‘Sauhardha Christmas 2009’ was celebrated on Thursday 17th December at Karnataka Theological College, Balmatta" />
Mangalore, Dec 18: ‘Sauhardha Christmas 2009’ was celebrated on Thursday 17th December at Karnataka Theological College, Balmatta as joint venture by the Karnataka Christian Education Society, Sandesha Foundation, the Protestant Christian Welfare Association (PROCHWA), the Mangalore Christian Council and the Mangalore Diocesan Ecumenical Commission. Number of people from different religious background expressed solidarity with each other and shared the joy of Christmas on the occasion.
While little kids from different religions cut the cake, Rev. Haney Cabral, the Principal of the Karnataka Theological College together with directors of organizing units inaugurated the celebrations by lighting the lamp. Bishop C. L. Furtado led the prayers.
Dr Sara Abubakkar, a renowned and revolutionary Kannada writer addressed the audience on behalf of the Muslim community. She commented: ‘Huge number of followers were after Jesus because of the humanitarian values that he taught to the people. Even from the heaviest cross to which he was hanged he taught forgiveness. But the present society is away from his values. It has shown itself as inhuman in events like Gujarat bloodshed of 2002, breaking the stomach of a pregnant woman, criminalities in Orissa, raping of a nun, massacre of a two year baby so on and so forth. Some crude personalities questioned her when she translated the book on fundamentalists’ criminalities and they were more interested in knowing who funded the publication and not the message. Many wear a mask of communal harmony and inflict communalism.
Fr Valerian Mendonca, the Director of Sandesha addressed on behalf of Christians and recalled the statement of Mahatma Gandhi who said ‘I am a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim and a Parsee’. Jesus had no place for his birth and had no place for his death either yet he preached total brotherhood. The moment we learn to live as brothers and sisters, the dream of Jesus becomes a reality, he opined.
Dr B Shivaram Shetty, Reader of the Department of Kannada in Mangalore University spoke on behalf of Hindu community. He expressed his wonder at the constant usage of the word ‘harmony’ ( sauhardha) in the present day gatherings and celebrations. It has become necessary to discuss on the term because there is a problem. He was born and brought up amidst Jathannas, D’Souzas and Abdulhas, yet there was no need to reflect on harmony then, as there was no problem earlier. Every tradition we come across (Sufi, Dasa, Basavanna, Christian so on and so forth) propose the truth of unity and mutual acceptance. The harmonious existence of sun, moon and stars on the same sky again present the same message to us, he said.
Sandesha, KTC and other institutions and individuals presented the Christmas message through variety entertainment. Ms Shalini compeer the programme and Fr J.B. Saldanha, secretary of MDEC proposed vote of thanks. Secretary of MCC Dr Anil Kumar, PROCHWA officials Mr Praveen James and Mr Sathish Pengal, number of religious, political and social leaders were present.