The South Asian Times

20 February 2019 10:28 AM

Mahvair Jayanti celebrated at Indian consulate

New York: Lord Mahavir’s birth anniversary and his message of non-violence and peace were celebrated at the Indian Consulate here on May 6.  The event attended by elected officials and  200 guests was organized by the International Ahimsa Foundation Inc, spearheaded by Dr. Neeta Jain.

Born in 600 B.C., Lord Mahavir was the 24th and last Tirthankara of the Jains. He emphasized non-violence and peace through thought and action, and his message is more relevant now than ever given the current world affairs. 

Dr. Neeta Jain presented her vision for training programs promoting peace and non-violence to students across America in place of crisis intervention, and community leaders discussed ways to move the mission forward through peaceful dialogue and education.

In his address, Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty lauded the diversity and religious harmony in India. Congressman Joseph Crowley underlined the contributions of the Indian diaspora to America’s economic and cultural development. NYS Assemblyman David Weprin spoke about peace and non-violence among Jains and the interactions in different communities in Queens. NYC Councilman Rory Lancman advocated the philosophy of ‘Live and Let Live’. Councilman Barry Grodenchik spoke of Lord Mahavir’s influence on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prof. Jeffery Long related how we can employ non-violence to solve issues of environmental damage, ethno-nationalism and religious extremism in modern society. Guest speaker Samani Sanmati Pragya called upon the community to be engaged and participate in a peaceful dialogue.

The stellar guest list included Councilman Peter Koo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, former NYC Comptroller John Liu, Dr. Uma Mysorekar and International Ahimsa Foundation board members Dr. Devbala Ramanathan and Pramod Jain.

Civic leaders and academics highlighted the need to create a positive ripple in the world using engaged conversation and action rooted in Jain principles. 

Rhythm Dance Academy children performed on Jain songs and stole hearts.  The event was emceed by Shanie Persaud-Adeen, Associate Publisher of The Queens Tribune and Press.

Formed in 2012 by Dr. Neeta Jain, International Ahimsa Foundation Inc. provides dialogue, peace-building activities and civic engagement across cultures.

Dr Jain is Democratic district leader for New York’s 25th Assembly District Part B.

Update: 16 May, 2018