Seminar on Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Belief



 

"A Faith Denied: Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran"



 

National Conference- "Fikr-E-Hind: Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb"



 

5th Global Forum, Vienna 2013



 

Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair 2013



 

Civic Reception & High Tea for High Level Nepal Delegation



 

Symposium on Plight Of Religious Minorities in Pakistan



 

Pakistan



 

Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training

Dear Sir/ Madam,

 

We are pleased to bring to your kind attention that the Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training (IMCT) has been designed and developed for imparting the following values to the students through rituals and symbolism.

 

Respect and love for parents and elders

Respect for teachers

Respect for girls and reverence for women

Respect for nature and animals as sacred

Respect for tradition.

 

IMCT is a unique programme to teach values through rituals which serve as visuals aids for students to imbibe our native culture. Rituals are the means to transfer our culture and tradition from one generation to the other. A brief note on 'VALUE BUILDING IS NATION BUILDING' is enclosed herewith. The profundity of IMCT and its inevitable need for the children of this great Nation is explained. Eminent intellectuals in the advisory board and leading educationists as members in organizing committee for the implementation of IMCT programme in schools add immense value to the concept of IMCT.

 

A two days residential camp is being organized for training school teachers as programmers to conduct value based rituals in their respective schools. We request you to participate in the said camp by sending two or three competent teachers.

 

Thanking you,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Thangam Meghanathan

Convenor, IMCT



 

Bahá'í



 

Talk on Sufism and Indian Islam



 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2012

The Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2012 that was held on January 25-29, 2012, was the fourth of such annual fairs from 2009.

 

Some 98 organisations out of the 160 organisations which participated in the HSS Fair 2012 run over 1 lakh educational institutions over 58,000 rural development projects, more than 8,200 hospitals, over 88,000 temples... the list is endless.

 

The speaking Sanatana Dharma Tree at the Main Hall of the Fair became the major attraction to the visitors to the Fair and to the media. This novel idea, which captured as the living reality, the ageless and timeless Sanatana Dharma was conceived and conceptualised as an expression of gratitude to the children of Sanatana Dharma, the Indian spiritual organisations, which were depicted on the Tree as leaves and branches for their glorious service in the cause of Sanatana Dharma. 



 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2011

Just as the Second Fair (2010) was a greater success than the first, the third Fair proved to be even greater as compared to the second. 

 

The Third Fair was held from 25th to 30th January 2011 at Sri Ramachandra University Grounds, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai. Revered Hindu Spiritual leaders Swami Gautamananda of Ramakrishna Mutt and Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam and noted industrialist Sri V. Gopal Srinivasan were the dignitaries on the dais at the inaugural function.

 

The Third Fair commenced with the grand Srinivasa Kalyanam conducted by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, Tirupati at the Fair venue specially for the benefit of under privileged children and senior citizens.

 

One hundred and sixteen Hindu spiritual organisations participated in the Fair. Several new organisations including the well known Dharmasthala, Siddhaganga Mutt and Adi Chunchunagiri from Karnataka participated in the Fair. Large number of students from various schools participated in the school competitions such as Oratorical, group singing, drawing, etc.  

 

About four lakh people from various walks of life thronged the Fair.

 
By now, the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair concept has evolved as a unique movement to unfold the universal Hindu spirituality, whose message of service is not only to serve the entire humanity but the entire creation.

 



 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2010

Considering the enthusiasm created by the first Hindu Spiritual and Service fair among the participant Hindu Spiritual organisations, the Second Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair was planned for three fold increase in the size of the fair and it was held during 24-28 December 2009. Sri Surjit Singh Barnala His Excellency The Governor of Tamil Nadu inaugurated the Fair and Sri Yeddiyurappa, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka and Shri Vellayan The Chairman of Murugappa Group were the Guest of Honour at the Inaugural. Sri Barnala lauded the Fair saying that "Religions and different faiths should bring about an understanding among the people and foster unity among faiths" and that "Appreciating all faiths and respecting all religions is the need of the hour."

