Uudpi, May 14: Thousands of people from all walks of life took part in the ‘Samarasyada Nadige’ (harmony walk) which culminated in ‘Sahabalve Samavesha’ (co existence conference) today evening in the coastal city of Udupi.
The event, organised by the coalition of various progressive and anti-communal groups, saw the participation of religious leaders from all faiths and social activists who send out a message of inter-faith harmony, in the light of recent campaigns against minorities and communal disturbances in the State.
Addressing the massive convention, social activist and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav lamented that the communal forces have turned Udupi into the epicentre of hatred in India. “However, today’s conference has sent out a message that those who sow the seed of hatred won’t reap the fruit,” he said.
The organisers expressed concern that communal forces are interfering in private matters such as marriage, food and clothing. “Education is being weaponised to attack harmony. It is our responsibility to ensure that harmony and syncretic cultures are nurtured instead of being dismantled. Therefore, several of us have come together to organize a unity march and a harmony convention in Udupi,” they said.
Earlier, historian Ramachandra Guha said that coastal district with their multiculturalism was a microcosm of Karnataka and it was sad that communal polarisation had taken root. “As a historian I can say that making one religion and language dominate over others will harm the country. We are seeing the visuals from Sri Lanka, a country with great potential that has self-destructed because of Sinhala and Buddhist majoritarianism. We don’t want Karnataka and India to go down that road. This convention will help us restore our strengths which are pluralism, diversity, tolerance and interfaith harmony,” he said.