ANDHRA PRADESH

Communal amity need of the hour, says Speaker

VIJAYAWADA, Jan. 20. No religion preached hatred and anybody preaching hatred in the name of a religion will ultimately cause its decline, said speakers at a symposium at the three-day conference of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIM). Heads of various faiths spoke at the symposium held on the final day of the conference.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Pratiba Bharathi said India was a land of several religions. The major religions were similar in many ways. The people of all religions fought for freedom and they should continue to work together for the progress of the country, she said.

Prof. Manjeet Singh said no religion preached hatred. It was politicians who were dividing people on the basis of religion for their survival. The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind had been bring people of different faiths together.

Shankaracharya Madhavananda Saraswathi said life brought people together while death separated them. As a corollary, forces which tried to separate were equivalent to death. Just as humans would try to stay alive they should avoid the prophets of hatred and division, he said. People were wondering what a Shankaracharya had to say in a conference of an Islamic organisation, but from this forum he had a message to people who considered themselves representatives of the Hindu religion. The message was that there was only one God and there was only one principal way of becoming one with Him. All religions preached these principles.

Moulana Mohammed Sirajul Hasan, JIH president, said the religious climate in the country had become vitiated. There was too much fear and mistrust. It was not possible for people to continue like this. People were caught in the rat race for power and wealth.

He said the history of the country had to be reviewed. People had been coming to India from elsewhere bringing various religions ideologies. These people from other lands brought the Vedas, Islam and Christianity into India. Today it was a country having a population of 104 crore professing several faiths. The Indian Constitution was written not on the basis of religion to accommodate all the different religions that existed here.

It was the British empire which planted the seeds of hatred and jealousy in India. The British finally left the country leaving the people here fighting and there was bloodshed. The arrival of Islam with the Muslim rulers was different, he said. The Muslim rules came here to settle down and make the country their home.

Vijayawada West MLA Jaleel Khan said all were equal in the eyes of God and Islam.

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