 

Over one hundred organisations including the prestigious Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, Dwaraka Tirumala, Ramakrishna Mission, Aurobindo Ashram, Ramanashram, Kanchi Math, Sringeri Math, Mata Amritananadamayi Math, Art of Living movement, Swaminarayan movement and Patanjali Yogpeeth enthusiastically participated in the Fair. The Fair was held at a sprawling ground belonging to Sri Ramachandra Medical University at Tiruvanmiyur in Chennai. The collective service rendered by the participating organisation listed over 90000 schools, 12500 hospitals and medical centres, thousands of rural development projects among others.

 

Many dignitaries from different walks of life including business, public life, arts, music and cinema visited the Fair during the five days. The total visitors at the Fair exceeded two lacs. Students from some 35 schools participated in the different competitions conducted by the organisers. The Second Fair was almost three times bigger in participation, size and the impact it made on the participating organisations and the public. 



 

Vivekanand International Foundation



 

'Religion Vs Science' at the Amity University, Noida



 

Ek Khoj Bharat Ki



 

Swami Vivekananda Birth Anniversary at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colg. (Delhi University)



 

All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board



 

The 4th Annual Forum of UNAOC at Doha.



 

India-Japan Relations



 

"Gita" source to all religious books-Dr. Mohd. Hanif Khan Shastri



 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2011

The HSSF 2011 starts from 26th January 2011 and concludes on 30th January 2011. The timings is from 10am to 8pm.

 

The official inauguration of the fair will be done at GFCH India at Chennai by Pujaneeya Shri Gauthamananda Maharaj, President, Sri Ramakrishna Mission. Pujaneeya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, convenor of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha will be launching the website of Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair <hssf.in>. Swami Mitrananda, President, Chinmaya Yuva Kendra, will be delivering the concept of the fair.

 

Followed by the inauguration, Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam will be performing Srinivasa at 6:30pm, as curtain raiser for the HSSF 2011.


The stalls and the entry to the visitors is free of cost.



 

GFCH (India) Inauguration Function



 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair, Chennai, 2009

CHENNAI HOSTED FIRST EVER HISTORIC HINDU SPIRITUAL AND SERVICE FAIR

 

40 HINDU SERVICE ORGANISATIONS SHOWCASED ACTIVITIES, LITERATURE UNDER ONE ROOF

 Hindu religious and spiritual organisations which have avoided media glare and publicity and silently worked for decades among women, children, youth, villagers, tribals and deprived sections of the society as also natural disaster affected people  came together for the first time in a unique exhibition of their activities and literature in Chennai from February 6 to 8, 2009.

The three-day Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair, organised at the Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Anna Nagar, aimed to provide a platform to exhibit the spiritual and service activities of the different sponsoring and participating institutions to the public, particularly the students and youth and also enabled the followers and members of different organisations to have an overview of what other organisations are doing so as to promote a healthy, harmonious and mutually respectable relations among them. This was the first of many such fairs which will be later held on bigger scale in different parts of the country by the other Chapters of GFCH and the Fair will be extended to spiritual and religious organisations belonging to other faiths such as Islam and Christianity to showcase their contributions to the society.

About 40 leading Hindu organisations including Arya Samaj, AIM for Seva, Brahmakumaris, Art of Living, Chinmaya Mission, Vidya Bharati, Sewa Bharati, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Patanjali Yoga Peeth, Ramakrishna Math, Ekal Vidyalaya, Vivekananda Kendra, Mata Amritanandamayi Madhom, Oneness University etc participated in the event, noted danseuse Padma Bhushan Dr Padma Subramaniam said. The inaugural function of the Fair was addressed by Swami Abhiramananda of Ramakrishna Math, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi of Hindu Acharya Sabha, Swami Nithyananda Paramahamsa of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam and noted thinker S Gurumurthy. Devotional and cultural programmes including bhajans, chanting of the Bhagavat Geetha, play by students of different school and institutions were also organised during the three-day event



 

Mr. K G Suresh (Director)- A Profile

 

K G Suresh is a New Delhi based Senior Journalist, Columnist, Blogger, political commentator and media educator. He is currently working as Director and Chief Editor with Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony (India), a partner of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). He is also the Hony. Editor of Media Critique – India's only media monitor. He has earlier worked as Chief Political Correspondent with the premier Indian wire agency- the Press Trust of India (PTI), India Bureau Chief of PIO TV, the only web channel for non-resident Indians.

