September 08, 2019

Tamil Nadu: Religious Harmony Conference

G Udayakumar

 “THE Tamil Nadu Platform for People’s Unity”, an anti-communal platform formed in the state organised a religious harmony conference on September 1, at Kamaraj Arangam, Chennai.

The idea behind the conference was to create and environment of communal harmony in the state by engaging with eminent persons of high secular credentials.

Saththiyavel Muruganar, a prominent Saivaite leader, Balaprajapathy Adigalar, leader of the Vaikundar Swamigal Peravai, Sivaparakasa Swamigal, Vallalar Peravai and Madhavan Ramanuja Dasar from Vaishnavaite faith, Harbinder Singh, Sikh leader, Madhan Prakash Rathod, Jain leader and eminent personalities like Kaviperarasu.Vairmuthu, Nawab from Aracot and Parveen Sultana were invited to address the conference.

Saththiyavel Muruganar, who presided over the conference commented; “How can you destroy a place of worship, which is the god’s abode.  We should respect the belief of every one, irrespective of the religion one follows. If you destroy one’s belief, it is like wounding him with nails. All religions have some good aspects, which we all should follow.”

Vairamuthu, who was the star speaker in the conference, said that the nation would achieve success only through communal harmony, not through communal polarisation. He added, “I am really worried about the communal situation prevailing in this country today. Our cultural ethos teaches us to live harmoniously. The organisers of this conference expect that the values of humanity should succeed. I wish the conference all success in your efforts in this process.” He distributed awards to the winning students who participated in the essay competition, titled, ‘maintaining communal harmony’.

He further elaborated that the participants in the essay competition think differently. “They are the future stars of confidence. I went to a school. One student came to speak. He was not wearing good clothes, no oil in the hair and was very weak. But he was strong in his will power.   He spoke that the three colours in the national flag are symbolising; saffron-the Hindu, white-the Christian and green-the Muslims, and said that the three religions should function harmoniously for the national flag to fly high. That is the real spirit of our nation”, he said.

“The Hindus in Tamil Nadu go to Nagoor Darga and shave their head. Hindus visit Velankanni church and give offerings. Muslims visit Tanjore Mariamman temple and give offerings. This kind of harmonious practice did not come through religion; not through politics; not through preaching’s; but, it is through our traditional human relationship. This spirituality is trying to unify us, but the communal politicians want to divide us”, he added.

Professor of SIET college and popular speaker in Tamil Nadu, Parveen Sultana in her speech said that there was big riot in Mirsahib pet area in Chennai(predominant Muslim population)  during the Vinayaka idol procession. It was created by outsiders. But the people living in this area did not involve in this riot. “We are all along living in this area like sisters and brothers. The British people created division amongst us but that hatred still thrives. Even if thousands of such processions takes place nothing would affect the harmonious living of the local people. Only some outsiders with communal ideology come here to create trouble”, she added

 “Norway is the country where majority of them are atheists. But it is the best country in the world to live. The best tree is Sandal tree. It can not be spoiled by any number of poisonous snakes. Like wise, Tamil Nadu can not be spoiled by the religious fundamentalist snakes”, she concluded saying so.

Arch Bishop A M Chinnappa, quoted the Tamil cinema songs which insist on the harmoniousness of the religions and sang some songs of Poet Vairamuthu in the conference.

 Vaishnava sect leader, Madhavan Ramanuja Dasar described the inequality prevailing in the Vaishnava religion among the Brahmins and non-Brahmins, he said, that for the progress of the nation and preserving the unity of the people religious harmony is important.

G Udayakumar, coordinator welcomed the gathering. Arunan, the coordinator of the platform coordinated the entire proceedings with his punch   of dialogues and interpretations.

Five resolutions were passed in the conference.

  • To uphold the traditions of communal harmony in Tamil Nadu was proposed by P Samapath, Central Committee member of CPI(M) and seconded by Abdull Latheef  of  Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi.
  • To ensure peaceful conduct of Vinayaga idol processions in Tamil Nadu was proposed by Avadi Andhridoss of MDMK and was seconded by Ramakrishnan.
  • To ensure the worship rights of minorities was proposed by Inigoirudayaraj of Christian Good Will Peravai and seconded by G Selva.
  • To appoint all caste people as Archakas and Tamil language as worship language was proposed by U Balaraman of Congress and seconded by  Kumaresan.
  • To demand not to snatch the human rights and state rights was proposed by M H Jawahirullah of Manidha Neya Makkal Katchi and seconded by Fakrudeen Ahmed of VCK.

The gathering reflected the assembly of different sections of people in the society; believers and non believers of God and people from different religions and communities. Earlier in the beginning of the session different types of music programmes were arranged

Dawood Miakhan, one of the patrons of the platform gave vote of thanks.