As 2020 comes to a close, we shall all look back to see this year as a year when human spirit was put to the test, facing challenges that we had to overcome, even when it seemed there was no end in sight. 2020 was a year in which we had to introspect, retrospect, and thoughtfully evaluate where we have come from, where we are, and where we go from here.
As we all wake up to usher in the dawn of 2021, let us go back to our roots of belief in the human spirit, renew our faith in open dialogues, and honor the dignity of every soul. Deeply rooted in our natural being is a relentless desire to love and be loved. In this fundamental being of friendship and love, let us reach out to each other for dialogue, an understanding of perspectives, and respect towards the differences we have, yet, be interwoven together in love.
It is personally an honor, a privilege, and a duty to be given the role of the Chair of the Parliament of World’s Religions. I learned about the Parliament in 8th grade in my Christian Missionary school, Faith Academy in Delhi, India, surrounded by friends of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Islamic faith. I, as a Jain, felt proud that we as Indians were honored by an interfaith movement, while the country was under the administration of British Raj. Little did I know, I would one day bear the torch that Swami Vivekanandaji, Pratam Chandraji Majumdar, Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, and Anagarikaji Dharampala lit for all of us. It is a very humbling recognition by the interfaith movement that started it all. I take a pledge today to ensure that this light will shine brighter and that the Parliament’s efforts will continue to inspire solutions to issues that mankind faces.
As the Chair of PoWR, I wish everyone a very happy New Year 2021. I seek blessings from all women and men of all faiths, who have been part of this tradition and have created a vibrant Parliament that has generated a voice for all interfaith movements. I look forward to a 2021 full of love, kindness, and friendship. I look forward to your support in making the Parliament more successful and dynamic in 2021!
With deep gratitude,
Chair of the Board
Parliament of the World's Religions