Peace activists of various faiths launched a series of inter-religious prayer services in different parts of Varanasi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh as sectarian tension over the Gyan Vapi mosque controversy gripped the city.
“These prayers are taken from ten different religious sources, namely Hindu, Tao, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim faith traditions,” cultural activist Anand Mathew told Matters India.
“They were sung regularly by Mahatma Gandhi in his ashrams along with his disciples and satyagrahis,” said the Catholic priest who belong to the Indian Missionary Society.
He said the activists use the Hindi version of the hymns translated by renowned Gandhian Narayan Desai and distributed copies of the songs to the public.
The prayer campaign was first launched on May 20 in the campus of Benares Hindu University with students who support peace, secularism, and dialogue.
Jagriti Rahi, a Gandhian who attended the prayer meetings, said the people of Varanasi do not want any more riots and curfews.
The people in the city has been debating whether a stone found in the pool of ablutions in a mosque is a shivling (an image of Lord Shiva), or an abandoned fountain.
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