Sri M embarks on Delhi leg of pan-India padayatra

New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): An ongoing Kanyakumari-Kashmir padayatra by social reformer Sri M entered today the national capital, where the 67-year-old spiritual guide will from tomorrow meet top administrators, influential leaders and the common people for the next 15 days in a bid to promote inter-faith harmony.

The Delhi leg of the 16-month ‘The Walk of Hope’ bound for Srinagar will see the famed yogi holding walks, visiting religious places of various faiths, delivering talks and interacting with the public besides constitutional authorities such as the President of India and the Chief Minister of Delhi.

The padayatra in the National Capital Region began today morning from Gurgaon with an eight-km march to Chattarpur Mandir.

The Delhi leg will conclude on March 3 with a daytime walk to Khalsa College followed by a farewell at Alipur in northwest Delhi bordering Haryana.

In between, Sri M will be meeting President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan on February 19 and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at tomorrow’s walk, besides holding two days of Nirahar Satyagrahas against terrorism and communal violence.

Starting tomorrow, there will also be cultural evenings as part of the march. The first among them are a music concert by Manav Ekta Band and a Katak dance-both at IIT, where Sri M will also deliver a talk (5 pm).

The other cultural shows are a classical recital by Hindustani vocalist Kalapini Komkali (IIC, Feb 22), fusion music by Indian Ocean band (Nehru Park, Feb 27) and choral music (Sacred Heart Cathredral, Feb 28), besides a play ‘Amir Khusro’ (India Islamic Centre, Feb 29).

The 7,500-km pan-India walk with 70 volunteers, which started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, has been reaching out to millions of people. For Sri M, who has penned the bestseller ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan master-A Yogi’s Autobiography’, the aim is to interact with 10 million fellow Indians in eleven states by the time the Walk concludes after 500 days of journey in early May this year.

“The hope is to erase disparities arising from a misunderstanding of our diverse culture and religions, thus uniting the humanity of India through a spiritual approach proving people can live together despite all differences,” said Sri M, who was born Mumtaz Ali Khan and runs the Manav Ekta Mission.

The Manav Ekta Mission, a wing of the Satsang Foundation established by Sri M, powers the Walk of Hope.

“We met lots of people, entered an array of religious shrines. Not once did we meet with resistance,” he told a media conference, noting that “we Indians by and large continue to love peace as well as diversity, and are proud of our nation,” Sri M added.

As for a current volatile atmosphere in the capital following last week’s students’ protest in Jawaharlal Nehru University here, Sri M said, “differences should be resolved through dialogues, not violence.” To a specific question, he opined “the country’s sedition law merits examination.”

The other highlights of the Delhi round are talks at IIC (Feb 22), AIIMS (Feb 26) and India Islamic Centre (Feb 29), besides visits to Hindu and Jain temples, churches, masjids, gurdwaras, ashrams, dargahs, educational institutions, night shelters, parks and other public places.

The Nirahar Satyagrahas (Feb 24 and 25) will be of nine hours each and are slated to be held at Jantar Mantar (Sansad Marg).

Sri M will also attend felicitation functions at Teen Murti House (Feb 19) and Siri Fort Auditorium (Delhi Welcomes ‘The Walk of Hope’, Feb 21). (ANI)

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