r. Dr. M. D. Thomas, Founder Director, Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, New Delhi, has been selected for ‘Communal Harmony and Interfaith Dialogue Award’ by Delhi Minorities Commission for the year 2019. The citation quotes Fr. Dr. Thomas as ‘Promoter of Religious Harmony and Good Interfaith Relations’.
Fr. Dr. M. D. Thomas is a specialist of languages, cross-cultural perspectives, religions, cross-scriptural values, interfaith relations, communal harmony, national integration and social fellowship and he has been committed to these areas in diverse areas, as a lifetime mission, for the past nearly 40 years.
Born on 01 June 1953 in Kerala, Dr. M. D. Thomas holds Ph.D. in Hindi Literature on ‘Kabeer and Christian Philosophy’ from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He has done Pradhma, Madhyama and B. Mus. (7 years) in Hindustani Classical Music from Indira Kala Music University, Khairagarh. He holds B.Th. in Christianity and Comparative Religion from Urban University, Rome, as well. He was Founder Director of ‘Institute of Religion and Culture’ at Ujjain and National Director of ‘Commission for Religious Harmony’ at CBCI (National Association of the Catholic Christian Community), New Delhi, and Editor of half-yearly multi-faith journal ‘Fellowship’.
By way of literary and cultural contribution in the above areas, Dr. Thomas has 4 books to his credit by now and they are original and award-winning contributions in the area of communal harmony and interfaith relations. They are ‘Kabeer aur Eesaayee Chintan’, ‘Moolya Bible Ke’, ‘Desh Ek, Ek Hein Hum Sab’ and ‘Fellowship of Religions’. His musical albums on ‘universal ethical values’ are ‘Samanvay Dhaara’ and ‘Moolya Bible Ke’.
He has contributed some 350 articles, in English and Hindi, to books, journals and newspapers, as well. Besides, Dr. Thomas has delivered by now some 60 keynote lectures, over 100 lectures at universities and colleges, addressed nearly 300 research conferences and some 1,200 multi-faith and civil programmes, along with over 50 special lectures and some 250 regular lectures at Christian institutes and seminaries. He has also been to views and interviews at TV channels, some 50 instances, and thus making a total of nearly 2,000 appearances by now on public platforms, all in the areas he is currently awarded for.
The current award comes to Dr.Thomas after 19 awards and certificates of honour. A few of the main awards he has received for outstanding contribution to language, literature, education, culture, communal harmony, interfaith relations, peace, social service, etc. are – ‘Saahityik Kriti Sammaan’, ‘Swami Devanand Hindi Award’, ‘Manav Bhooshan Sammaan’, ‘Himalay and Hindustan Ratna Sammaan’, ‘National Excellence Award’ and ‘Icon of India’, ‘Culture and Peace Award’. What’s more, he received ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ recently from Institute of Oriental heritage.
Among those awarded for their lifelong commitment to promote communal harmony and interfaith dialogue are
Janab Mohammed Iqbal Mulla, National Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Baba Hardip Singh of Gurudwara Gobind Sadan, Gadaipur, Mehrauli, and Fr. Cedric Prakash, noted human rights activist.