News and Pics by Ancy Paladka
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (CN)
Mumbai, Nov 17: A mammoth crowd of about one lac gathered at historical Shivaji Park, Dadar, on Saturday November 15, to participate in a peace rally called ‘Sadbhawna Melawa’. The rally was organized by the Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS) alongwith 45 other organizations to protest terrorism, the violence inflicted on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka, to demand the enforcement of the rule of law, and to urge for communal harmony and peace.
The star attraction of the rally was civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad of Citizens For Justice and Peace (CJP) and editor of ‘Communalism Combat’. Other speakers included Dr Mehmud-ur Rehman, chairman of J and K Finance Commission and former vice-chancellor of AMU, Bishop Bosco Penha, auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, Bishop Percival Fernandes, Bishop of Bombay, Sardar Surjan Sing Ahugha, vice-president, Punjab Association, Buddhist monk Veng Banki Ayuba, Viren Shah, joint secretary, Federation of Retail Traders’ Welfare Association, Dr G K Bhanji, chairman, National Association of Fishermen, Dolphy D’Souza, president, BCS, Sami Bubera, president,World Peace Council, India Chapter. Rita D’Sa, vice-president, BCS, compered the programme.
In her address Setalvad said that history had been created with so many people joining the peace rally. She added that the metro had become the capital of hatred against human beings and people live in fear everyday. Setalvad accused the politicians of seeking to divide society on the basis of religion, and caste for the sake of garnering votes
In his speech, Dolphy D’ Souza expressed pain and anguish over the attacks on Christians in different parts of the country. He said that 50,000 refugees were still in the jungles of Orissa and only 20,000 were in relief camps. He said that the state governments as well as the central government had miserably failed in protecting their citizens.
Other speakers also reiterated these views and stressed the need for a return to non-violence. There were also some patriotic cultural programmes performed on the occasion. Dolphy D’Souza read out the resolution and the rally concluded with the singing of the national anthem.