UoM Conference 1974
The World Conference on Unity of Man, 3 - 6 February 1974 in Delhi, had a memorable start with a great procession which demonstrated a united front with well over a hundred thousand men, women, and children from eighteen countries from all over the world. Different races, nationalities and creeds marched side by side along the three and half miles distance on the main streets of Delhi to reach the venue of the Conference at Ramlila Grounds.
Sant Kirpal Singh and the heads of the various religious formations walked in front followed by the delegations from various countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Columbia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malta, Nigeria, Thailand, and the United States were all represented at the Conference. An undecorated elephant accompanied the procession symbolising the participation of the lower life in the unity march.
The procession rang with the praises, "Be Good, Do Good, Be One", summing up the teachings of Sant Kirpal Singh, the sponsor of the World Conference on Unity of Man.
From every point of view the World Conference on Unity of Man was a tremendous success. Over four hundred delegates from all parts of the world and two thousand from all over India participated in the deliberations. It was a unique performance, the first of its kind since the time of Ashoka, as Sant Kirpal Singh said. High-ranking religious, social and political leaders from India and abroad put their shoulders to the wheel and worked together to make the Conference a success.
Many prominent participants contributed to the Open Sessions and Panel Sessions with a speech. The religious leaders who came included: Nichidatsu Fuji – Buddhist leader from Japan; Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan – head of the International Order of the Sufis; Acharya Sri Tulsi Ji – Jain leader; Dr. Angelo Fernandes – Roman Catholic Archbishop of Delhi; Lama Kushak Bakula – Head Lama from Ladakh; Mufti Atquil Rehman – Muslim leader, as well as Indira Gandhi with her cabinet, and many many others.
The Conference was opened in the evening of 3 February 1974 by the Vice-president of India, Dr G.S. Pathak.
The second session – the Peace Conference – took place on the morning of 4 February presented by Sri Jagjivan Ram, the Defense Minister, and the third session - the Panel Conference of Religious Unity - was opened by Dr Karan Singh, the Minister of Health.
The open principal session on the following morning featured an address by the Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
The concluding session in the evening of 6 February was addressed by Sri Swaran Singh, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, many other ministers of the Union of India, members of Parliament and state officials addressed the conference or took part in the panel discussions.
A participant commented: "In retrospect the predominant emotion associated with the Conference is joy: joy that at this particular time in which mankind is suffering so terribly, so many people had the ability to see that the cause of that suffering is the separation of man from man, and the willingness to try to do something to end that separation; joy that so many leaders of really great stature in all spheres of life were ready and willing to join forces with Unity of Man."
Sant Kirpal Singh said, "The work of the Conference will be carried on much further each time we see that God is working through our neighbour, our brother – through all men; each time we resist the temptation to consider our welfare ahead of that of our brother or sister; when we see that every human being we meet is a child of God. Our common aim should be to alleviate men's suffering and reduce their separation. In that sense this Conference will never end."
Welcome Address by Sant Kirpal Singh
"We are All One" by Sant Kirpal Singh
"Challenge and Opportunity of the New Age" by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
"Words of Welcome" to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Sant Kirpal Singh