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Lokmat Media hosts the first National Inter-Religious Conference in Nagpur

Lokmat Media Group on Sunday organised the first-ever National Inter-Religious Conference in Nagpur to commemorate its Nagpur edition's golden jubilee year celebrations. This is the first event in the series that are lined up to mark the completion of 50 years of Lokmat Nagpur edition's glorious journey. The theme of this first-of-its-kind conference was "Global Challenges to Communal Harmony and Role of India." Held at the Suresh Bhat Auditorium in Nagpur, the conference aimed at spreading the message of love, peace, and religious harmony all over the world. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, was the chief guest of the event while Nagpur mayor Dayashankar Tiwari was the guest of honour.

Several spiritual and thought leaders from diverse religious were invited as keynote speakers for this event. They included Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of The Art of Living, Acharya Dr Lokeshmuni, Founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, Bhikkhu Sanghasena, Founder of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh/Ladakh, Swami Ramdev, Founder, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, Haji Syed Salman Chishty, Gaddi Nashin, Dargah Ajmer Sharif, Pralhad Wamanrao Pai of Jeevanvidya Mission, Mumbai and Brahmaviharidas Swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Shri Vijay Darda, Chairman of Lokmat Media Group, Shri Rajendra Darda, Editor-in-Chief along with Shri Devendra Darda, Managing Director, Shri Rishi Darda, Jt. Managing Director & Editorial Director and Shri Vijay Baviskar, Group Editor were present at the conference.

On the occasion, Shri. Nitin Gadkari, said, “Indian culture is one that is truly secular. Respecting all cultures, religions, communities, ideologies are the specialty of Indian culture, which is not associated with any "dharma". Oneness is the biggest strength of Indian culture and this is what makes us capable of becoming a Vishwa Guru or world teacher, which was predicted earlier by Swami Vivekananda.”

In a video message, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, "Religion is the connector. But if the human feeling is negative, people work to divide the society by abusing religion. This is because there is no interaction with each other. Therefore, we need to remind the community that we are one."

Founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti, Acharya Dr Lokesh Muni, said, “Existence of others should be acknowledged as much as our own. Religion is humanity and we all are extensions of opinions. This country is not only secular but also non-sectarian. Today a positive feeling is required. This world is beautiful except for negativity. The chariot of messengers of peace here should go forward. The discussion on thoughts in this congregation of religious leaders should reach every part of the world. The lifestyle based on Ayurved, yoga-pranayam and restraint should be accepted once again.

Brahmaviharidas Swami, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said, “Once upon a time, landing on the Moon or space travel were like dreams. But now they are reality now. Many feel that prevailing social harmony in the world is a dream. But it is my belief that this dream will be fulfilled. If the entire society makes collective efforts for spreading love, following rules and developing good life, the global social harmony can be established. Instead of expecting social harmony from the world, people have to start with themselves.”

Swami Ramdev, Yoga Guru and Founder, Patanjali Yogpeeth, emphasised, “World has danger from religious, financial and political terrorism. The world is facing biggest threat from religious, economic and political terrorism. The name should be Sarva Panth and not Sarva Dharma. Instead of saying that all will be Hindus, Muslims or Christians, we should say that all should be made human beings. The country works as per the Constitution while the society is based on spirituality. There is a need to take a stand that we all are united.”

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, while sharing his thoughts said, "As the hatred is being spread in the name of religion, the world needs to create an attitude of acceptance of the existence of other religions along with mutual dialogue. The concept

 of god and some thoughts are different in every religion. But there are many similarities too. If we think with an open mind and brain, it will appear that we all have more of the same links than contradictions. Therefore, instead of paying attention towards contradictions, we should focus on the similarities.”

"Efforts to make each other happy and respect for each other's feelings are worship to god. These are the values of human culture and these should be inculcated from childhood. Equality, civility, harmony, tolerance, gratitude and moral values are all values of life. These values will have to be inculcated and social harmony will be established. Humanity is very important in life and it is the soul of all religions." said Pralhad Wamanrao Pai, founder of the Jeevanvidya Mission.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, said, “The religion keeps people together. But some people plot to create hatred in the name of religion. But we should keep in mind that diversity has essence and god too is essence. Intellectuals become happy due to diversity and fools fight with each other. Diversity has to be accepted in human life. Sarvadharma Samabhav and diversity are unique qualities of India. It is the duty of the religion to solve various disputes and enmity.”

Bhikkhu Sanghasena, Founder, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, stated, "Whatever is going on in the world is very disturbing and worrisome. Religious violence, war, aggression, hatred and prejudice have ravaged the world. In such a situation, the role of India is very important to make the world understand the importance of non-violence, peace and compassion. The time has come for us to be united and find solutions to the problems of the world.”

Haji Syed Salman Chishty of Dargah Ajmer Sharif said, “'Destiny' is basic foundation of all religions. What feeling you are deriving while worshiping your god is important. If any person offers namaz and commits any act which is a blot on humanity, his namaz is of no use. 'Destiny' is the basic foundation of all religions. Damage to the faith of any religion is the greatest crime.”

Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat Media Group, said, “The Lokmat upheld the importance of secularism right from day one. It’s stand has been Sarvadharma Samabhav. No religion is bigger than humanity and we upheld these values. The Lokmat respected all religions and creeds. People have been living together since ages and 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' is the culture of the country. The guidance of Dharmacharyas on social harmony is important in the backdrop of the fundamentals in the current situation that were created in the name of religion.”

Rajendra Darda, Editor-in-Chief of the Lokmat Media Group, highlighted,At a time when people are being murdered in the name of religion, the world is looking to India for a solution to this problem. India's responsibility at the global level has increased as it has been following the ideas of non-violence preached by Lord Mahavir, Tathagat Buddha, Guru Gobind Singh and Mahatma Gandhi. Only the path of peace and harmony can save the world.”

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