 

He has also served as Media Advisor to former Prime Minister Mr H D Deve Gowda and Media Advisor to Dalmia Bharat Enterprises Ltd.

 

He is also currently serving as the Hony Director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Mass Communication Studies and National Secretary of the Indian Media Centre - an independent, non-profit institution dedicated to promoting the highest standards in media.

 

With a rich professional experience of 23 years, Suresh is the recipient of Prem Bhatia Fellowship for Research in Media by Young Journalists and Action Aid International's Media For Change Fellowship.

 

Suresh is on the international jury for the Plural+ International Youth Video Festival 2012, organised by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organisation for Migration.

 

He is the first Indian to be nominated as a jury since the inception of the festival in 2009 and the only South Asian to be part of this year`s seven member international jury.

 

In November 2011, Mr Suresh along with an expert from WHO, Geneva, conducted a review of the Polio Communication programme for the UNICEF covering Western Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and submitted a detailed report to all stake holders including the Government of India.

 

Mr Suresh is considered an authority on right wing politics with his over two decade long experience in covering India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar organizations. He has also been to trouble spots including Kabul, Kathmandu (in the aftermath of King Birendra's assassination) and Kashmir to cover counter-insurgency operations. He has covered the India visit of Pope John Paul II and US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

 

His blog 'Indradhanush' on Zeenews.com and columns 'Positive Thinking' in Daily News & Analysis, Mumbai, 'Political Play' on merinews.com, India's largest citizen journalism portal and his fortnightly political column in The Pioneer, New Delhi are immensely popular with readers across the country.

 

Mr Suresh has also held several key responsibilities including as Associate Editor of 'Urja' – the Indian Journal of Energy.

 

Mr Suresh is on the Guest Faculty of the Indian Institute of Mass Communications, University of Delhi, Kurukshetra University, JIMS and the Makhan Lal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism. He is regularly invited to educational institutions across the country to address students on various issues.

 

He had served PTI, in different capacities including as Special Correspondent, Political Correspondent, Deputy Chief Reporter and Chief Crime Reporter. 

 

His analysis of political, developmental and other topical issues are regularly published by national and international newspapers, magazines, journals and websites such as CNN International (www.cnn.com), The Times, London, Monocle, London,The New Indian Express, The Asian Age, DNA- Daily News & Analysis, Deccan Chronicle, The Pioneer, New Delhi, Zeenews.com, The Sunday Indian, Kurukshetra – Journal of the Publications Division, Government of India devoted to rural development, Critique – India's only media monitor; telecast by television channels including the national broadcaster DD News, Times Now, NDTV India, Zee TV, Lok Sabha TV, Sahara Samay, etc and broadcast by radio stations such as All India Radio FM Rainbow 102.6 Mhz and Radio Hello, 106.4 FM, Chennai.

 

He has travelled across India and the world to cover developments including the Royal Palace Massacre in Nepal, BJP leader L K Advani's controversial Pakistan visit, the tenth anniversary celebrations of freedom in South Africa, the millennium sunrise at Katchal Islands, the reconstruction process in war-torn Afghanistan, the tragic cyclone, earthquake and communal violence in Gujarat, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and several Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

 

Mr Suresh, who holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication, has extensively covered the proceedings in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha besides reporting several Union Ministries/Departments including Home, HRD and Water Resources.

 

He was also a Member of the Government's Telecom Advisory Committee.

