An eight day festival marking the 100th anniversary of Dhaka Ramakrishna Math and Mission began yesterday amid religious fervor and enthusiasm. Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha inaugurated the centenary program in the evening lighting lamp (Pradip) while 100 candles were lit up to mark the 100th founding anniversary. Indian High Commi-ssioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla also joined the celebration program. Later, devotional songs, evening prayer and special worship of Sreera-mkrishna were held later on followed by a discussion. General Secretary of Ramkrishna Mission Belur Math Sreemat Swami Suhitananda Maharaj chaired the program. Justice Soumendra Sarker, Principal monk of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission (RKM) Swa-mi Dhrubeshananda, Swa-mi Amayanando Maharaj, Ramkrishna Mission, Chi-ttagong Secretary Shaktin-athanand among others, were present on the occasion.
A drama titled "Karuna Dharai Esho" was staged later. In the second day tomorrow, a 'Youth Conference' will be held while 'Mothers' Conferen-ce' on March 21 and an 'Interfaith Conference' on March 26. A 'Sampriti Shovajatra' (procession of harmony) will be brought out in the city on March 24 on the occasion.
Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sayeed Khokan will be present in the Youth Conference as the chief guest while Jharnadhara Chowdhury, a celebrated social worker and secretary of Ghandhi Asram will be present as the chief guest in the 'Mothers' Conference.
The 'Interfaith Conference' will be attended by Home Minister Asaduzaman Khan Kamal as the chief guest and Trustee of Ramkrishna Math and Mission Swami Tatwabidananda, Inspector General of Police M Shahidul Haq, Vatican Ambassador in Dhaka Archbishop George Kocheri, Sri Lankan envoy to Bangladesh Joshoja Gunasakera, Nepalese envoy Dhan Bahadur Oli, noted Islamist cleric Moulana Fariduddin Masoud and leaders of different religious communities will be present as speakers.
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury will attend the programme on March 21 as the chief guest while Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed will be the chief guest on March 22. Vice president of RKM Belur Math Swami Bagishananda will be present as the chief guest in the harmony rally on March 24 and celebrated monks from different Ram Krishna temples from home and abroad will join the celebration while popular singers from Bangladesh and India will deliver their performance in the cultural programs.