The 2nd Taqreeb conference entitled Ideas of Harmonious Coexistence: Religions and Philosophies of India took place at Jawaharlal Nehru University, December 27-28 2017.
Taqreeb was a vision of Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin: to bring people of all faiths together, to work towards common humanitarian goals, to achieve the full potential of religion as a force for good in this world that we all inhabit. Today, his son and successor, Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb, the 54th Dai-l-Mutlaq, has put that vision into action by launching the Taqreeb Conference Series.
The conference brought together eminent scholars, activists, religious leaders from over 20 cities internationally. The first day included panels on, 1) Plurality in Religious Thought, 2) Entangled Histories, Imagined Politics, 3) Leadership and Peace. The second day included a 1) special session with religious leaders, 2) Engaging Precedents for Peace in the Present, 3) Race, Caste, & Identity in Contemporary India, 4) Contemporary Politics & Visions For The Future.
On the second day Syedna Taher Fakhruddin Saheb head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community presented the Syedna Qutbuddin Harmony Prize to The Dalai Lama, religious leader of the Tibetans. The Prize is awarded annually to honour an individual or organisation whose work has had an exceptional impact in promoting harmony and peace in India as well as globally. The Prize carries a monetary value of Rs 10 lac.
Present at this gathering were senior religious leaders of all the major religions of India, meeting in the Convention hall of Jawaharlal Nehru University: His Holiness Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni, Jain leader, His Eminence Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of the Delhi diocese of the Catholic Church, Sardar Manjit Singh GK, President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management Committee, Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Head of the Jewish Community in New Delhi, Shri Gairgopal Das of Iskon, Dr. Ali K. Merchant, and Justice Aziz K. Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India.
Syedna Fakhruddin, in his address, invited all the leaders to discuss and implement a coalition to fight the forces of conflict and division in India and the world.
The Dalai Lama expressed sincere appreciation to Syedna Taher Fakhruddin TUS, as a Muslim leader for organizing a conference that brought together different faiths. He expressed sadness for the sectarian divisions that were dividing the country and congratulated Syedna for leading the country in a more positive direction. He said that the modern study of psychology pales in comparison to India’s deep and age-old tradition psychological awareness. He said, “To decrease destructive emotions like fear we must increase positive emotions like love”.
Jain leader Acharya Lokesh Muni said that Syedna Fakhruddin Saheb and his predecessors, by their work on the ground across India in providing institutions of civil society such as schools and hospitals, has brought the concept of harmony into action.