INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT - VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA DR JAYESH SHAH - AMBASSADOR - PARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

DR JAYESH SHAH SPEAKING TO ELECTRONIC MEDIA - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA AUDIENCE - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

AUDIENCE - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA STUDENTS FROM MADRASSAS - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

STUDENTS FROM MADRASSAS - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

STUDENTS FROM MADRASSAS - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

AUDIENCE - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

AUDIENCE - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

GURUDAYAL SINGH (SIKH RELIGION) - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

KUNAL SHARMA - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

DWARKESHLALJI MAHARAJ (HINDU SAINT) - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

MAHANT JAGATPAWANDASJI (HINDU SAINT) - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

KAMALUDDIN RIFAI (SUFI SAINT) - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

JAIN MUNI - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

MUFTI HARUN NADVI - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

AUDIENCE - INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA

INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT AT VADODARA (GUJARAT) INDIA DR JAYESH SHAH SPEAKING ON THE OCCASION OF INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT

As a part of World Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration, I, Dr. Jayesh Shah, Ambassador – Parliament of the World’s Religions had organized an INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT on occasion of 70th Republic Day celebration at Vadodara (Gujarat) India in presence of different faith leaders in communally most sensitive spot of Vadodara City (Gujarat) India, in collaboration with Miskin Education Trust and Madrasa-e-Ahmade-Mustufa.

Following honourable speakers had delivered their speech: (01) Mufti Harun Nadvi (Sunni Islam Mufti) (02) Shri Dwarkeshlalji Maharajshri (Hindu Saint) (03) Mahant Shri Jagatpavandasji Shastri (Hindu Saint) (04) Kamaluddin Rifai Saheb (Sufi Saint) (05) Shri Prakashbhai Sheth (Jain Religion) (06) Shri Gurudayal Singhji (Sikh Religion) (07) Father Joel Pais (Christian Catholic Priest) (08) Shri Nikitin Contractor (Zoroastrian Religion) (09) Shri Kunal Sharma (Youth Parliament) The idea to organize INTERFAITH FLAG HOISTING EVENT in communally most sensitive area of the city of Vadodara came into the mind of Dr. Jayesh Shah, Ambassador – Parliament of the World’s Religions.

He decided to have flag hoisting event in the heart of the communally sensitive spot – Fatepura area of Vadodara City (Gujarat), India. Dr. Shah firmly believes that when Muslims have the freedom to have mosques, the freedom to have madrassas and the freedom to pray, why some of them should turn to terrorism and fundamentalism.

Dr. Shah has convinced the local religious heads of various mosques and madrassas; Hindu temples and Jain temple. Many of the local Maulavi and Mufti agreed that there are 70% Muslims, who are really peace-loving. But, due to the fear of the fundamentalist Muslims who are not more than 20% of total Muslim population in the area, 70% of the peace-loving Muslims do not want to come out openly for the interfaith harmony.

Dr. Shah has convinced local Hindu leaders and Hindu saints that interfaith harmony is the only solution for the development of all. If there will be an atmosphere of harmony and peace, the society will automatically flourish financially. If the financial problem of the family gets solved, that family will not become the easy target of fundamentalist elements and hate-monger politicians. Dr. Shah has built confidence among them firstly by starting Counselling Centre. He believes that if the person him/herself is happy and peaceful mentally, then his or her family will automatically become happy and peaceful. If a society has a majority of the families are mentally happy and peaceful, they cannot become easy target of the religious fundamentalist elements and hate-monger politicians. Similarly, Dr. Shah always says that terrorism has no religion and only a small segment of people from all religions are fundamentalists. Dr. Shah has convinced leaders from the different faiths that as we take pride in being humane, we respect and honour all other faiths and their followers. We will keep a continuous vigil against fundamentalist forces and hate-monger politicians that work to destroy the oneness of humanity.

The message from the speeches of all the faith leaders are that there are many reasons behind young Muslims getting attracted to terrorism. If they had proper knowledge of religion, they would not have turned terrorists at all. They may have intellectual wisdom, but they have absolutely no knowledge of the religion. All said that not a single person with knowledge of the religion has become a terrorist or a fundamentalist. Another reason that drives them to terrorism is unemployment. When they have no job and so much time in their hands, these youngsters with energy get attracted to many unwanted things. The third reason is when they see their religion being attacked they think they have to react and retaliate. That is because they do not know what they are doing.

Dr. Shah had delivered a speech putting emphasis on the interfaith harmony and not the unity. Dr. Shah had given a good example of “Soup Bowl” and “Salad Plate”. He said that if we prepare a soup, we crush all the vegetables or fruits. We will have totally different and a special taste of soup. We cannot have the taste of all the vegetables or fruits that used to prepare a soup. But, if we have a “Salad Plate” having all the vegetables and fruits, if we pick a piece, we have a taste of each and every vegetable or fruit that have in the plate. By citing this example of “Soup Bowl” and “Salad Plate”, Dr. Shah said that every faith must have to keep their identity, their rituals and their cultures. And by keeping individual identity, we will live in the harmony like “salad plate”. There were a prevailing myth in India that Muslim cannot chant the national anthem or cannot hoist national flag. Dr. Shah had convinced them by citing Quran. All the speakers from different faiths agreed that many of the followers do not have the true knowledge of religious scriptures and that is the main reason for the rise of fundamentalism.

Islam Mufti said that in Islam the concept of loyalty is clear and simple. In the Holy Quran, it is to ‘…obey those who are in authority over you…’ While the Holy Prophet of Islam, advocated that; ‘…Obedience to the law of the land is a part of faith.’

With these key principles in mind it is clear that Muslims are duty bound to be loyal to the country in which they live. It is critical to note that this did not come with any precondition of the country being a Muslim or Islamic country, it is a principle that applies to any country no matter what form of government it has.

Similarly there is no requirement of the country having a legal system based on Islamic Shariah law. So for Muslims loyalty to one’s country is a key part of their faith and it should serve as a source of peace for them and their fellow citizens. Students of Madrasa-e-Ahmade-Mustufa and Hindu Temple School had performed during the event jointly. They sung patriotic songs and national anthem. The students presented small drama that gave message of interfaith harmony. At the end of the event, the national flag was hoisted by Mufti Harun Nadvi (Sunni Islam Mufti) and Mahant Shri Jagatpavandasji Shastri (Hindu Saint) in presence of other faith leaders.

Everyone had given salute to the national flag. The event was attended by more than 10,000 people of all the age groups. After the event, all the religious leaders including Hindu, Islam, Sikh and Zoroastrian visited Jain Religious Shrine first time in the history of Vadodara (Gujarat) India.

Video link of the visit has been uploaded.



Images for this event
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