 

Mr Suresh has interviewed several important dignitaries including the then Indian Prime Minister Mr I K Gujral, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, the then Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mr L K Advani, the then Vice-President of India Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, , the then Nepalese Foreign Minister Mr Chakra Prasad Bastola, the then Defence Minister and currently Samajwadi Party Chief Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, the then BJP President Mr Rajnath Singh, actress activist Shabana Azmi and Inventor of AK-47 Assault rifle Mr Mikhail Kalashnikov. 

 

Along with other journalists including Rajdeep Sardesai and Aniruddha Bahal, Mr Suresh has contributed a chapter in the book 'Reporter- a handbook for every journalist' , which was released by exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.

 

Mr Suresh's chapter on former Indian Prime Minister Mr H D Deve Gowda is a part of 'Prime Ministers of India: Bharat Bhagya Vidhata', a coffee table book on the 14 Prime Ministers of India so far'.

 

Mr Suresh has been invited to attend and address prestigious national and international conferences including the keynote address on human rights at the LAWASIA International Conference in New Delhi, the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo, September 2011 and the Fourth Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations at Doha, Qatar in December 2011. His papers have been published in leading books, journals, souvenirs and publications.

 



 

Prof Makhan Lal (Convenor, Academic Council)



 

Resolution

One of the envisioned tasks of the GFCH (India) is to create awareness among people regarding civilizational threats, implications of various contemporary developments, possible responses etc through meetings, seminars, publications etc, leveraging GFCH linked organizations.

In his Circular dated June 06, 2008, Chairman of the GFCH Board of Trustees Sh Subhash Chandra had stated that one of the objectives of the Foundation is to build a global society while preserving all civilizational, national, cultural and religious identities.

The strongest pillar of any civilization is its language, or languages in the case of multi-lingual civilizations like India. Unfortunately, linguists have predicted that half of the world's 6,000 languages could disappear within the next two decades. If the current trend continues, up to 90 per cent of the languages will cease to exist over the next century.
 
Most human knowledge on the planet is contained and codified in languages and passed on through them. Much of this knowledge, remains entirely oral, that is, it has never been written down or recorded. Embedded within these languages and cultures is the understanding of complex ecosystems and scientific data -- codified and gathered over thousands, if not tens of thousands of years.
 
We stand at a precipice in human history. We are losing huge repositories of human knowledge, experience and unique ways of looking at the world with the demise of every language, every culture, and every elder who holds the key to their language.
 
This threat looms large across the globe, be it Africa, Russia, Europe, Australia, Asia or India. As Andrew Woodfield of the Centre for Theories of Language in Bristol puts it: "By allowing languages to die out, the human race is destroying things it does not understand."
 
Though languages spoken by large populations may not face extinction in the immediate future, they are being increasingly marginalised, with globalisation presenting unprecedented threats and challenges.
 
It is imperative that we preserve for future generations this knowledge that lies embedded within these unique languages. GFCH has a significant role to play in this direction.
 
The GFCH may thus devote itself to the preservation of indigenous languages either by setting up a special cell or by partnering with any other organisation working in this domain.
 
Senior journalist, Mr Rahul Dev, has done commendable work in this direction, through the Samyak Foundation, which he heads. GFCH may in association with the Foundation reach out to various civilizations, join forces and work in unison.

Keeping in view the above circular and following detailed discussions on the issue, the GFCH Members at their meeting in New Delhi on July 21, 2008, unanimously resolved to take urgent measures to counter this major and imminent threat to civilizations across the globe.Therefore, GFCH (India) has decided to initiate a CIVILIZATIONAL DIALOGUE ON LANGUAGES. It is heartening that the UN  has declared 2008 as the Year of Languages. There cannot be, therefore,  a more befitting moment for GFCH (India) to launch this dialogue than this. As a first step in this direction, GFCH (India) is planning to organize an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LANGUAGE AND CIVILIZATIONS.

