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Back to Newspaper articles archive: 2001

First Cousins of Humanity


With 500 centres, and 20 lakh members, the AIWC today, is supposed to be the largest women's movement in the country. .The AIWC strives to empower women through education,. Keith Munro tells. The only surviving relative of Cousins, the 58-year-old doctor from Londonderry, speaks of his great-aunt with affection. .We have put a plaque outside her house in Ireland,. smiles Keith, talking about the fiery lady, who initiated a process by which Indian women can vote today.

However, their connection with the country goes deeper than that, the Baha'i faith binding them to the country. .You know, when I first heard about the Baha'i faith in the 60's, I thought it was Indian,. reveals Anne. Dressed in a bright blue sari, with a flower tucked in her long braid, the therapist cum herbal healer . Anne, looks absolutely at home in the sari. .When I found out more information and investigated the religion, I discovered that it originated in Iran,. says Anne. .I found it fascinating that in a country like that, men and women sat down and listened to each other.. Keith was introduced to the Baha'i faith when he was 21 years old, and he joined the faith three years later. .I saw this beautiful girl called Jyoti Munsi on television talking about the Baha'i faith, and curious about the religion, I started attending their prayer meeting..

After they were married, the connection came to a full circle, say the Munros. .We first came to Pune on the invitation of Shobana Ranade, the past-President of the AIWC branch in Pune,. says Keith. During their visits to the country, the couple visit different AIWC branches to encourage and motivate members. Talking about women of India, Anne says, .Literacy is their motivation now and they are focusing on that..

Besides the Baha'i faith, the couple have as much faith in the equality of the sexes. .My profound belief is that a man and a woman are two wings of a bird, called humanity. And both have to be strong enough to fly heavenwards,. enlightens Keith. Concluding on a positive note, the Munro's insist that something positive is bound to come from the recent upheavals in the world. .World peace is not only possible, it's inevitable,. says Keith, .it's normally when something bad happens, that the growth of a positive change starts to take place.. Great people like Cousins, are history but sweet thoughts that root from there are treasured with folks, like the Munros.

©Copyright 2001, The Times of India

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