AMIDST CELEBRATIONS of Diwali, an event in Mumbai celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of the Báb, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. Organised by the Bahá’í community of the city, the event showcased discussion on the religion that originated in Iran (then Persia) and focuses on equality among all people.
Born in Iran during the Qajar dynasty, Alí Muhammad, at the age of 24, took on the title of the Báb, meaning ‘Gate’ in Arabic, claiming to be a messenger of God.
Speaking at the event, Tahrih Makhija, a follower of the Bahá’í Faith, said, “This is a momentous occasion for the Bahá’í community. The mid-1800’s was one of the most turbulent periods in world history. The frequency of wars, high death rate, poor hygiene and inequality of man and woman were major issues. When the Báb announced himself as the ‘chosen one’, it spread hope amongst people. The Báb’s teachings included equality between men and women and between people of different faiths.”
The programme included performances by Dr Rahul Joshi, who sang songs with lyrics inspired by the writings of the Báb. It also had dance performances and a message from the Universal House of Justice (the highest body of the Bahá’í Faith) to observe the landmark day in the religion’s history.