Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday asserted that Mahatma Gandhi was against the religious conversion by allurement.
Sarma visited Gandhi Mandap located at the hilltop of Sarania Hill in Guwahati to pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the Father of the Nation’s 154th birth anniversary.
Addressing a public meeting correlating with the event, he said: “Gandhiji was opposed to religious conversion by the means of allurement and that he was of the opinion that religion is a matter of personal choice and one shouldn’t intervene or interfere in another’s person’s religious beliefs and practices.”
“He believed that had the Christian missionaries in the subcontinent attempted to practice the teachings of Christ such as selfless compassion, forgiveness, among others, instead of putting all their energies to increase the number of native converts to Christianity, the natives of Bharat would have been more receptive towards the Abrahamic religion,” the Chief Minister stated.
Sarma said: “Mahatma Gandhi had a soft corner in his heart for Assam and its residents, and this was manifested by more than four visits — in 1921, 1926, 1934 and 1946 — to the state during his lifetime.”
“Gandhiji extended wholehearted support to Assam’s opposition to the Cabinet’s Mission’s proposal of clubbing the present-day Northeast India together with the then East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh),” he claimed.
The Chief Minister further said that through his works, symbolised peace and universal brotherhood and in the contemporary world, the philosophy propagated by the great leader of the masses during his lifetime continues to inspire people across nations to embrace the path of non-violence.
“The practice of the concepts of truth and peace remained integral to Gandhiji’s life,” Sarma added.
Stressing upon Gandhiji’s relentless activities aimed at emancipation of the downtrodden sections of the society, Sarma said Mahatma Gandhi considered the practice of untouchability a curse on humanity and propagated the need for reforms in Hinduism so as to annihilate any kind of discrimination based on one’s caste between members of the Hindu society.
The Chief Minister said Gandhiji had immense faith in the power of prayers and believed that in order to gain the Almighty’s blessings, one should resort to prayers with all devotion and honesty.
He exuded confidence the ideologies and teachings of Gandhiji would be embraced by all to lead a principled, meaningful life.
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