CHENNAI: Ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Developers India organised an interfaith celebration in the city and presented its annual Vibrant Indian award to Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam.
The Christmas and Pongal festivals, which also fall around the same time of the year, were celebrated at the event which saw the attendance of Prince of Arcot Muhammad Abdul Ali, industrialist Nalli Kuppusamy, Minister for Tamil Official Language K Pandiarajan and Vice Consulate General of Russia Gennadil A Rogalev.
Speaking at this interfaith event, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department secretary Harmander Singh set the tone for the evening by pointing out how various religions are like rivers. “They might have different paths but they all finally reach the sea,” he said, adding, “You can’t tell the difference once they reach the sea.”
Nawab Muhammad Abdul Ali said it was important not to mix politics and religion. “I am glad that our own government doesn’t do that,” he said, voicing concerns over rise of pseudo-nationalistic elements who are trying to link religion to patriotism.
Nalli Kuppuswamy pointed out how the Nawabs’ ancestors allowed the construction of a temple in their land free of cost. “Such is the relationship the Nawab’s family had with the Hindu community,” he said.
Minister Pandiarajan lauded the event and broke into singing, adding to the celebration. “The interfaith dialogue is important for society to avoid religious violence that have happened in the past,” he said.
Fr K J Varghese Rozario, Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore and Secretary, Commission for Interfaith Dialogue, also took part in the event.