diversity. One should also be wary of religions of late becoming a business and more and more being used to divide people and create violence, young people should curb this tendency. Religion is not the fundamental identity of a person, as young people you should challenge the restrictions and divisions being built.
Rubaroo selected 125 Youth Champions, between the age group of 18-25 years, who in turn are organizing Agaaz-e-Baatcheet. These youth champions from diverse socio economic, religious and gender backgrounds across Hyderabad, were part of a month long journey through a series of activities including workshops on the theme of Interfaith and Identity, symposium with religious leaders of different faiths, conversations with peers from heterogeneous religious communities, and Social Action Projects.
Some of the participating institutions are: Amjad Ali Khan College of Business Administration; Andhra Vidyalaya College of Arts, Science, and Commerce; Babu Jagjeevan Ram Government Degree College; Bhavans New Science Degree College; Dr. VRK Womens Medical College; G.Narayanamma Institute Of Technology; Government City College; Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering Technology; Government Degree College HussainiAlam; Madina Degree College; Mathru Sri Jr College; Maulana Azad National Urdu University; MNR Degree College; Nanakram Bhagwandas Science College; New Govt Degree College; PRR Law College; Roda Mistry College Of Social Work And Research Centre; Roots College; Shadan Institute Of Medical Science; Sindhu Junior College; Sri Chaitanya Junior Kalashala Govt Degree College; Government Junior College; Osmania University and Vivekananda degree College.
The Social Action Projects will include community walks, food festivals, street plays, short films, musical events, social media campaigns, photo competition, radio show, and other such activities in different parts of Hyderabad.
The weeklong InterFaith event comes to an end with a Grand Closure Event with Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe on 19th November.