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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 146-148

Great Historic Enterprise

[From the Guardian:]
The communications received in recent months from your Assembly testify to the perseverance and devotion with which the Baha’i Communities of India, Pakistan and Burma have pursued the course of their activities in the face of manifold obstacles and trials and despite the severity of the problems which have confronted them since the outbreak of the political disturbances that have agitated the Indian sub-continent. Though suffering from various reverses, though afflicted with disappointment, though sustaining repeated losses they have persevered in their labours, widened the scope of their task, pushed further the outposts of 147 the Faith, and won their initial victories beyond the confines of their respective homelands.
In the field of Baha’i publications, in the publicity given to the Baha’i teachings, in their negotiations with the civil authorities under whose jurisdiction they function, in their constant encouragement and support of the pioneers labouring both at home and abroad, the national elected representatives of these communities have, likewise, demonstrated a spirit of dedication, a zeal and fidelity worthy of the highest praise.
The great historic enterprise launched by them in recent years in the neighbouring territories of Ceylon, Siam, Indonesia and the Malayan Peninsula,—a vast and highly meritorious undertaking still in its initial stage of development, and conferring a great and imperishable lustre on its valiant initiators—must be energetically prosecuted notwithstanding the unsettled political situation prevailing in those territories, and however threatening the clouds gathering on the international horizon. The movement and settlement of pioneers throughout India, Pakistan and Burma must, moreover, continue unabated and must be paralleled by a steady multiplication of Baha’i Centres and the consolidation of nascent institutions, the negotiations with the civil authorities, however disillusioning and unfruitful they have been so far in their results, must continue to be conducted with extreme vigilance and unrelaxing vigour. The highly commendable task of completing the translation and publication of the “New Era” in the languages already chosen should be promptly and befittingly consummated. The efforts exerted to publicize the Faith, disseminate its teachings and spread its fame, should be redoubled by all administrative agencies concerned with this vital sphere of Baha’i activity. The sacred duty of deepening and enriching the spiritual life of the newly enrolled believers should be faithfully discharged by both the local and national elected representatives of these communities. The added responsibility of contributing to the raising of the superstructure of the Bab’s holy Sepulchre, now entering upon the second 148 phase of its construction, and of speeding its consummation in view of the increasingly critical world condition, should be valiantly faced and nobly discharged. Above all, the inescapable obligation of guarding the integrity of the Faith, of preserving the unity of its followers, and of reinforcing its spiritual and administrative foundations, must be continually borne in mind not only by the representatives of these communities but by every individual believer labouring for the good name and the glorification of the Cause of Baha’u’llah.
The Baha’i Communities of the Indian sub-continent and of Burma constituting the largest entity throughout the Orient, next to the body of believers residing in the Cradle of the Faith, and enjoying, unlike their Eastern sister communities in Persia, Egypt and Iraq, the blessings of relative freedom from repression or persecution, and including within their fold a greater variety of races, creeds and tongues than any of their sister communities throughout the world, are faced with both a peculiar challenge and a unique opportunity. The resources at their disposal, the privileges they possess, the facilities they enjoy should, with clear vision, with confident hearts and inflexible resolve, be consecrated to the noble objectives which it is their mission to pursue. Conscious of their high calling, aware of the potentialities with which their homelands have been endowed, these communities, placing their reliance on the all-conquering power of Baha’u’llah must unitedly arise, however numerous the barriers imposed between them, to achieve their destiny, and contribute collectively and effectively, to the world-wide propagation, the universal recognition and ultimate world triumph of the Cause of Baha’u’llah.
March 10, 1951