UNESCO & Cardinal Paul Poupard Foundation

International Symposium 2017-2018

The Role Of Education To Foster Religious Harmony

St. Andrew’s College, Bandra

Concept note: To start with, the role of education in developing communal harmony is immense. The normal life of ancient people was to have a touch with nature and to fulfill their needs alone. They did not care about other people. The best example that could illustrate this is the old age man, who used to wander and hunt to satisfy him alone. After the intervention of education, people started understanding that all human are of same kind and they began to think in the second person perspective. This methodology has reduced many chaos and riots as it made them to choose the right things according to their opinions. Education can also be regarded as one of the means to communicate to people, so that their thinking results in good welfare for people.

Education is a powerful means to ensure peace, harmony and development in a democratic country. Without peace, harmony, and development democracy hardly has any meaning. For promotion of peace, harmony and development, education plays a very significant role. Education only can make a man realize what activities and behaviour are expected of him as a human being. Education makes a person realize the difference between good and bad. There is little doubt to assert that the spirit of any democracy is to promote and champion good causes .Thus education becomes a powerful tool to achieve the objectives. Thus peace, harmony and development are the manifestation of education. Democracy is in a way subject to peace, harmony and development and these are subject to education. It is not hyperbolic to mention that those countries which have got the real peace, both internal and external, harmony, sustainable development have the real democracy. The more a country is peaceful, harmonious and developed, the stronger are the chances of its being a vibrant democracy. Democracy is rooted in peace, harmony and development and they in education.

 

The International Conference, ‘The Role Of Education To Foster Religious Harmony’ provided a platform for discussing modern day issues with religious significance. The chief guest for the conference was H.E. Cardinal Gracias and he delivered the presidential address. Mr. Harsh Mander, an activist, who works with survivors of mass violence and hunger as well as homeless persons and street children was the keynote speaker at the conference. He is also the director of the centre for equity studies.

Marco Cardelli, National Youth Coordinator from the Focolare Movement raised issues that the young faced. Mr. Jehangir Patel, editor of the magazine Parsiana- touched on the matter of “Resolving Religious Differences in Communities’’. Dr. Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas, the ex-principal of St. Xavier’s College, discussed education from a principal’s perspective. Sameera Khan, journalist and researcher focused on “What are Our Children Learning- The Role of Parents”. Carol Andrade, journalist and director of SPICE, deliberated on the “Success and Failure of Inspiring Leaders to overcome Religious Conflict”.

This was followed by a Panel discussion moderated by Mr. Dilip D’souza. Our student, Mikael D’souza too was part of the discussion. The vote of thanks was given by Fr. Magi Murzello. The yearly journal was also released during the session.