The focus of the conference would be a cross-civilization understanding of the roles languages play in preserving, communicating and promoting civilizational values, identities, life styles,  cultures, knowledge systems and unique ways of looking at the world. It would also deliberate upon the significance of placing languages at the center of preserving and promoting civilizational diversity of the world. Besides, the challenges being faced  by nearly all world languages, big or small, in the wake of globalization  as well as ways and strategies of meeting these challenges will be shared and discussed.

The ultimate aim of this initiative will be to create a global platform for joint thinking and action for promoting the linguistic richness and diversity of the world as a tool of promoting civilizational harmony, the prime objective of GFCH. With this view, GFCH will network with and enlist the cooperation of like-minded relevant organizations and individuals across the world for a truly global participation and dialogue at the conference.

GFCH will launch this initiative in association with Samyak Foundation.


 

Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2009

The Chennai chapter of the GFCH (India) sponsored the fair on February 6, 7 and 8 at the Jaigopal Goradia Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Anna Nagar, Chennai. Thirty six Hindu spiritual and service organisations participated in the Fair, also as co-sponsors of the Fair. Swami Gauthamananda, President of Sri Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai was the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Fair and Swami Mitrananda, the head of the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra was the Secretary. The Fair was inaugurated by Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

The Fair showcased the services and spiritual activities offered to the society by various Hindu spiritual organisations. It was an exhibition of the literature and activities of different Hindu religious and spiritual organisations. This was the first of many such fairs which will be later held on bigger scale in different parts of the country by the other chapters of GFCH (India) and the Fair will be extended to spiritual and religious organisations belonging to other faiths.

The Fair aimed to provide a platform to exhibit the spiritual and service activities of the different sponsoring and participating institutions to the public, particularly the students and youth and also enabled the followers and members of different organisations to have an overview of what other organisations were doing so as to promote a healthy, harmonious and mutually respectable relations among them.


 

Ms Zena Sorabjee (The most popular Bahai face in India; Social Worker)

A Baha'i practitioner , Ms Sorabjee is the Chairman of the Baha'i House of Worship. She is also the Chairman of the Lotus Charitable Trust and Lotus Hospitals Trust. She has represented the Indian Baha'i community at the UN Millennium Conference for World Religious Leaders and the Baha'i International Community at various UN seminars. Travelling throughout India, Zena has assisted in the establishment of primary schools, the education of girls and the transfer of technology to rural India. For her social work, Zena has been presented with Best Social Worker award by Nehru Bal Samiti.



 

Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar (India's most popular Jewish leader)

Israel is in my heart, India is in my blood; Israel is my Dharmabhumi and India is my Karmabhumi; I am an Indian First and a Jew Second – pearls of wisdom from Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar. A widely respected figure of interfaith dialogues in India, Malekar is the Rabbi of Judah Hyam Synagogue of Delhi. A scholar of Judaism and rare 'Hebrew' language, Rabbi Malekar is a human rights activist and Deputy Registrar (Law) with the India's National Human Right Commission. He is the fountainhead of Hindu-Jewish Interfaith dialogue in India and has received 'Ambassador of Peace Award' instituted by Federation of Religious Harmony. Rabbi Malekar has also pioneered interfaith dialogue between Jews and Sikhs. He is famous for praising the multicultural nature of Indian Society where Judaism has existed for over 2,000 years without ever experiencing anti-Semitism.



 

Baba Ramdev (Guru who made Yoga a household activity)

"If an individual can be credited with reviving yoga in this country (India), it is solely Swami Ramdev. Swami Ramdev has spread yoga to such an extent that sooner or later, one has to embrace it.” is the observation made by none other than Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who himself uses Yoga in his 'Art of Living'. This earthly, humble saint was born in Haryana on December 25th, 1965. Before curing others, he cured his paralysis by practicing Yoga. He is well versed in Sanskrit Grammar, Ayurveda and Vedic Philosophy. His Patanjali Yog Trust aims to build the world's largest center for Ayurveda and Yoga  that includes facilities for treatment, research and a teaching university. The Trust, most notably, offers free treatment to those who cannot afford.



