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Ayodhya to Ajmer: A journey of hope and peace
Earlier this month Karwaan-e-Aman, a peace initiative was organised by an organization called "The voice of Ayodhya: Hope". The initiative included a peace march that started from Ayodhya on December 6, 2009 and culminated at Khwaja Moinunddin Chishti's Dargah in Ajmer on December 12, 2009.
Reformist Bohras from Udaipur were also present at the rally in Ajmer. The delegation from Udaipur consisted of President of Bohra Youth, Dr. Zenab Banu, Jamaat Joint Secretary, Rashida Hakim, Hussain Udaipuri, Shakeela Germanwala, Sakina Dawood, Nasir Javed, Shabbir Hussain Nasir, Tauseef Mandiwala and Shabbir Hussain Wagpurawala. Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer also attended the rally at Ajmer.
The peace rally started at the Fountain Circle in Ajmer and passed through the main streets of the city before ending at the Dargah. Zainul Abideen, Dr. Sayed Liyaqat Hussain Moini, Sheikhzada Zulfiqar Chishti and other members of the managing committee of the Dargah welcomed the delegates to the Dargah.
Members of Karwaan-e-Aman placed Chaadar at the Dargah and prayed for peace and integrity in the country. Delegates from Sophia College, Jaipur were the first to welcome the peace rally when it reached Ajmer. Many other social, business, secular and religious organisations welcomed and showed support for the peach march.
From the Dargah, the procession went to an indoor stadium where the founder of "The voice of Ayodhya: Hope" and main force behind "Karwaan-e-Aman", Pandit Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastri welcomed the delegates of the peach march. He said there was no need to fear communal forces. He said communalism is the direct result of politics. “The general population always believs in peace and secular values.”
Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer also addressed the rally. He asserted that Sufism always supported a secular approach. He said it is not religion but religious orthodoxy that brings about hatred and is the root cause of all the problems all over the world.
He applauded Karwaan-e-Aman for taking this initiative and hoped that orthodox elements would realize their mistakes. He said Sufis made Islam the religion of India through their language, poetry and secular approach. Love and tolerance was the main premise of Sufism. He further noted that it is the politicians who for their own selfish motives have spread hatred among various sections of society. They have made wrong use of the word Kafir, which they say means "non-Muslim", whereas the actual meaning of the word is the one who hides the truth and supports injustice.
Pandit Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastri applauded Asghar Ali's support for the rally and said that his presence gave the much needed strength to the cause, and emphasised that peace loving and secular forces will always win.
The President of Farmers’ Labour Union and a popular social activist Dr. Aruna Rai was also present at the rally. She insisted that children should be given an opportunity to learn about all religions from an early age. She said the divide-and-rule policy of the politicians has done a great harm to the society.
President of Bohra Youth, Udaipur, Dr. Zenab Banu echoed similar feelings. Other well-known personalities like historian Chandraprakash Deval, Rahul Prakash Chabra of Bodhmath, Professor of Aligarh Muslim University, Liyaqat Hussain, Zulfiqar Chishti of Ghareeb Nawaaz Sufi Mission, Shagufta Khan from Women and Children Welfare Society, Liyaqat Hussain from the Center for Secularism, Comrade Ramesh Lalwani and Dilip Singh Chhabra were also present. School children from the State of Kerala and social workers from Tilonia sang a few songs of brotherhood, secularism and peace.
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