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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 154-156

The Work is Still Formidable

[From the Guardian:]
The multiplicity of the vital issues that have of late confronted me at the World Centre of the Faith, the opening of the door of pilgrimage, and the unexpected problems which, by their urgency, have required my immediate and close attention have, to my extreme regret, prevented me from acknowledging, as promptly as I would have wished the communications which various Baha’i National Assemblies have addressed me in recent months. I have followed, however, with admiration and keen interest the progress of the activities initiated under the 19-Month Plan by the valiant Baha’i Communities of India, Pakistan and Burma. The generous, unceasing contributions made by them for the completion of the Bab’s holy Sepulchre proclaim, in unmistakable terms, their devotion to the Cause for which He laid down so heroically His life. The expansion of the activities initiated by the high-minded and resolute pioneers in Ceylon, Indonesia, Siam, Malaya and Sarawak indeed merit the highest praise. The efforts exerted for the multiplication of the institutions of the Faith and their consolidation both in the subcontinent of India and beyond its confines augur well for the future of the Plan, the third of its kind embarked upon by the followers of the Faith of Baha’u’llah, who are destined to play a predominant part in the unfoldment of His World Order throughout the territories of South East Asia. The steady endeavours made for the translation, publication and dissemination of the literature of the Faith by your Assembly have greatly enriched and ennobled the record of the services you have rendered it in recent years.
Great as have been the victories already won in its service, the work that still remains to be accomplished under this same Plan during the fleeting months that lie ahead is still formidable, and demands unrelaxing vigilance, heroic self-sacrifice, and inflexible resolve on the part of not only the elected representatives of these communities but of all their members as well. The uninterrupted and rapid multiplication of Baha’i administrative centres; the conversion of groups into assemblies; the development of isolated centers into 155
groups; a marked increase in the number of incorporated Local Assemblies; the early completion of the highly important task assumed in connexion with the translation and publication of the New Era in the remaining languages already selected for that purpose; the despatch, without further delay, of no more than one pioneer for the present to Nepal and Indo-China, as well as to Zanzibar and Madagascar, in pursuance of the Plan initiated in both Africa and South East Asia; the maintenance, at any cost, of the present status of the newly formed assemblies; the concentration of effort for the promotion of unity and cooperation among the divers elements that constitute the warp and woof of these communities—these stand out as the predominating obligations facing the entire body of the followers of the Faith in the subcontinent of India and its neighbouring territories.
Nor must the privileged members of these communities, and particularly their elected representatives, neglect, for a moment, the paramount duty, of preparing, by every means at their disposal, for the historic and in some respects, the most vital, Conference to be held in the course of the Holy Year which the entire Baha’i world will soon befittingly celebrate. As the Convenor of such a fate-laden Conference, whose task is to facilitate the execution of the most far-reaching, the most challenging, and the most dramatic of all the enterprises destined to be launched by the followers of the Faith throughout the whole planet, your Assembly assumes a responsibility at once immense, soul-stirring and inescapable.
In providing adequate facilities for the accommodation of the Hands of the Cause and of the official representatives of no less than eight National Spiritual Assemblies and of the large number of visitors who will participate in its proceedings; in ensuring wide publicity through the press and radio for such a unique gathering; in exerting their utmost for the maintenance of harmony and for full consultation on the weighty issues that will face its attendants; in fostering the spirit of heroic adventure and noble resolve on the part of the members of the communities that are to act as hosts to the honoured participants of such an epoch-making assemblage, 156 which will, God willing, enable them to play a notable role in the Crusade destined to embrace the continents of Asia and Australasia and of the Pacific Islands—in all these the members of your Assembly, supported by the rank and file of the faithful, must display a determination, a valour and consecration that will excite the admiration of the entire Baha’i world.
The work that calls for unswerving fidelity, urgent attention and continuous vigilance, during the swiftly passing months ahead, is immense, truly sacred and infinitely meritorious. The consummation of the Plan already initiated would constitute the best preparation for the assumption of the still greater functions, and the discharge of still weightier responsibilities, that await the patiently labouring, the steadfast, the loyal and devoted followers of the Most Great Name in India, Pakistan and Burma. That they may victoriously discharge their present responsibilities, that they may befittingly embark on the glorious Mission that lies ahead of them, that they may distinguish themselves through their collective contribution to the success of the World Crusade soon to be inaugurated by the followers of Baha’u’llah in both the East and the West, is the object of my constant prayer and one of the most cherished desires of my heart.
June 30, 1952