Combine religious ethos with development strategies: Rodrigues

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Chandigarh, May 10 (UNI) Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator General (Retd.) S F Rodrigues today emphasized the need for combining religious ethos and cultural values with development strategies for empowerment of people.

Inaugurating a seminar on "Mystical Dimensions of Religions in India-Peace through Sufism", he said the essence and philosophy of Sufism strongly advocates cultivation of social, moral and spiritual values.

The time has come to work together to fulfill the goal of a homogenous and healthy society and uplift 300 million people living below poverty line, he said.

"We have an ancient history and glorious past, enriched with the teachings of great saints and sages who professed the unity of mankind and focused on the fundamental issues of life", he said.

"They also urged that the goal of realization of God were closely linked with our social life and the concept of serving our needy brethren to establish equality, peace and harmony in our Society", he added.

General Rodrigues said that immediately after Independence, there were many challenges before the nation and it was because of the commitment and sincerity of people that India emerged as a homogenous nation with unity in diverse culture.

" We all must come forward to play a participative role in the developmental process for improving the quality of life and building of a prosperous future", he said.

He said the Sufi foundation of India must take the lead in this gigantic task of reconstruction of the material, cultural and spiritual life of the people.

Underling the role of education in reviving our glorious past and rich traditions, General Rodrigues said that the education system got a serious set back during the British Raj and suffered on various accounts, especially in the erosion of moral and ethical values.

He said the Chandigarh Administration had launched an action plan for combining moral values and civic duties in the education curriculum in all the 110 government schools in the Union Territory.

He said this action plan has a multi-prolonged approach with the goal of producing complete and concerned individuals to serve society and the nation with a sense of belonging. This programme has a great relevance in the present scenario and rightly fits into the goals and objectives of Sufi foundation, he added.

General Rodrigues appealed to the people to renew their resolve to work for the progress and prosperity of the country and welfare of people, rising above petty considerations of caste and creed.

The Governor released a book 'Roshni Ka Safaar' and a Newsletter 'Sadai Sufi' brought out by the Sufi foundation.

Dr A A Siddiqui, Chairman of the Sufi Foundation of India, in his welcome address highlighted the goals, activities and achievements of the foundation.

Various eminent educationists and dignitaries from different faiths and religions participated in this Seminar.

UNI VKJ JS1744

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