DRAFT RESOLUTION


The National Inter-Faith Harmony Conference, organised by the Inter-Faith Harmony Foundation of India in New Delhi on August 6, 2005 with the participation of eminent leaders of faiths and people from different walks of life committed to the ideal of inter-faith harmony, unanimously adopted the following conference.

The present situation in India and the world presents a stark and alarming contrast. On the one hand, there is considerable progress in the material conditions of life, thanks to industry, trade and commerce using two great products of human knowledge - science and technology. On the other, not only is there deep inequality in the distribution of the fruits of material progress, but also a significant section of humanity is altogether deprived of even the basic needs of life. The Conference considers the continued presence of hunger and mass poverty in the 21st century a crisis before the human race and feels that its speedy eradication is a duty that God Almighty has cast upon the governments and peoples of the world, India included.

An even greater crisis before the human race is the spiritual and moral crisis, which manifests itself in many familiar ways in our collective and individual lives. Human life, which is a precious creation of God Almighty, is routinely snuffed out in wars of aggression, terrorist acts, ethnic and communal conflicts, and other forms of crimes by man against man. The continued production of increasingly deadly weapons systems, and the inability of nations to move decisively towards their own repeatedly adopted declarations about disarmament and peace, constitutes a threat to the very survival of humankind. The Conference expresses deep concern over this situation and urges the governments and peoples of the world, on the solemn occasion of the 60th anniversary of the tragedy of Hiroshima, to take decisive and speedy steps to make the world free of wars, violence and all weapons of mass destruction.

Although religion is meant to unite people and show them the path of righteous living, it is ironical that frequently violence is perpetrated against innocent men, women and children in the name of religion. No religion sanctions such violence, nor approves hatred, prejudices and extremism that beget such violence. The Conference strongly condemns all forms of terrorism and communal violence and categorically affirms that use of religious appeal for committing such acts is a crime against humanity and also against the faith concerned.

The Conference affirms that all faiths, in their essence and core principles, radiate the light of the one and only God, the common Creator of all creation. Therefore, not only tolerance but respect towards other faiths, even as one dutifully follows the path of one's own faith, is a command of the Creator Himself. It is also a practical necessity in our increasingly interdependent world. In India, we call this the ideal of secularism. The Conference believes that this ideal of secularism should not only be strengthened in India itself, but should also become an ideal for all nations in the word. Minorities in every country should have equal rights - indeed, there should be no distinction between minority and majority in public life.

Asserting our shared conviction that strengthening mutual understanding among the followers of various faiths is the best way of promoting peace, non-violence and progress for all of humankind, the participants in the Conference resolve to redouble their efforts for inter-faith harmony - in India and around the world.