Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muniji was conferred the Syedna Qutbuddin Harmony Prize 2018, in recognition of his years of tireless efforts towards the cause of interfaith harmony and peace in India and internationally. The award was given by Taher Fakhruddin at the inaugural function of the 150th birthday celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi at the Bombay Stock Exchange Auditorium on 30 September.
“World Peace through Non-Violence” function was organised by Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni and his Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti organisation. To this end Acharya Lokeshji has brought together religious and political leaders from a diverse spectrum onto a single platform of understanding and mutual-respect.
The function was attended by various distinguished spiritual leaders including H.E. Tai Situpa Rinpoche and other government ministers, who all emphasized interfaith cooperation and understanding.
“Gandhiji gave us the gift of freedom; to celebrate his life we must strive for freedom for all through non-violence, equality, and universal brotherhood,” said Taher Fakhruddin in his address to the audience. He also quoted Gandhiji “I learnt from Imam Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed”. “Gandhiji is the perfect example of how we can not only live together with mutual respect and peace, but also benefit from each other”, he added.
Syedna Qutbuddin Harmony Prize was instituted in 2017 to recognise outstanding efforts and contributions toward interfaith harmony and peace. The maiden award in 2017 was given to the Dalai Lama at an interfaith conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
Taher Fakhruddin also mentioned the warm relations that his grandfather and predecessor, Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb had with Gandhiji. He recounted Gandhiji’s stay at Syedna’s bungalow in Dandi, when he had gone there for the Salt March. Syedna Taher Saifuddin later dedicated that bungalow, Saifee Villa, to the nation in the presence of then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.