Shri N. K. Premachandran, Member of Parliament

Shri M. M. Hassan, Former Minister of Kerala

Shri M. Vijayakumar, Former Speaker and Minister

Shri Beemapally Rasheed, State Secretary, Indian Union Muslim Leaque

Dr. S Ahammed,

Janab V.P. Suhaib Moulavi, Chief Imam, Palayam Mosque

Father Varkey Attupurath, Vicar General

Swamy Aswathy Thirunal

Kadakkal Ramesh, Vice Chairman, NRI Council

Kalapremi Basheer

Sahodaree Sahodaranmare

Ellavarkkum Ente Namaskaram.

I am happy to address you at this Religious Harmony Message Convention organized by Kairali Renaissance Integrated Progressive Association [KRIPA] and Kerala State NRI Coordination Council.

Let me at the outset, compliment the Kairali Renaissance Integrated Progressive Association [KRIPA] and Kerala State NRI Coordination Council for the humanitarian activities they have been involved in during the recent years.
I am informed that while KRIPA has been providing financial aid to patients and students, the NRI Coordination Council has been harmonizing the activities of 38 organizations working for the welfare of non-resident Keralites.

Coming to today's programme, it is truly appropriate that the organizers have chosen to organize this convention at the time when the world is observing the Holy month of Ramadan. With just two days to go for Id-ul Fitr, which marks the culmination of the Holy month of Ramadan, let me convey my heartiest wishes to everyone present here, with the hope that this festival will brighten our lives with love and brotherhood.

This and every other religious Festival that we celebrate, instills hopes about better human relations, oneness and harmony in society. After all, the purpose of religion is to unite people and to refine their minds and deeds. Swamy Vivekananda called religion the manifestation of the divinity already in man. Christianity believes in gaining insights into reality through the renewal of Man's consciousness. Prophet Muhammed saw the surrender to the will of God as the essence of life. All these beliefs point to the need for an inward renewal, which we see reflecting in all our holy texts and scriptures. As our philosopher President Dr. Sarveppalli Radhakrishnan once observed, the different religions are the windows through which God's light shines into man's soul.  

As we all know, India is a land which has given birth to more than one religion. What makes our nation different from other countries is a liberal view of life that we have inherited from the wisdom of our religions and saints and great teachers. In fact, our destiny as a nation has been shaped by the wisdom which emanated from a meaningful convergence of diverse views, ideals and philosophies from far and wide. Eminent people in all our religions have served to sustain and take forward this tradition by upholding the  spirit of universal love, brotherhood and a concern for the well being of mankind.

We all take pride in belonging to a secular nation. Being secular does not point to the negligence of spirituality or religious beliefs. I am certain that irrespective of our religions, we have a common holy book, which we call our Constitution. The ideal of secularism is emphatically enshrined in our sublime Constitution. In fact, any individual who internalizes the great values that reflect in the Preamble of our Constitution, can never differentiate or discriminate people on the lines of religion or caste.

We live in an age of progress and every advancement in our lives is mediated or even dictated by technology.  Scientific progress has reached such levels that the Moon and the Mars could soon become our travel destinations. True, we have progressed so much, but almost half the world is still fighting poverty and disease. All the progress we have achieved have not helped to wipe out oppression, aggression and extremism in the world. It is sad to note that despite our progress and education, many people are influenced by the promoters of religious extremism, who play a prominent role in aggravating   misery in our world.

The need of the hour, therefore, is to ask ourselves whether we have understood our own religion in its true spirit. We should realize and make others realize that to practice true religion, one need not be a philosopher or theologian. Our religious thoughts should serve to change our attitude to life and not simply to change or reinforce our opinions. Our realization of God should not be through meditation alone, but also through acts of compassion. And, it can never be through violence and intolerance.  Our religious beliefs should convince us that hunger and misery can be solved through food and help and not through philosophy alone. If our religious beliefs do not teach us the meaning of human dignity and equality, then, there is something wrong with the way we understood religion.

The greatness of a human being lies in his or her thorough knowledge of and deep concern about the stark realities faced by the downtrodden sections of our society. It is worthwhile to recall the great philosopher Bertrand Russel who saw the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind as the true signs of a meaningful life.  The religions that we practice should empower us in such a way that every action of ours should convey to the world, a unique message of self-less love and compassion.

While we expect goodness from religion, it is we who should translate the goodness of our religious ideals into practice.
I would conclude by reminding everyone that the practitioners of different religions are actually partners in the same spiritual journey. Our   destinations may have different names, but their beauty is the same. The Gods we search for may be formless and invisible. But, the honesty in our search should empower us to see God in the noble ideals we nurture and the people we serve and love.

Once again, let me convey my best wishes on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner.

Ellaavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind