CHENNAI: The residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner to South India, the historical Cottingley, played host to the first such celebration of Eid Milan on Tuesday evening.
The brainchild of the present British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai Bharat Joshi, the commission’s first ever celebration of Eid Milan was attended by a small, but significant gathering of the city’s elite, including businessmen, educationalists, representatives of other faiths and Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammad Abdul Ali.
The city’s diplomat community was also well represented at the event.
Addressing the 40-odd guests on the sprawling hallway of his residence, the Deputy High Commissioner pointed out that the Muslim community was of immense importance to the United Kingdom, being the single largest minority in the country.
“There are more than 2.2 million Muslims in the UK. That being the case, we’ve been celebrating Ramadan for centuries. This celebration of Eid Milan is something that is here to stay,” he said.
The Prince, who also spoke at the gathering, added that Islam was currently in the danger of being misunderstood. “Islam is not a terrorist religion. It is a religion that preaches love and brotherhood like every other religion in the world,” he said.
He also went on to say that such gatherings would go a long way towards religious amity.
“I assure you that such gatherings as this will help in facilitating trust and a better understanding among religious communities and build solidarity between various faiths,” he said.
The Prince concluded his speech by calling for an immediate cease of hostilities in Gaza and speedy resolution of the Palestine issue.