 

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Kerala's Hugging Saint; Humanitarian Work is her Mission)

Dr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation, once tried to define Amma through his scientific prism and came to conclusion, “A type of force emanates from Her. I think it cannot be defined by our analysis.” 'The hugging Saint” as 'Ammachi' is widely known throughout the world, was born in God's own country – Kerala on September 27, 1953. She is widely respected for humanitarian work worldwide through Mata Amritanandmayi Mission Trust which is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities. She is also one of the most prominent voices of interfaith dialogue and has been part of almost every genuine effort for inter-religious harmony such as 'Parliament of World Religions' in 1993, 'Millennium Peace Summit' organized by UN General Assembly in 2000, 'Parliament of World Religions' at Barcelona in 2004 and so on. Among the many recognition for her services to human kind, she was presented with 4th Annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Award. The Interfaith Award annually honors global leaders who forward the mission of promoting peace, interfaith understanding and action through social and cultural programs.



 

Acharya Mahapragya (Eminent Jain Guru; Founder, Science of Living)

Often referred to as 'Second Vivekananda' by his followers, Acharya Mahapragya is the 10th Acharya of Jain Shwetamber Terapanth sect. Born in Jhunjhunun district of Rajasthan on 14th June, 1920, he was named Nathmal by his parents. It was only in his childhood that a sage prophesied about his extraordinary future. When he was barely 10 years of age, he attained sainthood on February 18, 1930. Since then, his life's only objective is to serve the society in such as way that they could achieve nirvana (Salvation).. Acharya Mahapragya has also formulated the concept of 'Jeevan Vigyan', the Science of Living, as a panacea for universal problem of 'unbalanced development' of human life. For his pioneering work in the field of harmony and national integration, the Indian government honoured him with the 'Communal Harmony Award' in 2004.   



 

MAULANA MAHMOOD MADANI (Islamic scholar, Jamiat leader, MP)

Maulana Mahmood Asad Madani: A Rajya Sabha Member from Uttar Pradesh, the 44-year old internationally acclaimed Islamic scholar and social worker is the leader of the highly highly influential Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.  He played a key role in the issuance and propagation of the landmark 'Fatwa' against terrorism by the Darul Uloom, Deoband, which is revered across the Islamic world.

 

An enthusiastic social worker, Maulana Madani has a long track record of providing relief and rehabilitation to the victims of man-made or natural disasters; undertook several rehabilitation projects in earthquake affected areas in Gujarat and Kashmir Valley, tsunami affected areas in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and flood affected areas in Assam, Bihar and Orissa for the cause of humanity irrespective of any creed, caste or religion.

 

Possesed with a progressive outlook and an ardent faith in inter-faith harmony, the Maulana has visited several countries including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., U.K., South Africa, U.S.A., Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Libya, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Turkey.



 

Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias (Leader of Indian Catholics)

In 2007, when he was appointed as Archbishop of India by the Pope, an online blog of Konkani Catholics described him as 'Simple, approachable Prelate gets Red Hat'. A widely revered figure among Catholics in India, Cardinal Oswald Gracias was the only Asian among 23 Cardinals appointed that year by the Pope. Born on December 24, 1944 in the city of Mumbai, he was Archbishop of Bombay from October 14, 2006, before his elevation as the leader of the Catholic church in India. Earlier, he had also served as the Archbishop of Agra, the oldest diocese of Northern India.



