"All festivals need to be celebrated together with people of all religions. They are a great means to draw humanity together. In a situation where hatred, division and discrimination are very much disturbing the equilibrium of social life, celebrating festivals together is the right way to promote brotherhood and harmony in social life,” said Fr (Dr) MD Thomas, Director, Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, New Dehi on Tuesday.
Speaking as chief guest at the Christmas celebration organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC), at its premises in New Delhi, Dr Thomas complimented the centre for its great tradition of celebrating all religious festivals and national days together with people of all communities. IICC has been promoting communal harmony, national integration and social harmony since decades.
He further said that the meaning of the word ‘Jesus’ is ‘God is with us’, which means ‘with all communities and categories of people of the country and of the world without division and discrimination’. What is required of human beings is to rise above petty feelings of hatred, ill feeling, misunderstanding, etc. and to strengthen the culture of unity and societal family spirit, in line with the great ideals of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ of India. When we humans are united with all communities, the reality of ‘God is with us’ will be realized in our lives.
Fr Thomas quoted the verse of holy Quran (Surah 49.13) that “O mankind, we have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another”. That would mean ‘strengthening the culture of living harmoniously together’ with one and all, across the communities and nations, in the spirit of being a family.
About 500 people from all communities were present in the programme. It was great to note that people of all communities were making friends with each other without any hesitation. It is heartening to state that Christmas celebration by the
The centre has been a milestone in view of making a better country and better society.