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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to hold its 3-Day Yearly Spiritual Convention in Punjab, aims Peaceful Teachings of Islam

The objective of this Jalsa is to present pure, pristine and peaceful teachings of Islam

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Eid Prayer at Lakemba Mosque (Representative Image), Wikimedia

New Delhi, Dec 13, 2016: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community announced it will hold its three-day yearly convention in Punjab on Tuesday and extended an invitation to all countrymen to visit the spiritual gathering.

The 122nd Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) will be held in Qadian in Gurdaspur district, from December 26-28. It will be addressed by the community’s fifth and current caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, from Britain through livecast.

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“The objective of this Jalsa is to present pure, pristine and peaceful teachings of Islam. Likewise to call people towards their creator, to develop love, affection and compassion among the creations of God, and promote brotherhood, are also its objectives,” a statement issued by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International (India) said.

At the convention, religious leaders of the community from around the country will address people on the tenets of Islam and its power to promote peace and harmony in the world.

A separate gathering of women will also be convened there, where they will discuss their issues and present an agenda to work on during the next year.

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Ahmadi is a sect of Islam which is widely perceived to be different from the mainstream form of the religion as they believe that the advent of a messiah, as promised by the Prophet Muhammad, has already happened.

They believe, unlike the mainstream believers of Islam, that the messiah was incarnated in 1835 in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

In 1889, Ahmad proclaimed himself the awaited messiah, and was widely subscribed to be so by Muslims from around the world. The followers of Ahmad thus came to be called ‘Ahmadis’ or ‘Ahmadiyyas’.

The first annual convention of the community took place in Qadian in 1891 and has been taking place here since, barring a couple of years during the country’s partition.

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“We are completely same as the other mainstream followers of Islam but for our belief in the advent of a messiah, which they believe is yet to take place,” Shiraz Ahmad, Additional Chief Secretary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, told IANS.

“We have been persecuted in Pakistan for this reason and yet we have never resorted to violence, nor formed any militant body,” he added.

The Ahmadi community was proclaimed ‘non-Islamic’ in Pakistan in 1974 during Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Prime Ministership. Later, punitive measures were also imposed upon the community, which barred its members from offering namaaz and calling their place of worship ‘masjid’ (mosque). Instead, they were asked to call it ‘ibaadatgaah’.

“We are discriminated amongst Muslims in India as well. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) doesn’t have a single representation in it from Ahmadi sect, because even they don’t consider us Islamic,” the Ahmadiyya spokesperson told IANS.

“There are about 1.25 -1.50 lakh Ahmadis in India and we all profess our loyalty to India,” he added. (IANS)

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Inter Faith Meeting in US Aims For Peace and Tolerance

Inter faith meeting at the inauguration of a photo exhibition on Indian religious traditions in the US brought together representatives of various faiths with the aim for peace and harmony

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Inter Faith Meeting
Annual inter-faith Iftar 2015. Wikimedia

July 16, 2017: Inter faith meeting at the inauguration of a photo exhibition on Indian religious traditions in the US brought together representatives of various faiths with the aim for peace and harmony. The meeting also emphasized the need for dialogue among different religions. The meeting witnessed renowned personalities from different religious communities.

Swami Muktidananda of Ramakrishna Mission while referring to the democratic principles on soils of both America and India said, “All faiths can flourish in the world by carrying flags of harmony.”

The Jewish Community Affairs General Secretary A Cohen, who touched on over 200-year history of the Jewish community in Kolkata and the method adopted by Jewish-run schools for imparting lessons of harmony among the children emphasized on not recognizing one’s religion superior as compared to others.

The General Secretary of Mahabodhi Society of India, Ven P Seewali also expressed his view and feels cultural differences to be the only difference among humans.

Father Dominic Gomes, who is the Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta, conveyed about the need of seers to enlighten in regard to the severe and diabolical problems. He said “Somewhere we are not getting to the bottom line. Dialogue is important.”

The Buddhist monk representing Buddhism called for continuing peace initiatives and dialogues and gave a reference to the spiritual history of India where gurus had talked about love and compassion for thousands of years.

Swami Shuddhidananda talked about how Swami Vivekananda’s visit to the US had opened floodgates of spirituality in America and acceptance of Indian spirituality by the Americans. Ajmer Singh, president of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Jagat Sudhar and the representative of Sikhism was also present on the occasion. Imam of Nakhoda Mosque, Md Shafique Qasmi, who could not mark his presences due to illness or some other reasons ensures his contribution by sending a message to support the initiative.

Expressing happiness over the discourse, US Consul General Dr Craig L Hal also expressed his pleasure over the discourse and encouraged the people of two countries to share the practice of ideals which will result in demonstrating a common commitment stimulating tolerance towards all religions.

The exhibition ‘Keeping Faith’ displayed photographs of the celebration of multiple faiths Indian festivals in America. Charles River Ganga Aarti at Cambridge, Eid Milan at Houston, and Turban Day at Manhattan, Holi at Harvard, Ganesh Chaturthi in New York were some of the display. These exhibits were also on display in New Delhi and Hyderabad earlier.

– prepared by Surbhi Dhawan of Newsgram. Twitter @surbhi_dhawan 

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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