April 19, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Fatehgarh Sahib: Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib’s Department of Religious and Civilization studies has organized a two day international conference on Interfaith Dialogue for Global Peace and harmony. Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University Patiala Dr Jaspal Singh was invited as the chief guest on this occasion. In his address to the gathering of scholars and academicians Dr. Jaspal Singh said that it is through dialogue and discussion only that one can understand the true essence of ‘religion’. He said that ‘without proper dialogue and inter-faith exchanges, a person runs the risks of getting converted into a fanatic’.
The Punjabi University Vice Chancellor praised the efforts of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University and said that conferences and platforms like these are the need of the hour and it is through exchanges like these that one learns to respect and protect the cultural and religious identity of others.
Vice Chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia presided the inaugural session of the conference. The Vice Chancellor said that we live in a globalized world where on one side exchange of ideas and products is transforming our lives but on the one the other hand we are also witnessing ‘religious fundamentalism, communal hatred and violence and for this purpose interfaith dialogue is need of the hour’. He was of the view that it is important that we decipher and understand the hidden meaning of the scriptures ourselves first before we start preaching it to others. Invoking the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji Dr Walia said that Guru Granth Sahib is replete with messages of Universal Brotherhood, peace and harmony and it is not only our duty but the University’s mandate as well to promote this message to the farthest corners of the globe.
Throwing some light on the academicians who attended the inaugural session of the conference Dean Academic affairs Dr Kanwaljeet Singh said that the keynote address was delivered by Dr. Sarabjinder Singh, Professor, Punjabi University Patiala. Special addresses were delivered by Dr Madan Mohan Verma, Founder and President of Interfaith foundation, New Delhi and Dr. Akhtarul Wassey, National Commissioner for linguistic minorities in India and Professor Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi. The University also released the Journal of Religion and Sikh Studies in the inaugural session.