Harmonious Living- The Statesman

A foundation that seeks to reduce tensions among various communities brings together people of all faiths, writes- Sri Krishna

With religious tolerance being the need of the hour in the wake of growing tension among communities, the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony (GFCH) India has been making efforts towards building better understanding.

GFCH India was launched in Delhi on 22 January 2008 at a function attended and addressed by great religious and spiritual masters belonging to all faiths, including the Dalai Lama with former the President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam delivering the presidential address.

The Foundation has been set up on the conviction that all faiths are valid and sacred for their respective adherents who are strongly motivated by such faiths and emphasis on faith and related civilisational and cultural issues as the core of its work. The GFCH [India] has emerged in the background of the growing global concern that different civilisations sourced in the different faiths – particularly those exclusive faiths, which claim to be universal and, therefore, regard other faiths as false faiths – are inexorably moving towards violent conflicts and clashes.

The Foundation Chairman Subhash Chandra, who heads the Essel Group has been heading the GFCH since its inception. After the successful Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair series in Chennai, GFCH India is planning to host the first ever Islam in the Service of the Nation Fair towards the year end to showcase the philanthropic activities carried out by Muslim organisations in the country with a view to build better understanding. The GFCH India also hopes to make its presence felt at the next World Parliament of Religions.

As part of its existence to bring religious harmony, GFCH plans to hold a dialogue between Muslim and Hindu spiritual leaders as also Hindu and Buddhist spiritual leaders to iron out fundamental differences. “GFCH is working towards a paradigm shift in thinking from the now prevailing notion of tolerance of other faiths as the ideal to the acceptance of all faiths as valid and sacred so as to achieve peace and harmony based on mutual understanding and accommodation,” said K G Suresh, director, GFCH India. GFCH [India] has been recognised a partner orgainsation of the prestigious United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). GFCH India was invited to the UNAOC Annual Forum at Doha in December 2011, where Suresh met senior Alliance officials including Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for AOC and former Portuguese President. GFCH and UNAOC are now working together on projects of mutual interest including an intra country video programme.

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