 

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi (Eminent Hindu Seer/humanitarian)

A widely respected figure among inter faith supporters; Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a great visionary, an eminent teacher of Vedanta, a powerful thinker and writer. Taking forward the legacy of 'Shastrarth,' he is at home with most classical of scholars as well as contemporary youth. As a teacher of Vedanta, he has established four teaching centres in India and many more across the globe through his students. A Rishi in the true sense, he is sensitive to the needs of society. Having grown up in a small village in the Kaveri delta, he empathizes with problems faced in rural areas such as lack of education, health care, job opportunities etc. Swamiji has initiated a movement called AIM for Seva. Known for his harmonious views on religious matters, he has been invited to various dialogue forums of inter faith such as the 'Millennium World Peace Summit' organized by the United Nations in New York in September, 2000 and the 'Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders' in Geneva in October, 2002. He played a key role in the formation of the Hindu Acharya Sabha, an umbrella organization of various Hindu schools of thought and sampradayas. The revered Swami has also been holding parleys with leaders of Judaism and other faiths to bring about better understanding and civilizational harmony.



 

Sri Sri Ravishankar (Hindu Spiritual Guru; Founder, Art of Living)

“My vision is a violence-free, stress-free world,” says this globe-trotting new age guru. Sri Sri is the inventor of 'Sudharshan Kriya' which infuses the body with energy and harmonizes the natural rhythms of the body, mind, and emotions. A widely respected saint, the soft-spoken, perennially cheerful Sri Sri was born on May 13, 1956 in Tamilnadu India. He founded the 'Art of Living' in 1982 with an objective of relieve stress at an individual level and diseases and violence at societal level. A world renowned figure, Sri Sri has never hesitated from travelling to strife-torn places, whether it be Kashmir or Iraq. For his contribution to world peace, Sri Sri has been bestowed with national and international honours such as 'Peter the Great', a first grade award given by Russian Federation in 2006 and 'Order of the Pole Star 2006', the highest state honour presented by the President of Mongolia. 



 

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam (Eminent Nuclear Scientist and former President of India)

Loved and adored by millions as the 'People's President' Kalam is equally known for the iron fist behind his velvety gloves. The former President of India, a darling of students and children, is also often referred to as India's 'Missile Man”.  Born on 15th October, 1931, in a village of Rameshwaram in Tamilnadu, Dr. Kalam joined Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after majoring in Aeronautical Engineering. After two decades of pioneering work at ISRO, he accepted the responsibility to develop indigenous guided missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). His stint at DRDO resulted in 'Agni' and 'Prithvi' – country's self made missiles which invite fear among enemies. For his services to nation as a scientist, he received 'Bharat Ratna' in 1997 and went on to become the first ever scientist President of India in 2002. He served the nation in this capacity till 2007 and then onwards is involved in academic activities. He has also written several thought provoking books such as 'Wings of Fire', 'Ignited Minds' and has also laid out a millennium goal for India in the shape of a book called '2020 – a vision for the new Millennium'.



 

His Holiness Dalai Lama (Tibetan/Buddhist Spiritual Guru)

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Thus spake the Dalai Lama who is as kind as his words. Revered around the world, His Holiness was born as Lhambo Dhondup on 6th July, 1935 in Taktser in Amdo province of northeastern Tibet. Through a miracle, he was chosen as an incarnation of the 'Dalai Lama' at the age of two. His Holiness is one of the leaders who has compassionately participated in the inter faith dialogues across the globe. The world recognized his work to bring peace in the form of a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Today, the supreme spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people has become such a figure that any honor to him becomes the honor to honor itself.



 

Shri Vijai Kapoor (Administrator, Philosopher)

Synonymous with grace, dignity, courtesy and mannerism unheard and unseen among bureaucrats, Sh Vijai Kapoor represents a unique and rare blend of academic excellence and administrative abilities. Bringing about qualitative change in people's lives by understanding their view point in the historic perspective has been his abiding passion, from his days of posting in India's North-East to his tenure as the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Indraprastha Park in Delhi encompassing the city's lone pagoda is a tribute to his vision and statesmanship.



