RSS leaders, Union Ministers to attend multi-religious meet

In an initiative aimed at soft power diplomacy, Union Ministers, senior RSS functionaries, religious heads and delegates from about 20 countries will meet in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, from Saturday to Monday to take part in a conclave on world religions and global peace.

Those invited include Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan; Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma; Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan; RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi; Foreign Minister of Bhutan Damcho Dorji; Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; and others. Muslim and Christian religious leaders will also attend the conclave.

“The idea is that while the mode of worship and the basic philosophy of religions may vary, we can agree on basic issues like world peace, saying no to terrorism, protecting environment, human rights and dignity, and promoting ethical and moral values,” BJP leader Ram Madhav told The Hindu.

180 papers to be presented

The India Foundation, with which Mr. Madhav is associated, is collaborating with the Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, a State university, to host the conference.

About 180 papers to be presented will be on themes like world peace, social justice, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.

Prof S.P. Singh, who teaches political science in Delhi University and is associated with the conclave, said Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism had a lot to contribute to environmental protection. “Our texts also say that gods shower their blessings where women are worshipped,” he told The Hindu.

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