By Matters India Reporter
Kanpur, May 22, 2019: The Gandhi Peace Foundation, Kanpur chapter, on May 21 organized an inter-religious prayer for peace, harmony and goodwill.
The program was held in the backdrop of a spate of hate crimes in the name of religion in the recent past beginning with New Zealand, then Sri Lanka and daily in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
“These flames could spread to India in no time,” said a press statement signed by chhotebhai, one of the organizers of the prayer meet at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Phoolbagh in downtown Kanpur.
The meet observed with grave concern over some “very disparaging remarks” made against Mahatma Gandhi, India’s father of the nation, by candidates in Bhopal and Bengaluru during the recent election campaign.
“This seems to be a well orchestrated campaign for spreading communal hatred and polarization of society. It was with this in mind that the foundation organized this prayer meeting,” the statement said.
Foundation patron, Padmashri Giriraj Kishore, said that “today, more than ever, we should learn humility, tolerance and respect for others from people like Gandhiji and Nelson Mandela.”
Jagdambabhai of the foundation led a Vedic prayer that Gandhi used to recite. The Shahar Qazi (Muslim head priest) Raza Alam Noori prayed that everyone strive to bring people together for the good of the nation and society.
Father Thomas Kumar of St Patrick’s Church read the passage from the Bible where Jesus had warned against the revengeful attitude of “An eye for an eye.”
While the church choir sang appropriate hymns,Bhai Bhupinder Singhji of Gurudwara Teg Bahadur Chowk recited a prayerful bhajan. He said though there is one potter and one clay, “we may still evolve as different vessels with the same source.”
Neelam Chaturvedi of the Mahila Manch (Women’s Forum) warned that women and children are the first victims of any communal strife.