An article in the Tamil Magazine Tuqlaq (published by CHO Ramaswamy) translated into English. The article is a detailed back grounder on the Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair at Chennai between December 24 and 28, 2009.
A Completely different, thought provoking fair is to be held in Chennai between 24th and 28th of December, 2009. Around 100 service organisations, having their foundations in spiritualism, are going to participate in this fair.
Let us see what kind of organisations are going to participate.
Kanchi Mutt, Sringeri Mutt, Aurobindo Ashram, Ramanshram, Ramakrishna Mutt, Chinmaya Mutt, Mata Amrithananda Mayi Mutt, Arya Samaj, Various Adheenams (Saivite Mutts of Tamilnad), Vaishnavite Mutts, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living Foundation, Swami Ramdev’s Patanjali Yoga Pidham, Vidya Barathi, Seva Barathi were some of the organisations that participated.
The organisation behind this show is “Global Foundation for Civilisational Harmony (GFCH)” with its head office in Delhi. The Chennai Branch located in Nungambakkam Rosy Towers is organizing this function.
After four years of planning, in January 2008 the GFCH was formed. Former President Shri Abdul Kalam, H.H. The Dalai Lama, Moulana Madani of the famous DeoBand, The Arch Bishop of Mumbai, various religious heads of Sikhs, Jains and Hindus are patrons of this foundation.
Earlier the DeoBand organized such functions in five different places where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar participated on behalf of GFCH. This was small step in addressing the notion that Muslims are terrorists or the religion spreads terrorism.
Similarly a canard has been spread from the British times that Hindu organisations are keen only on religious affairs and are mere Bajan Sanghs.
To address this misconception and to present the facts as they are, a fair was held in Feb, 2009 at the Jai Gopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya at Anna Nagar Chennai by the GFCH.
Now for the second time a bigger fair is being organized. More than 100 religious organisations involved in service is participating. We have heard of Arya Samaj. We know that they run a school in Gopalapuram called D.A.V. But they actually run 24,000 schools and colleges around the world apart from 1,500 hospitals.
The Thiruvavadudurai Adheenam is in Tamilnadu. Their service is not limited to maintaining their temples. They run 9 schools. More than 300,000 students have passed out of these schools. They run 3 hospitals, 50 rural improvement schemes. 10 villages have been adopted by them.
There is a “Ram Nama Bank”. We would not even have heard the organisation’s name. They have held 2000 Annadana services.
The GFCH is trying bring out the service of these selfless service organisations. The effort is to educate the lay public, the media and others about the undeserved image that has been created about the contribution to the society by the Hindu Organisations.
The fair will be inaugurated by Shri Surjeet Singh Barnala, the Governor of Tamilnadu. Shri Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka will preside. Music, dance, drama, songs, yoga and discourses – these are some of the programmes planned.
– Staff Reporter.