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Christian-Hindu Amity marks International Day of Peace in Agartala


By J. Pulinthanath sdb
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Guwahati, Sep. 22. Please find below an account of the celebrations of the International Day of Peace at Agartala.  For a change, it's not about breaking and blasting but building and growing together. All hope is not lost yet.
J. Pulinthanath sdb


AGARTALA, 21 Sept 2008: Even as reports of recent bomb blasts and Hindu-Christian conflicts continue to pour in from different parts of the country, the Northeast Indian capital town of Agartala witnessed a rare gesture of unity and amity between Christians and Hindus.  
The Agartala celebrations of the International Day of Peace (IDP) consisted in leaders from both Christian and Hindu communities, planting a sapling in a place offered by the other community. Catholic Priest Pascal D sdb planted a sapling in the compound of Bholagiri Ashram in Amtali on the outskirts of Agartala town in the presence of Maharaj Sureshsara Nanda Giri Swamiji and other religious leaders. Father Pascal hoped that ''just as the Arjun sapling would gradually grow into a big strong tree'', their resolve for peace and harmony too would become ''firmer and stronger with each passing day.''

The second part of the program was held at Don Bosco Peace Centre Nandannagar. Maharaj Sureshsara Nanda Giri Swamiji accompanied the group to Don Bosco and planted a sapling in front of the Peace Centre.  The Swamiji exhorted the listeners to appreciate the many cultures, and many religions of our country, each of which tries to bring about peace in its own unique manner and method.  Speaking on the occasion, Mr. J. L. Chakrabarty, the secretary of the International Association for Religious Freedom, Tripura Chapter said that it made no sense to fight in the name of religion as every religion taught peace and communal harmony.

Fr. MC George, the Principal of Don Bosco School called International Day of Peace as a celebration of 'Variety'.  ''How boring would it have been if the world had only one type of people, or if a garden only had one kind of flower or if the world had only one type of music'', he asked the many youth present at the celebrations.  Rev. Kamal Chakrabarty was another Christian leader present for the celebrations.

The participants of the IDP celebrations also held a candle-lit prayer for the victims of the recent violence in various parts of the world.  Ena Jamatia, one of the youth who took part in the program said, ''We feel sad when we hear about people dying because of violence or bomb blasts as it happened in Delhi a few days ago. Today we prayed for them and also prayed that such things don't happen in society.''

The program was organized by Sampari Hukumu Bodol Tripura, under the patronage of Universal Peace Federation (UPF), Peace Dream and Religious Youth Service (RYS). UPF had some months ago conferred the Ambassador for Peace status to Fathers KJ Joseph sdb and Joseph Pulinthanath sdb, both of who are also members of Sampari Hukumu Bodol.

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