Souhardave Habba: Interreligious Peace Walk

Shimoga, 15 September 2023: In order to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony in Shimoga and in its surroundings, and to promote fraternity, the religious leaders of prominent religions, positive thinkers, like-minded organisations and well meaning individuals came together to organise Souhardave Habba - 2023.

The Interreligious Peace Walk called "Souhardave Habba" was held on 15 September 2023. The walk began at 4.30 PM from Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences grounds and ended at Science Fields, Shimoga. Prominent religious leaders from Hindu, Muslim and Christian religions delivered the peace messages. On 03 September 2022, a Peace Walk called “Nammaya Nadige, Shanthiya Kadege” was organised.

The background of this walk was that the city of Shimoga had witnessed several communal riots in the past and the common people were frustrated with the situation. Ordinary people were facing undue difficulties because of section 144 or the curfew. The core team that planned last year’s Peace Walk felt that such walk should be held for a few more years in order to create an atmosphere of accommodation and solidarity.      

The Peace March was flagged off by Basava Kendra Swamiji. The cultural troupes accompanied the walk. The centre of attraction was the participants carrying the 2000 feet long National Flag. More than 3,000 people participated in "Souhardave Habba": Interreligious Peace Walk. Incidentally today is the International Day of Democracy. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution was read during the stage programme.

Rev. Fr Sunil Rodrigues, OCD delivered the message of Peace and Fraternity on behalf of the Diocese of Shimoga. The Deputy Commissioner of Shimoga, Dr Selvamani R., IAS, joined the procession. Leaders from all political parties too were part of the peace walk. As a sign of unity and fraternity, all the religious leaders on the stage held each other’s hands. Once again a strong message of religious harmony is communicated to the people of Shimoga.

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