Inter Religious Deepavali celebrated at St Aloysius College, Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Continuing the meaningful tradition of promoting inter-religious harmony, St Aloysius College (Autonomous) organised ‘Deepavali Celebration’ – the feast of lights, on Thursday, 4th November, 2021 in Robert Sequeira Hall, LCRI block. Dr Ismail N, former Principal, Badriya PU College and Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi Peace Foundation; Mr Roy Castelino, PRO, Mangalore Diocese; Shri Ranjan Bellapardi, Co-ordinator, Ramakrishna Mission, Mangalore were the Chief Guests. Rev Dr Praveen Martis SJ, Principal presided over the programme.
The programme began with a prayer rendered by Anjali and team that filled the hall with a heavenly atmosphere followed by a cultural programme that involved a short skit performed by the students of Dramatic Association wherein they shared their childhood experiences and perspectives of the festival of lights. It was followed by a mesmerizing welcome dance performed by Samskriti and team. The cultural programme ended with a melodious and lilting song by Nandini Ganiga and team that evoked the importance of dispelling darkness and spreading knowledge and love all round, especially with the less fortunate. The programme was inaugurated symbolically by lighting the Lamp and Diyas by the dignitaries on the dais.
Dr Ismail in his speech said, “We have traversed a long journey from the ancient practices and have reached the times, when we give importance to humanity and harmony. This Diwali festival and such other events develop harmony among people. Let us not support any activities which promote violence and disturb harmony. When we lit the light today, it was not just for one or two days, but for every day and every moment of our lives. India is a land of harmony.”
Speaking on the occasion, Sri Roy Castelino said, “Diwali is one of the biggest and auspicious festivals celebrated by Hindus all around the globe. The message of Diwali is relevant to everyone, regardless of your faith or background: goodwill always prevail over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity. Although there are different reasons to celebrate Diwali, they have a common concept – new beginnings. Jesus in his short life span in this world preached and practiced peace and compassion. Wherever He went he was a source of inspiration.”
Ranjan Bellapardi, in his speech said, “Like other festivals in India, Deepavali also has 3 dimensions, namely, Religious, Economical & Spiritual. Religiously, Deepavali celebrates the death of demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna, which symbolically signifies the victory of good over evil, ego and darkness. It also marks the return of Rama to Ayodhya along with Sita and others. He enunciated several meaningful rituals and practices followed during the festival and their relevance and significance.
Dr Fr Praveen Maris SJ, in his presidential address said, “I am happy to note that our students after a long break due to the pandemic have displayed their talents and have explored the true meaning of Diwali through songs, acting and dance. We should all live in harmony and peace, and never give a chance for hatred and conflicts. So during this Diwali season let us spread the message to love one another and maintain peace. Let the light of Diwali shine upon us and take away the darkness and give us peace and prosperity”.
Registrar of the College, Dr Alwyn D’Sa, Finance Officer, Fr Vincent Pinto, SJ, directors of various blocks, Deans and staff members were present in the programme.
Swaroop Shetty and Lakshitha compered the programme. Chethan Shettigar welcomed the gathering. Kavya introduced the guests. Anup Veigas, the Coordinator of the programme rendered the vote of thanks.