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Unity In Diversity

umbai has always been a city with people from diverse cultures and traditions respecting each other and living in harmony. It is important to nurture and protect this cosmopolitan spirit from antisocial elements. To protest against the vandalism that occurred on 11 March, 2004 at the Bhikha Behram Well, an A-grade heritage structure situated near Mumbaiís Churchgate Station, a silent, peaceful Candlelight Vigil was held at Azad Maidan, Mumbai, on 13 April, 2004.

Unity In Diversity
R-L: Silloo Kavarana, Trustee, Parsi Punchayet, lights a candle along with a senior citizen.

Over 3,000 Mumbaiites from different communities took part in the Vigil held under the auspices of the Public Concern for Governance Trust and other groups. A multireligious prayer prelude was followed by expressions of solidarity and concern by eminent Mumbai citizens. CHANGE brings readers a brief pictorial view, courtesy Cherag Mevawalla, Dolly Photo Studio.


Priests from different communities recite prayers at the Azad Maidan.

Ervad Aspandiar Dadachandji, Panthaki

Buddhist monk

Ervad Aspandiar Dadachandji, Panthaki, Vatchha Gandhi Agiary.

Buddhist monk Bhikshu Morita San.

Francis Vincent

Harry Arora

Francis Vincent represented the Christian community. Seated behind him are (r-l) Julio Ribeiro and B.G. Deshmukh, Trustees of the Public Concern for Governance Trust, with Pheroza Godrej.

Harry Arora from the Sikh community.

Unity In Diversity

Unity In Diversity

Burjor Antia, Trustee, Parsi Punchayet, Minoo Shroff, Chairman, Parsi Punchayet, Adi Tata, Senior Officer, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., among others, light divas.

The 3,000-strong crowd protect their candles from the wind.


Internal Development

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a misconception that material development and physical satisfaction would bring happiness. However, the closing years of the century brought awareness that material growth alone was insufficient. Also, there emerged a recognition that a change in motivation and mental attitude was important to bring happiness and overcome suffering. There was greater realisation to employ non-violent ways, work for peace and protect the natural environment.

Just when we have entered the 21st century, we are able to see the importance of changing our mindset and know the potential of internal development by nurturing the ideals of non-violence and peace. Various religious heads should rather engage in a common effort to contribute to the welfare of humankind.

Address of the Dalai Lama to the International Conclave on Buddhism.
Courtesy: SWAGAT, March 2004.