Lecture on religious tolerance, communal harmony and secularism in Indore

Mansoor Ilahi and Abdullah, TwoCircles.net,

Indore: “Secularism is the backbone of Indian society and there can’t be any other political philosophy better than secularism for our country. The Constitution of India has guaranteed full religious freedom to all the citizens living in the country,” said Dr. Shakeel Samdani, renowned scholar, orator and senior faculty member, Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

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Dr Samdani was speaking at the 54th summer lecture series organised by Abhyas Mandal, renowned social organisation of Indore. He said that our Constitution says that one can not only practice but also can propagate his religious philosophy. He also added that it is enshrined in our Constitution that the state will remain neutral towards religion.

The significance of this lecture is that since 54 years, continuously every year this lecture series is organised. It is also famous for its punctuality and quality and has the honour to have three former Prime Ministers namely Morarji Desai, Chandra Shekhar and I K Gujral as its speaker and for the first time any faculty member from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was invited to deliver this prestigious lecture.

Dr Shakeel Samdani addressing the gathering at Indore

Each and every religion would be given due respect and honour. He added that the, ‘divide and rule policy’ of British spoiled the social fabric of our country. British historians and their followers with communal intent distorted and manipulated the historical facts to suit their interests. He said that there are innumerable instances in history which bears testimony to the secular credentials of our ancestors.

Dr Shakeel Samdani said Mughal Emperor Babar asked his son Humayun that he must try to stop the slaughter of cows as they are considered sacred among Hindu brothers and their religious sentiments are attached to it. He also quoted that Queen Karnawati sent ‘Rakhi’ to Mughal Emperor Humayun and asked for help and Humayun upheld the dignity of ‘Rakhi’ and offered full help to Rani Karnawati and did his best to protect her.

He added that Tipu Sultan was a great freedom fighter who tried his best to protect the country from British. He sacrificed his life and thrown for the sake of the country. He was a just and secular ruler which is evident from the fact that there were many Hindus in his administration and army. He also used to offer grant to a large number of temples from the state funds.

Referring about Shivaji, he said that some people have tagged him to a particular community, which is not true, the fact is that there were 35% Muslims in his army and administration and the two persons who helped him in escaping from prison were also Muslims. Shivaji was a great secular leader and it is wrong to paint him as anti-Muslim. The war between Shivaji and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was not a religious war, but in fact was a war between two rulers. Dr. Samdani also discussed the war between Rana Pratap and Akbar and the war between Jhansi ki Rani and British.

Dr. Shakeel Samdani asked the audience; don’t these incidents of history resemble the unity and harmony between our ancestors? He appealed that these historical facts should be propagated on a large scale as it will go a long way in ensuring peace and harmony between the communities. It is a matter of great sorrow as that part of history which is containing hatred, mistrust and is ultimately dividing the society on communal grounds is put forward by communal elements so as to enlarge the gulf between the communities and now the time has came to teach the correct history to the new generation and to desist the history created by British, which was based on the policy of ‘divide and rule’.

Finally, Dr. Shakeel Samdani requested the audience to preach the gospel of brotherhood, tolerance and justice in the society. He also thanked the organisers for organising the lecture series and also thanked the audience for patiently listening to the lecture and appreciating the lecture by huge applause. He concluded the lecture by the following couplet.

“Jo bhai ko bhai se ladane ka sabaq den, un sari kitabon ko samundar me baha do,
Mit jayega shahar se nafrat ka andhera, har mod par ek deep muhabbat ka jala do”.

Haji Muneer Khan, renowned social worker welcomed the guests while Hari Ram Vajpai conducted the program. Vote of thanks was proposed by Ashok Jaiswal.

The lecture was attended by a large number of dignitaries, social workers, political leaders, women activists, religious leaders and media personalities. Notable among them were Anand Mohan Mathur, Former Advocate General, MP, Krishna Murari Moghe, Mayor of Indore, Shobha Ojha, Ex Mahilla Congress President, MP, S A Abbasi, Former VC Indore University, D P Singh, VC Indore University, Rameshwar Patel, Ex Minister, MP, Sardar A I Pal, Former Post Master General, Prof Saroj Kumar, Gautam Khotari, President, Pitampur Industrial Organisation, Babu Bhai, Mahipurwala, Parvez Khan, Dr. Nizamuddin, Ashok Barjatya, Mohit Kulkarni, Shivaji Mohitey, President Abhyas Mandal, Shyam Sundar Yadav, Vice President, Shabbir Hussain, Noor Mohd Quraishi, Abdul Raziq Khan, Dr. Pallavi Adhav, Secratry, Abhyas Mandal.

Later, Dr. Shakeel Samdani, along with D P Singh, VC Indore University, S A Abbasi, Former VC, Krishna Murari, Moghe, Mayor inaugurated the ‘Indore Mahotsav’.