CHENNAI: By 2019, the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair will be taken to all states in the country, said S Gurumurthy, eminent commentator on social, political and economic issues, and one of the key figures behind the fair that has entered the eighth year now.
This year’s programme, scheduled for August 2-8 at A M Jain College grounds in Meenambakkam, will focus on the revival of traditional games of India, Gurumurthy said.
There will be more than 1,000 competitions in about 180 traditional games, in which thousands of school children are set to participate, he added.
Promotion of traditional games is important, said Gurumurthy, a noted advocate of native, traditional culture and values, ruing that the country does not have a national body to promote traditional games unlike other countries.
First organised in February 2009, the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair grew in size and scope.
Thousands attended the fair in Chennai initially, and then in Jaipur and Bengaluru. More than 350 organisations, including cultural, youth and spiritual organisations expected to take part this time, up from a few dozen when it started.
By March 2017, organisers hope to take the fair to 11 centres across the country, and ultimately cover all states by the 10th anniversary in 2019.
Speaking to Express on Saturday, S Gurumurthy said the seeds of the fair were sown back in 2005 in foreign soil. It was there in the United States, he recalled, several members of the Indian Diaspora reported a misunderstanding about Hindu Spiritualism, that it wasn’t compassionate towards the sufferings of the poor. “The conundrum about Hindu spiritualism is that good deeds done by organisations are rarely showcased in public domain. In reality, there is an unbelievable amount of charity work done by them,” he observed.
“Anything which affects the image of Hindus affects the image of the country as they both are closely aligned. Hence, that perception had to be addressed,” remarked Gurumurthy. The fair, he added, is an attempt to correct the perception that Hindu spiritualism lacks a human face.
Quoting late American philosopher Paul Woodruff, Gurumurthy said modernity had made people lose the virtue of reverence. “Presently, there is an attempt to de-legitimise our basic values, they are being derided in public.
Hence, we need to indulge in counter efforts in a positive manner, which is what the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair is all about,” he said.
He added that spiritualism has answers to the contemporary challenges such as the need to build a sustainable environment. “It is just a matter of training minds so that partnerships can be forged among men as well as between man and nature,” Gurumurthy added.
The fair would promote among students six principles, including the need to protects forests and wild life, preserve ecology, build a sustainable environment, inculcate family and human values, foster women’s honour as well as promote patriotism.