24 National News

posted Mar 29, 2018, 7:48 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 7:51 AM ]

Conference to promote secularism, peaceful living

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India will collaborate with the Society of Pilar to bring together leaders from various faith traditions to promote secularism and harmonious living.

The April 5 event will take place at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, the commercial capital of Goa. Its focus is on 'Collective Action for Dialogue and Social Harmony' and 'Youth of India: Looking Forward.'


Pune to host Festival on Unity

The Papal Seminary in Pune, western India, will host the annual gathering of the Focolare Movement, an international organisation that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood.

The May 24-27 programme, titled '2018 Mariapolis' (City of Mary), is "a special family holiday moment. The uniquely beautiful setting of the venue makes it a place for reflection, encounter and creation," said Doni and Brian on behalf of the Focolare family. The two Indians are coordinating the event as organisers.

The theme chosen for the occasion is "Be a family"; it is open to all religions. Focolare Movement's main aim is to promote unity among various cultures and religions.


Uttarakhand adopts draft bill against forced conversions

Uttarakhand (northern India) approved a draft bill against forced conversions, making the offence non-bailable. Under the new legislation, anyone found guilty of such a practice could face a prison term of one to five years. The minimum jail term would be two years, if the victim were a member of a Scheduled Class or Tribe.

The state cabinet, under Trivendra Singh Rawat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), approved the draft bill on March 13. The government's goal is to criminalise any attempt to convert through financial inducements and/or deception. If someone wants to change their faith, he or she must file a request at least a month before with a district magistrate. The authorities must also be notified of any religious meetings.


New Delhi
Swami Devanand award bestowed on Fr Dr MD Thomas

Fr Dr M. D. Thomas, Founder Director, Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, New Delhi has received the 'Swami Devanand Chakkungal Award 2018' for the best Hindi writer, by Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA), a principal organisation of Catholic journalists, dailies, periodicals and news agencies in India, for his outstanding contribution to Christian journalism and Hindi literature, especially through his book 'Moolya Bible Ke'.


Jail term for lynching

An Indian court has jailed 11 people for life for lynching a Muslim man suspected of possessing beef in a landmark case that Church leaders say will help to check increasing violence against religious minorities.

It is the first time a court has punished perpetrators of cow-related violence in the country, according to Persecution Relief director Shibu Thomas.

A fast-track court in Ramgarh district of eastern Jharkhand state on March 21 sentenced the men belonging to a group of Hindu cow vigilantes, after finding them guilty of beating to death Muslim meat trader Asgar Ansari on June 29 last year.

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Honouring Women

420 women from the villages of the Kapadvanj block in Kheda district, Gujarat participated in a day-long programme entitled Nari Tu Kadhi Na Hari at the Kapadvanj Don Bosco Society campus (KDBS) to celebrate International Women's Day on March 21.

Salesian collaborator, Professor Narendra Vasava from N S Patel College, Anand, Gujarat was the Chief Guest for the programme, which started with a prayer to Don Bosco. Fr Mayank Parmar, Manager of KDBS and Director of DRISTI Don Bosco welcomed the participants, and introduced the Chief Guest. Fr Dinesh Vasava, Director of Amrut Dhara Don Bosco, welcomed the guest of honour, Fr Issac Arackaparambil, Manager of Don Bosco, Dakor and Director DEEP Don Bosco.