Bengaluru: Eid Milan is promotion of unity and harmony, said Dr Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bengaluru. Conveying Christian greetings to Muslim friends, he said that the spirit of Eid Milan still remains, though the feast was celebrated one month back. Archbishop said he was happy to welcome all leaders and Muslim community members to celebrate Eid along with members of various Christian denominations. Archbishop Moras was speaking on the occasion of Eid Milan celebration organized jointly by the Archdiocese and All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights (AKUCFHR).
To drive home the relevance of Eid celebration with leaders and members of both Muslim and Christian communities, the Archbishop made an analogue of mango and rose. Each one bringing points to prove its own superiority over the other. “Rose said all admire it because of its colours, fragrance, and people use it for all their feasts and celebrations. Mango said rose would not beat its kindness even when people throw stones at it. Rose countered saying, mango gives fruit only once a year. And the argument goes on between them.” The Archbishop said that this is the case with all religions that praise about themselves. All religions strive to give a righteous life. What people need is harmony and good will. The religious leaders teach only one thing – mutual respect and love for each other as we are children of the same God. And there is a definite need to live in harmony and unity. All holy books teach to live a better life.
Quoting the Vatican Council, Archbishop said that Muslims believe in one God as Christians. Catholic Church looks upon them with much respect. Pope Francis addressed the Christians exhorting them to praise the Lord for the creation of the universe. He called upon the leaders to bring the entire creation of God for harmony – harmony of nature. Some religious groups are majority in certain areas and others minority. However, they need to live in harmony. He spoke against amassing filth of wealth. The centre stage of all religions is harmony and unity irrespective of caste, creed, colour, nationality and all other considerations. He urged everyone present to prepare for a new world. The Archbishop, who is the president of AKUCFHR, invoked God’s blessings on all and prayed for all so as to make them a community of harmony.
Kareem Irfan, former president, Council of Religious Leaders of Metro Chicago, speaking on the occasion said Eid is a day of celebration. The very meaning of the word Eid stands for togetherness. Christian Churches and the Catholic Church in particular paved the way for this togetherness, he said. Koran gives words of knowledge. The Lord created the nations and peoples to know each other. Milan also means togetherness or to give up differences. Kareem, a businessman by profession, has vast experience of different religions and he called upon those present to have Abraham’s faith. He made a mention of Cardinal George of USA who was the founder of inter-faith movements. He quoted Pope Francis, who promotes inter-faith dialogue, when he was in Rome for an inter-religious conference. Kareem, who referred to Archbishop Moras’ stand on religious harmony, urged upon all to reflect on our actions. He appealed to all to be ambassadors of unity and togetherness and to take this seriously. Kareem prayed to the Almighty to help all to bind hearts and minds in unity.
Home Minister K J George in his brief talk lauded the Archbishop for preparing and organizing Eid Milan. He said that today we have no differences whether a person is a Hindu, Muslim or Christian. All stand for peace and unity. The Karnataka government constantly strives to achieve this unity among people and the present government wants complete peace and harmony in the state and it is in the right path. He felicitated Archbishop and all other members of AKUCFHR for their effort and initiative to bring about an understanding among various religions.
Pastor Anil Gowda and team presented a Christian prayer and song. The Muslim members had Namaz (prayer) on the stage while all others prayed in silence. The Muslim leaders who came from different parts of Bengaluru greeted Rev. Moras.
Earlier, Maulana Mir Shayer Ali prayed in Urdu which was translated by Feroz Abdullah. Maulana Mir Shayer prayed about unity among religions. Akas Sultan prayed in English. He said that God is merciful and that He brought hearts together, allowing all good to happen and forbidding evil.
B G Koshy IAS introduced leaders and various representatives including Mathai IAS, Asst. Commissioner, BBMP and several leaders of both communities.
Rev. M Samuel Raj Kumar, Treasurer of Bengaluru Zone of AKUCFHR was the master of ceremony. Among those present were MLA N S Haris, former MLA Ivan Nigli, nuns, hosts of priests, lay leaders and government officials. Fr Ronnie Prabhu SJ (PRO & Secretary, AKUCFHR), Kiritappa and Paricho Prabhu were part the organising team.
Rev. Arokiaswamy, treasurer, AKUCFHR, delivered a vote of thanks.