The India Post, Chandigarh 30th January, 2009 :Religion is supposed to be the highest achievement of man, yet we see so much conflict and violence in the name of religion. The history of mankind is full of wars and atrocities conducted in the name of religion. In this age of international terrorism, we are forced to look into the issue or religion and its impact on human life and society.
Do all religions have to be in conflict or can there be a common ground? Such issues were discussed in a declamation contest for college students with the theme "Relevance of Universal Religion in the Present Context". The contest was organised by Centre for Swami Vivekananda Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Young participants put forward their views with enthusiasm. Most participants seemed to think that religion is a personal matter. We are first human beings and then Hindus, Sikhs, Christians etc. Religion ought to unite not divide. Most religions came into existence thousands of years ago, and what they profess is quite often not in sync with the present times. It is time to look at universal values and underlying universal concern for human beings, rather than get involved in religious bigotry.
The first prize was won by Anuj Malhotra, D..A.V. College Sector 10, the second by Tagmeet Kaur, Government College of Education, Sector 20, and the third by Kritika Sangavi of SGGS College , Sector 26. Along with this four consolation prizes were won by Amrit Rana, Department of Geography, Panjab University , Shyam Kishore Tripathi, SVIET, and Amrita Pathak, Govt College of Girls, Sector 11, Shelly Agarwal, Dept. of Chemistry, PU.
Later a very lively lecture "Ayurvedic Lifestyle for Good Health and Preventing Ailments" was delivered by Dr Vinod Verma. Lamenting the fact that we are ignoring our own traditional medical systems, Dr Verma showed how some very simple household things like cardamom could cure a number of diseases and ailments. She recalled her grandmother who used to cure people with simple kitchen ingredients such as turmeric, mint, black pepper and clove.. Dr Verma is a dedicated researcher who is working hard to compile the living tradition of Ayurveda all over the world. She founded Ayurveda Health Organisation, and is actively involved in search.
The sessions were chaired by Anil Raina, Department of English, P.U, and Dr.. Rakesh Khullar, Additional CMO, Health Centre, P.U. and coordinated by Professor Dharmanand Sharma. Prof. Dharmendra Goel, Prof Rekha Jhanji, Prof. V. T. Sebastain, and Swami Brahmeshananda presided of the proceedings according to Dr. Dharmanand Sharma, Coordinator.