Inter-faith dialogue talk ways to peace, communal harmony
Dimapur, May 16 (EMN): A daylong panel discussion on inter-religious dialogue and peace building in Nagaland was held at the resource and capacity-building group Peace Channel’s conference hall on May 13.
During the programme, members from various communities, and representing different religions, shared perspectives on their ways of faith.
The panellists in the discussions comprised members from the Muslim, Christian, Jain and Hindu religious communities in the town
They are stated to have spoken about the ways to achieving ‘global and local peace and harmony’ from each religion, updates from the organisers informed.
The event was conducted in collaboration with People’s Forum and the Dimapur Christian Forum, a press release from the organisers informed.
According to the updates the main objective of the discussions was to “celebrate the diversities of faith traditions in the state by respecting the differences and sharing the common values and making best of all.”
A speaker at the event was Dr. Fr. C. P. Anto, director of Peace Channel. He extended a hearty welcome to all men and women ‘who turned up to hear out how each looks at the ways of maintaining intra and inter-religious community peace and harmony’ in the Naga society.
In his address, Anto quoted Dr Martin Luther King Jr.: “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, our nation.”
Anto emphasised on the importance of sharing “world view perspectives” from all faith traditions.
He was stated to have underscored the idea of “the whole world is one family” expressed in the Indian Vedic philosophy, the press release stated.
Anto was stated to have invited the younger generations to have a ‘more vivid and diverse thinking about religion’ that can help in peacemaking, the updates stated.
Dr Deben Bachaspatimaum, assistant professor at the North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research moderated the sharing and discussion sessions, the updates stated.
According to the press release, the panellists from Muslim, Christian, Jain and Hindu religious communities in the town shared their perspectives about how global and local peace and harmony can be realized from each religion.
Tajuddin Ahmed from the Muslim community began his discourse with the greeting ‘Ars-shalam-u-ali-kum’ and ‘Waha-ali-kum ar-salaam,’ translated as “peace be upon you” and returned with as “peace be upon you too.”
According to the press release, he said that “Jihad” was generally misunderstood and misdirected.
It truly means fighting evil from within ourselves and not among different communities, he was stated to have said.
Ahmed appealed to the different religious communities to come together as one and help in the uplift of the society and in making peace.
Ajay Sethi from the Jain community talked about the religious principles and traditional practices of his community.
Sethi highlighted three key cornerstones of Jainism: non violence, reciprocity and charity.
Sethi emphasised on how charity was important in achieving inner peace among the true adherents of Jainism, the press release stated.
Further, another speaker at the event, Alok Pareek from the Hindu community highlighted three main aspects of Hinduism as ways of life.
The three ways as he listed were “cleanliness” (sic) of soul, body and environment; respect for elders and spirituality, the press release stated.
Pareek spoke also about some mantras that are used as techniques to ‘achieve inner peace in life,’ the updates stated.
Likewise, another speaker was Rev. Dr.P Dozo who spoke from the Christian perspective placing high importance on reconciliation and relationship with God.
Following the first round of panel discussions all the participants shared their perspectives on inter religious dialogue and peace building, the press release stated.
The moderator of the event highlighted his observations on how men and women look at religion or faith differently but ‘complimenting to one another in actualizing the core values of all religion.’
Wrapping up the sessions of the event, the moderator appreciated the participants for “opening up to deeper dialogue across the diverse worldviews of different faiths and carrying back something good from others and few more queries to raise in the process of unfolding inter-religious dialogue.”
The participants at the event are stated to have unanimously agreed to regularly meet once in every two months “to emergent the numbers” and for expanding an inclusive space for inter-religious and interfaith understanding and relations.
Taku Longkumer, founding member of the PFP of Dimapur offered the vote of thanks to all the participants, the press release stated.
Longkumer expressed strong confidence in continuation of inter religious dialogue process ‘gaining strength to strength,’ the updates added.