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Speech by H.H. the Aga Khan at Institutional Dinner - 2008-05-18

Sunday, 2008, May 18
AKDN DVD-Golden Jubilee visit to India
Hazar Imam together with performers  in the evening at the Jamati institutional dinner. Rafiq Khimani  2008-05-18
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

(His Highness was presented with a gift. Then He said the following)

I would like you to know how deeply touched I am by this wonderful evening and by the celebration of My Golden Jubilee here in India. It has been a time of enormous happiness, but also a time of thinking back to the status of the Jamat in 1957 in India, Pakistan, East Africa, Central Asia, and I say to myself, Alhamdullilah, the Jamat has made progress. It lives in greater security, it lives in countries where there is greater hope, greater stability. And there will always be problems. That we all know. But the fact that this can be said by the Imam of the time today is due to the leadership of the Jamat, to the unity of the Jamat, to the efforts, decade after decade, to move forwards, to build capacity, to build institutions, to follow a sense of direction in life. And this I want to say this evening because I see amongst the Jamat here this evening many leaders of the past, the leaders of today and I think back to what was the time that they lived and what were the problems that they had to deal with and how leadership is built from generation to generation in continuity towards the sorts of results we have all hoped and prayed for.

I would also say that this has to be an occasion of joy, an occasion of happiness and I want again to repeat my gratitude to the Government, the Central Government, the Governments of the states, all the authorities, the state organizations, for the extremely warm and generous way in which they have received me here in India and to tell you that this friendship, because it is a genuine, sincere friendship, will carry outside India, will not remain in India, it will carry outside India and we will work together to try to establish places in the world where people can live in plurality, in happiness and in security.

I would also like to say how very happy I am to see the magnificent progress that you have made since I was last in India. And we will continue to build, to try to expand activities where they need to be expanded, I am still concerned about the quality of education, the access to education of our younger generations, particularly in the rural environments. I am concerned about economic support for people who are not yet independent in their economic destinies. There is much to be done. But I have a sense of confidence, a sense of great confidence because India is moving forwards, because the Jamat is moving forwards. And it has built and will continue to build strong institutions. And ultimately it is strong institutions which enable countries, communities, families to establish a permanency of progress. Ultimately that is what we are talking about - the permanency of progress.

There are so many leaders here this evening that I would be unable to mention all of them, but I simply want to tell you how grateful I am as the Imam for the magnificent work that you have done. I congratulate you, I send to you and your families my affection, my love and, above all, my gratitude for what you have done for the Jamat and for the Imamat.

I have enjoyed the evening enormously, I have enjoyed the dances. I congratulate the youth and I hope that they will carry forward the humour and the joy of this evening.

Thank you.

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