MLC Ivan D’Souza Hosts ‘All Religion Diwali Sangama’ aiming for Love and Peace in Society

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MLC Ivan D’Souza Hosts ‘All Religion Diwali Sangama’ aiming for Love and Peace in Society

Mangaluru: After hosting “Iftar Party Souhardha” and also Christmas Souhardha’ with an intention to bring love, peace and harmony in the Society, MLC and State Chief Whip Ivan D’Souza initiated the Diwali celebrations in a unique way with the combination of all religions. The Souharda or friendliness is not just a message it has to be adopted in our everyday life. It was indeed a unique Diwali Celebrations, where all religions celebrated the festival of lights together. This is the second “All Religion Diwali Sangama” hosted by Ivan D’Souza, and he was commended by everyone for his initiative every year in hosting “Souhardha” during Ramadan and Christmas- and now during the festival of lights-Diwali!

Some holidays remind us of the values that unite humanity, and the annual Diwali Festival is one of them. Though the holiday has many interpretations, the core message is the victory of good over evil. Hindus light rows of clay lamps to celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana. As seen in the Indian example, many faiths come together to celebrate Diwali for many reasons, but the common theme unites them all. In today’s complex world, the need to accommodate diversity and find common ground is as relevant as ever. The display of lights and colorful Goodu Deepas outside Town Hall-Mangaluru has been designed to reflect “a highly inclusive, all-welcoming celebration of peace and harmony,” and that Diwali reminds us “to keep improving spiritually in this lifetime — through unity in thought, word and deed.

This celebration at Town Hall on 18 October, was attended by politicians, friends, well-wishers and many others who were on Ivan D’Souza’s guest list- and to name a few- Minister Ramanath Rai; Former minister Amarnath Shetty; MCC Mayor Kavitha Sanil; Sadanand Shetty-Chairman, Sri Devi Education Trust; Yenepoya Abdul Kunhi- Chairman, Yenepoya Education Trust; MCC Deputy mayor Rajaneesh; Shashidhar Hegde- Former Mayor; Kodijal Ibrahim-Former MUDA Chairman; K Ashraf- Former MCC Mayor; a bevy of corporators/politicians, among many others. The programme began with the “Naada Geethe” followed by the welcome address by the host, Ivan D’Souza.

While welcoming each of his guests with a memento,  Ivan beaming with joy and pride said, “I feel blessed to host this Diwali Souhardha with people of all religions with an aim to bring peace, love, friendship and harmony between Hindus and other religious folks. We should all live in harmony and peace, and never give a chance for hate and communal tensions. Let’s celebrate Diwali with peace and love, that should be our motto. Having hosted this Sangma for the second time, I feel happy to see a huge crowd gathered here, and let’s all look forward to mark this festival season with love, peace and harmony in the community”.

The celebration was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by Vedamurthy Shri Anantha Padmanabha Asranna- Swamiji of Kateel Temple, along with Minister Ramanath Rai; Rt Rev Mohan Manoraj-Bishop of CSI Church; Mayor Kavitha Sanil; K S Mohammed Masood- President, Muslim central Committee-DK/Udupi; among other dignitaries on the dais. In his inaugural address complimenting MLC Ivan D’Souza for his kind gesture in hosting this unique Diwali get-together with people of different faiths, Swamiji Vedamurthy said,” Deepavali is a festival of lights and togetherness. It is the festival of unity without any caste and religious differentiation. As a lamp spreads light equally to everyone, so we must also love everyone equally. All religions teach us to be united let us become the light of love and prosperity. We need to celebrate Deepavali in such a way that it will instigate to spread peace and love in the society. We need to applaud Ivan D’Souza for his initiative in organizing this Souhardha in order to bring peace, love and harmony in the society”.

Minister Ramanath Rai addressing the gathering said, ” We should all work in unity to maintain peace and harmony – in the eyes of God we are all equal and we should never incite communal riots and hatred among different faiths. DK is a peace-loving district, and people are not looking for any trouble or communal disharmony. But there are a few elements who want to break peace and harmony among the communities, thereby creating tension in the society. We need to stay away from such people. Today this programme highlighting harmony during Diwali has brought us together irrespective of religions. So during this Diwali season let us spread the message to love and maintain peace throughout. Let the light of Diwali shine upon us and take away the darkness and give us peace and prosperity. My sincere compliments to Ivan D’Souza for his efforts in hosting this get-together of all faith to bring peace in the community”.

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Rt Rev Mohan Manoraj also speaking during the occasion said, “Diwali is the celebration of the victory of truth over oppression. Diwali gives us the message of love, peace and harmony. It calls upon us to set aside differences and work together to make our community that we live in, a peaceful one. Diwali is the celebration of peace. The day calls upon us to stand against hate, jealousness, communal disharmony etc. Diwali is a great unifying force and it can soften even the hardest of hearts. It is a time when you will find people mingling about in joy and embracing one another with love. The vibrations produced by the greetings of love, which fill the atmosphere, are powerful. When the heart has considerably hardened, only a continuous celebration of Deepavali can rekindle the urgent need of turning away from the ruinous path of hatred. The lights of Diwali also signify a time of inner illumination. Hindus believe that the light of lights is the one that steadily shines in the chamber of the heart. Sitting quietly and fixing the mind on this supreme light illuminates the soul. It is an opportunity to cultivate and enjoy eternal bliss.”

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A few other dignitaries on the dais also spoke and exchanged the greetings and love of Diwali. The celebration also comprised of drawing competition and Elocution Competition on Diwali theme- and prizes were distributed to the winners. An amount of Rs 3.37 lakh was split between eight differently-abled persons- and cheques were handed over to them. Also, 1000 bags of rice, 5 kgs each were distributed to the poor during the occasion. The programme was compered by Abhishekh Shetty of Radio Tara. The formal function ended with an array of cultural events, including dance, music etc.


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