Baha’is merge with Delhi society while keeping identity intact
At a time when religious identities in the country seem to be hardening, a small community is trying to hold onto its own while showing a syncretic way forward. With only two million followers across the country and barely 2,500 in the Capital, Baha’is are a living tale of how to keep one’s religious identity intact while merging seamlessly with another culture.
Baha’is entered India in 1884 but came into prominence only in the 80s, when their House of Worship, popularly known as the Lotus Temple, was constructed in the heart of Delhi. Since then, the monument has been a telling symbol of its teachings, the mainstay of Baha’is, who attribute their existence to these tenets.
“The basic principle of our religion is faith in one supreme power. There is only one God for people from any faith. At the same time, we do not believe in symbolism of religion to differentiate ourselves from others. We let our principles do that job,” Kazem Samandari, a senior member of the community, says.
Internalising the same motto, Baha’is follow their own rituals and customs but are also welcoming to people from other religions. One of the main activities that the community across the world follows …read more