 

Shri Dina Nath Mishra (Journalist, Author)

A humanitarian by heart, Shri Dina Nath Mishra is a well known senior journalist. This former Resident Editor of Nav Bharat Times was born on September 14, 1957 in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). In early 60s, he edited Chetandhara weekly published from Jodhpur. In 1967, he joined 'Panchjanya' as an Assistant Editor and went on to become Chief Editor of the weekly. He joined the JP movement and was jailed during emergency. Later till 1990, he held various positions in the Times of India Group and Express Group of publications including that of Special Correspondent, Chief of Bureau and Resident Editor. He continues to be a friend, philosopher and guide to millions of readers with his insightful articles on critical issues confronting the nation in several newspapers and publications across the country. For his services to the nation, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and was involved in raising the intellectual level of upper house of Parliament till 2004. Nationalist to the core, Sh Mishra was also engaged in enriching the intellectual strength of the nation through his India First Foundation and Eternal India.



 

Shri Swaminathan Gurumurthy (Thinker, Columnist)

An original thinker par excellence, a popular columnist, a founder of several institutions, Shri Gurumurthy can simply be termed as a 'power house of thoughts'. Friends apart, he is the one who generates awe even among his foes for his unmatched ability of silencing even his worst critics on intellectual issues. A Chartered Accountant by profession, this Chennai-born genius is a known critic of globalization and western economic policies, He is spearheaded the cause of the domestic industry through Swadeshi Jagran Manch in the face of the onslaught from the powerful multinational corporations. He commands tremendous respect and clout not only in politics but also in the corporate world.



 

Dr R Vaidyanathan (Academic, Author)

Professor of Finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Dr Vaidyanathan has carved out a niche for himself not only as an economist but also a profound thinker on subjects as varied as religion and business. Prof Vaidyanathan is as much at home with spiritual leaders as much with stock market regulators, with philosophers as much with pension fund managers and with business magnets as with academics. A prolific writer, his no-nonsense straight from the heart talk has won him both friends and admiring critics.



 

Dr Manohar Shinde (Inter-Faith Activist)

A medical practitioner by profession, Dr. Manohar Shinde is a psychologist who has worked with the Eating Disorder Institute of California (EDIC). He is also an eminent scholar and is actively involved in various inter faith activities in USA.



 

Shri Ajit K Doval (Strategist, Analyst)

The first IPS officer to be honoured with the 'Kirti Chakra', Sh Doval belongs to the 1968 batch of Kerala Cadre and has been in thick and thin of India's most grueling battles against terrorism and insurgency whether it be in Mizoram, Punjab or Kashmir. Arguably, one of India's best intelligence officers and strategists, he retired on January 31, 2005 as Director, Intelligence Bureau. He was recently appointed Security Advisor by the Karnataka Government.



 

Shri Vibhav Kant Upadhyay (Chairperson- India Center Foundation)

Vibhav Kant Upadhyay is the Founder Chairman of 'India Center Foundation', (www.india-center.org) which is working as a catalyst in India's nation building process. A post-graduate in Computer Science from the University of Allahabad, India and the University of Tokyo, Japan, Vibhav is seen as an emerging leader and a well-known contributor in India's development process.

 

Among his many successful initiatives, he contributed substantially to India's foreign Policy. Under Vibhav's leadership, India Center Foundation was instrumental in authoring a new visionary direction to Indo-Japan relationship. He envisioned a framework where India and Japan could pool their respective strength for a mutually beneficial partnership. The mantras he proposed, such as 'Indo-Japan Global Partnership', 'Stronger Japan Stronger India', have today become a part of official policy in both countries.

 

One of the shining examples of his leadership and initiative is the upcoming Delhi–Mumbai economic corridor which is now the symbol of Indo Japan Global Partnership.

 

Vibhav is known for his statesmanship, macro-vision on the nation-building process and a holistic approach on development. Vibhav has a vision for India's solution for energy, food and environmental challenges. He has taken up a challenging mission called “Green India” to support India become energy efficient, environment friendly and Agriculturally strong nation. His unique initiatives and works, including the successful India-Japan Global Partnership initiatives are supported and appreciated by top policy makers, business and opinion leaders from many countries around the world.



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