Biswakumar, new grandmaster of Freemason of India

Capt. Balaram Biswakumar

Capt. Balaram Biswakumar  

Liffy Thomas

CHENNAI: The annals of the Grand Lodge of India will witness a historic change on November 21 when Captain Balaram Biswakumar takes over as grandmaster of Freemason of India.

For the first time, non-members will witness the “distinctive investiture ceremony”, which traditionally has been a closed-door event for an organisation known for maintaining secrecy about its activities.

The new chair is also significant as after over three decades a Chennaiite is elected by the electoral college. It is also the first time that a doctor becomes a grandmaster.

“Until recent years, women were not allowed to attend the installation ceremony, though we have relaxed the rule. For the first time family members and non-masons will be allowed. We are breaking away from the tradition in a healthy way, so that myths related to our organisation are removed,” said Dr. Biswakumar, who is currently the deputy grandmaster. He takes over for a period of three years from Justice Devinder Gupta.

Freemasonry is one of the oldest secular fraternal societies run by societies of men, with an emphasis on moral and spiritual values and philanthropic activities. There are about 366 Lodges in India, with 127 of them in the southern region. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend the installation ceremony, including grandmasters from Japan, Switzerland, Mauritius and England.

For Dr. Biswakumar, the new responsibility is a culmination of 33 years as freemason.

“I have cherished my role ever since I started attending the Lodge. Irrespective of what and who we are, once within the lodge we do not carry any ego,” said Dr. Biswakumar, also a Rotarian, on what he values the most.

Projects to serve rural India would be an important social area the senior consultant in neurology would focus on, he added.

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