Exploring Allama Iqbal’s Philosophy of Harmony and Peace in Indian Context: A Seminar at University of Kashmir

Kashmir University

Srinagar, June 16, 2024 – The Iqbal Institute of Culture and Philosophy (IICP) at the University of Kashmir (KU) organized a thought-provoking seminar on Wednesday to delve into the impact of Allama Iqbal’s philosophy on harmony and peace within the Indian context. The daylong seminar, titled “Iqbal’s Approach to Indian Philosophy of Harmony and Peace,” gathered scholars, students, and intellectuals from diverse backgrounds to explore Iqbal’s enduring influence.

KU Vice Chancellor Nilofer Khan opened the seminar by highlighting the contemporary relevance of Iqbal’s philosophy. She also announced plans to introduce a comprehensive postgraduate program in Philosophy at the university. “The academia and youth should study Iqbal’s philosophy and his concept of peace and communal harmony,” she emphasized, pointing out the importance of understanding his contributions to creating a harmonious society.

In his keynote address, Dr. Promod Kumar Dash, President of Indian Philosophy in Odisha and Head of the Department of Philosophy at Utkal University, emphasized the principle of “unity in diversity” central to Iqbal’s thought. “Philosophical attitude transcends every religion, and Iqbal’s works have inspired generations to contemplate deeper values of unity, peace, and coexistence,” Dr. Promod noted.

KU Registrar Prof. Naseer Iqbal underscored Allama Iqbal’s stature as a leading literary figure of the subcontinent, stressing that major religions share common ethical and spiritual goals. “This belief is rooted in Iqbal’s broader philosophical stance that all religions ultimately aim to connect humans with the divine and promote moral values,” he said.

Dr. Satish Vimal, Executive Programme Coordinator at All India Radio, Srinagar, called for more extensive research on Iqbal’s works, urging a comprehensive understanding of his philosophy to guide humanity. He pointed out that Iqbal believed Indian society could achieve harmony by embracing modern science and rationality while preserving its spiritual and cultural heritage.

Former Director of the International Spiritual Centre at IUST Awantipora, Prof. Hamidullah Marazi, stressed the importance of engaging in fresh dialogues to clear misconceptions. “We have to understand the sensitivities of other philosophical and religious thoughts with a focus on similarities, not differences,” he advocated.

Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Ganai, Coordinator of IICP, emphasized the need to read Iqbal’s poetry in the context of harmony and peace. “We should embark on an intellectual journey to explore and celebrate the timeless wisdom of Allama Iqbal and his vision for a harmonious and peaceful world,” he remarked.

The seminar also featured the unveiling of UGC-Care listed Journal ‘Iqbaliyat’ – Volume 29, along with other institute publications. Recent works by Dr. Promod were also released during the event. Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Wani of IICP conducted the proceedings, while Dr. Wasim Iqbal Nahvi, also from IICP, proposed the formal vote of thanks.

As we navigate the complexities of our modern world, Allama Iqbal’s philosophy stands as a beacon of hope and guidance. His belief in the convergence of spiritual enlightenment with rational inquiry offers us a roadmap towards building a society that is not only prosperous but also harmonious and inclusive. The seminar at the University of Kashmir serves as a testament to our collective responsibility to study, understand, and apply Iqbal’s vision for the betterment of humanity.

The seminar successfully fostered a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives on Iqbal’s philosophy, underscoring its relevance in fostering harmony and peace in contemporary Indian society.