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Dawn of a New Day

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of India, date unknown
  • Pages:
  • 228
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Pages 137-139

End of Six-Year Plan Approaches

[From the Guardian:]
As the end of the Plan to which your community stands committed inexorably approaches, my anxious thoughts increasingly turn towards you and your fellow workers, on whose shoulders a staggering responsibility—grave as well as inescapable—is weighing so heavily in these days. I am fully aware of the character of the manifold and unexpected trials this community has been called upon to face in India, Pakistan and Burma since its inception. The ordeal of internal disorder and of civil strife; the dislocation of the machinery of internal administration, the inevitable consequence of the vast political changes that have been effected in these countries; the reverses suffered by this same community through the temporary seizure of its newly acquired administrative headquarters and the loss of some of its precious assets in both India and Burma; the hardships endured by the pioneers of this community as well as its administrators as a consequence of severely imposed restrictions, outbursts of fanaticism and civil riots—have been such as to dismay the stoutest heart and tax to the uttermost the determination of the most resolute. 138
And yet, in spite of these successive afflictions the members of this community have forged ahead, valiantly, unitedly and determinedly, and have even extended the original range of their Plan by embarking on fresh and historical enterprises beyond the confines of these territories, through the despatch of pioneers to the neighbouring Dominion of Ceylon and the adjacent Kingdom of Siam and the Republic of Indonesia. Whatever the fate of the Plan which they are now seeking to bring to its consummation, this striking evidence of the indomitable spirit of faith that animates the rank and file of this community, and which has prompted it to seek fresh laurels in virgin territories beyond the frontiers of its homeland, will, without the slightest doubt, redound eternally to its credit, and be abundantly rewarded by a vigilant and all-Bountiful Master.
To enhance the value of so rich a prize won, in so short a period, by a community so burdened by cares and anxieties, in territories for the most part overshadowed by discord and internal revolution, through the triumphant conclusion of the major task entrusted to its hands, and the successful conclusion of the second collective enterprise embarked upon by its indefatigable and resolute members, on the morrow of a world-encircling conflict, must now be the paramount and all-absorbing purpose of all who are privileged to participate in this mighty endeavour. Time is short. Every week is precious. The resources of the community, financial, moral and spiritual are, I firmly believe, adequate to meet the needs of this critical hour. So golden an opportunity, if missed, will not recur for who knows how extensive a period. The launching of subsequent enterprises destined to culminate in the triumph and ascendancy of a struggling Faith in the subcontinent of India, as well as in the establishment of its institutions in South-East Asia, will be inevitably and indefinitely postponed.
Undaunted by the setbacks it has experienced; heartened by the settlement and the initial victory won by its pioneers in the newly opened virgin territories in the North, the South and the East; fully conscious of its ability 139
to perform adequately its task and discharge befittingly its responsibility; relying on the unfailing grace of an all-Powerful, ever solicitous, continually watching Providence; deriving fresh inspiration and confidence from the amazing feat achieved, by the small band of its brethren, in the West, and in a continent more devastated by the ravages of war than any other continent of the globe; let this community, while time still remains, gird up its loins, sink its differences, rededicate itself to its urgent task, sweep away every barrier that confronts it, and rise, with an upsurge of unprecedented enthusiasm and determination, to those heights to which its spiritual destiny is now beckoning it.
With a heart, aglow with gratitude for what this community has in the initial stage of its administrative development accomplished, filled with confidence in the potentialities with which our beloved Master has endowed it in the years of His earthly ministry, and overflowing with love for those who, through their incessant labours and heroic self-sacrifice, have achieved unforgettable victories in recent years, I will continue to supplicate for all its members, at home and abroad, in their administrative spheres of activity as well as in the teaching field such blessings as will enable them to crown their concerted efforts with a success that will resound throughout the Baha’i world.
November 6, 1949