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Jamaat honours Ram, Sandeep, Bandukwala, Shastri for their work in communal harmony

Jamaat honours Ram, Sandeep, Bandukwala, Shastri for their work in communal harmony.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind conferred Sadbhavana Award on four persons for their outstanding work in the field of communal harmony. The awardees were Ram Puniyani (Mumbai), Sandeep Pandey (Lucknow), JS Bandukwala (Vadodara) and Yugalkishore Shastri (Ayodhya).

In the backdrop of the growing communal rift in the society, Jamaat’s call for Peace and Humanity witnessed leaders of different religions coming together on one stage here on Saturday. In one voice, they supported the need for an intensive campaign for establishment of peace and humanity in society.

Speaking at the inaugural of Jamaat’s 15-day nationwide Peace & Humanity campaign (21 Aug – 4 Sept), eminent social activist and writer Ram Puniyani said: “Situation is worsening. Communalism of all religious groups is bad. Today communalism of Hindus calls itself nationalism. Gau Raksha is a political tool.Supporting the campaign, he said: “Today lots of wrong things are being spread against Muslims and Christians. Therefore, common people need to be approached in order to remove their misunderstandings.”

In his presidential address the President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalauddin Umari ‘’Peace and security is an essential condition for the people of our nation to prosper and for India to forge on the path of development’.’ Condemning all attacks on people in the name of cow protection, Umari said: “While the PM has himself said that 85% of all those engaging in violence in the name of cow protection are criminals, the impact of his statement has not yet been on ground.”

He sought action to prevent such attacks.

Magsaysay awardee and eminent social activist Dr Sandeep Pandey highlighted the division in the society in Gujarat post 2002 riots. “One partition took place in 1947 but the second one has now taken place in Gujarat – where Hindu areas have no Muslim resident and Muslim areas have no Hindu resident.””There is an urgent need to promote co-habitation where all should reside together. They are creating walls in minds. Efforts are being made to divide us and incite violence,” he said.

Representing the Jain community, Kastur Muni, patron of Vishwa Ahimsa Sangh said: “Our thoughts and words should not trouble others; they in fact should please us and others.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr John Dayal, Secretary-General of the All India Christian Council said that it should be clear that minorities are not seeking unity against Hindus. There is no default religion of India; but what happens at the launch of a war plane or a government project, is open for all to see.

Dr Dayal, who is former president of the All India Catholic Union, stressed to revive spirit of Constitution of India. “There is a need to revive spirit of Constitution; we want rights of equality. There is no difference between my patriotism and your patriotism,” he said referring to incidents where saffron groups and leaders have questioned patriotism of Muslims and Christians.

In his speech, Navaid Hamid, national president of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, strongly criticized Sangh ideology. “Sangh is not an institution; it is actually an ideology. As long as this ideology persists, peace and humanity will remain in danger. Until and unless this ideology is crushed, peace can’t be established in the society,” said Hamid.

He also criticized the upcoming New Education Policy formulated by the current BJP-led NDA government.

Ayodhya saint and peace activist YugalkishoreShastri also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Syed Sadatullah Hussain, vice president of Jamaat and national convener of the campaign, said: “Some forces want to divide the society; they actually want to push the society to a civil war. This is dangerous indications and all people who believe in peace and humanity must stand up to save the society and the country.”

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