Aurangabad recently hosted an interfaith conference where prominent leaders from various religious backgrounds expressed deep concern about the escalating communal tensions in India. The conference, organized by Dharmik Jan Morcha and Sadbhavna Manch on January 10, served as a platform for leaders to pledge concerted efforts towards fostering harmony and addressing the challenges posed by communalism.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Vice President, Professor Salim Engineer, emphasized the urgent need for religious leaders to collaborate in promoting unity, trust, and tolerance. He identified communalism as a major impediment to the nation’s progress and lamented the rise of radical discourse, communal polarization, and targeted violence against religious minorities. Professor Salim Engineer urged the government to fulfill its primary duty of safeguarding all citizens, irrespective of their faith, and to take decisive action against hate speech and violence targeting minorities.
Highlighting India’s rich history of multiculturalism, multi-religiosity, and multilingualism, Professor Salim Engineer stressed the importance of maintaining unity in diversity. He called for concerted efforts to promote interfaith harmony and expressed support for groups dedicated to peace, justice, and democracy.
Dr. Rafiq Parnerkar, Regional Secretary of Sadbhavna Manch, emphasized kindness and compassion as the cornerstones of human civilization. He urged individuals to uphold the principles of their respective religions to foster unity and peace in society.
Maulana Ilyas Falahi, President of JIH Maharashtra State, underscored India’s diverse heritage and its long tradition of religious tolerance. He called for collective cooperation to preserve this heritage and recounted instances of people from various faiths coming together during critical periods in history.
The conference featured additional speakers, including Maharaj Ram Pal, Atant Bhoware of Samuddhan Manch, and Dr. Vinod Kumar of the Sant Nirankari Mandal. All speakers echoed the importance of social harmony for a prosperous and peaceful India, urging residents to collaborate in cultivating tolerance and understanding among diverse communities.