|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
17th World Vegetarian Congress 1963
Mr. J. N. Mankar
As secretary of the I.V.U. for India and the East I herewith submit a brief report on the activities for the propagation of vegetarianism in this part of the world for the past two years.
Following the 15th Session of the World Vegetarian Congress, a strong
national organisation styled the Indian Vegetarian Congress has duly
been formed with Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale as its President. Apart
from the publication of a quarterly, the Indian Vegetarian Congress
is trying to set up branches in the prominent cities of India and also
co-ordinating all humanitarian organisations which have the propaganda
of vegetarianism as one of their objects. Accordingly, branches at Delhi
and Bangalore have duly been established, and efforts are afoot for
a similar branch at Calcutta. At Bombay, though about a couple of years
ago a branch of Indian Vegetarian Congress was duly inaugurated, no
work worthy of the name could be turned out. In consultation with the
Committee of the Indian Vege-tarian Congress that branch has been closed,
and instead an independent organisation styled "Bombay Vegetarian
Society" has duly been formed and affiliated with the Indian Vegetarian
Congress. The Bombay Vegetarian Society has prepared elaborate plans
for the propagation of vegetarianism in a modern and scientific way,
and especially educating younger genera-tions in this respect. The official
delegate of Bombay Vegetarian Society who is attending the Congress
will place before you the items of interest with regard to their future
After I attended the 16th Session of the World Vegetarian Congress
in Germany, at Hannover, and Hamburg, the Visva Ahimsa Sangh at their
last meeting decided to start a Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre
along with their proposed Ahimsa Research Centre. The difficulties in
the pro-curement of land held up the starting of such a centre. But
luckily, a plot of land has been secured for the proposed Ahimsa University.
The Bombay Humanitarian League, one of the pioneer organisations propagating
vegetarianism in the entire country, continued its activities in this
field by educating more than 3,000 students on matters of vegetarian
diet and compassion, through Prize Essay Competition Schemes. They also
have District Organisers to go on lecture tours at different places
with magic lantern. During the two years' period more than 500 villages
were visited and useful propaganda was carried on among the masses.
Publishing of literature is one of the major means for approaching educated people and placing before them the advantages of vegetarian way of life. About half-a-dozen such leaflets were published and distributed in the country.
Though no efforts could be made for the observance of a meatless day in the entire country, the All India Humanitarian Day, being the birthday of Lord Mahavir, was observed as a Meatless Day by several states, either by resolutions passed by municipalities or by persuasion.
The Bombay Humanitarian League, All India Animal Welfare Association
and I.V.U. for India and Eastern countries organised a vegetarian stall
in the food festival held at National Sports Club organised by the Women's
Food Council and gave demonstration of delicious vegetarian menus, through
the help of Mistan Bhandar, which were appreciated by the people who
visited the stall in thousands. The 7th Day Adventists mission also
put up a similar stall displaying preparations from Soya bean and others
and offering useful literature for sale.
At the Fruit and Flower Show held at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay, during
this year, similar vegetarian stall was put up.
The All India Animal Welfare Association, which sympathises with the
cause of vegetarianism and frequently participates in its propagation,
issued a very impressive appeal to the Parsi Community to refrain from
killing thousands of birds on Nowjot and marriage ceremonies as is customary.
This appeal was echoed by newspapers like Jani-e-Jamshed and had a very
Gujrat State, which is pre-eminently vegetarian, has efforts for the use of animal food items made at State level. Propaganda is carried out by the League to refrain from the use of fish, meat and fowl through Gram Panchayats and the workers of Bombay Humanitarian League. The Government have also agreed to restrict their fishing industries only to sea coast and avoiding all schemes for fishing in villages.
Subsequent to the formation of huge schemes for starting four modern
mechanised abattoirs at Calcutta, Delhi, Madras and Bombay, the Bombay
Humanitarian League organised protests throughout the country against
such a scheme evidently meant for the increased production of beef and
meat and other allied industries for export purposes. The schemes at
Delhi and Calcutta have been shelved due to Opposition and legal difficulties,
while the one at Bombay is for the present postponed, due to emergency.
It could thus be seen that even though non-vegetarianism is making
a headway in our country against our culture and tradition, public conscience
is fully awakened and does not desire the meat industry or its export
trade on a large scale. In several towns and cities a token strike was
observed and a huge public meeting was held on October 4th, 1962, throughout
the country demanding the abandonment of all plans for such abattoirs.
The Burma Humanitarian League, as usual, is also active on this point.
During Buddhist Lent this society organises one or two vegetarian dinners
in which non-vegetarian Buddhist monks participate and public opinion
is created through the distribution of leaflets and literature. The
Bombay Humanitarian League helps them in this matter.
From January 1st, 1960, we began with a balance of Rs.849/18 lying
with the United Commercial Bank Ltd. as mentioned in the last balance
sheet submitted by me to the German Congress. We have since then realised
Rs.676/22 by way of subscription from members and affiliated organisations.
Rs.375/50 was credited by Mr. A. Jindal to be paid to Mr. Jack Trop
whose film was imported on the occasion of the 15th World Vegetarian
Congress, as against which Rs.460/- are debited being the price of the
film, transport and other charges.
Aganist a total amount of Rs.1900/90 an expenditure under different
heads is shown to the extent of Rs.1337/23 leaving a balance of Rs.563/67
ending December, 1962, which we have deposited in the City Co-operative
Bank Ltd., Bombay.