Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Religious Harmony in Tamil Nadu

Although the sad news concerning India today is the religious violence in Orissa, where 12 churches were vandalized), there is also this bit of encouraging and consoling news of an event in South India. Under the title "A festival of religious harmony," reporter M. Balaganessin writes in The Hindu newspaper that in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, "People of various walks of life and different faiths, who are members of the Pudukottai branch of the Tiruvarul Peravai [a branch of the unit founded by the late Hindu guru Kundrakudi Adigalar, to promote religious harmony through mutual trust and cordial relationship for the past two decades], visited a couple of churches and greeted Christians on the occasion of Christmas on Tuesday. They went to the R.C. Church and the TELC Church here and greeted the people at the end of a special mass."

The President of the Peravai is quoted as saying, “It has been customary for the members belonging to other faiths to greet Muslims or Hindus on occasions such as Ramzan or Deepavai.” Read the full article here.

Isn't great to know that there are such dedicated religious leaders in India striving for religious harmony and mutual understanding? Worth noting is also the fact that those who vandalized the Churches in Orissa are Hindus (or those claiming to be Hindus), and the leading Peravai leaders who extended their arms enthusiastically to greet Christians and Moslems are also Hindus--the magnanimous and remarkable Hindus of whom M.K.Gandhi was a representative.

It's a pity that such news of religious harmony rarely gets noticed or reported as much as news of religious violence. The Hindu deserves congratulations for reporting on such efforts to live in harmony.

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