History of movemnets - 19

From the above table it will be seen that soon after the 1st three sessions the idea began to lose its hold on the Brahma world which was evidently yet not ripe for concerted action. As early as 1893 the Subodk Patrika of the Bombay Samaj observed regarding the 5th session at Allahabad “such pro­vincial gathering is more desirable and even necessary than the general Theistic Conference which takes place in the wake and the town of meeting of the political National Congress, and the latter can work beneficially on the materials supplied by the former.” So even this movement practically remained pro­vincial till it was again vigorously reorganized on larger and truer proportions in its session at Bombay in 1904. Even after this reorganization the Conference could not take up any active work on its programme as the schismatic elements had not yet been quite inoperative and which alone had so long held back the Brahma Samaj as a whole in its onward march of evolution. The first resolution of the Conference at Benares in its first session after its reorganization was ‘‘That this Coference should be mainly a deliberative body and that it should suggest ways and means of progress to the several Samajes and promote spirituality by means of united prayers and conversations, &c.” Alter five years of work on this basis though limited in nature yet wide enough to comprehend all the Samajes so far as representation and attendance were concerned, the following extract translated from the Marathi report in the Subodh Patrika of 50th January 1912 regarding the Session of 1911 at Lahore is noteworthy.

“The first business meeting was held on the morning of the 27th December 1909 in the Dayalsing School Hall, Lahore. In his introductory speech as General Secretary Mr. V. E. Shinde said that on having observed the extremely neglected condition of the Conference in its session held at Madras in 1903, he was determined to reorganize it in the next Session at Bombay. Since the Bombay Session the Conference had gone round the whole country Benares, Calcutta, Surat, Madras and lastly Lahore and had completed the first stage of work, viz., bringing the common needs of the Church to the knowledge of the several Samajes through their representatives. He further pleaded for a more constitutional basis and a per­manent office, fund, and a devoted stall for the Conference so that the resolutions adopted from time to time be given effect to throughout the succeeding years. But after a two hours’ keen discussion over Mr. Shinde's plea, it was decided by a majority that the time had not yet oome to give any definite constitution to the Conference.”

In the next session at Allahabad the question was again brought forward in December 1910. A draft constitution was proposed and circulated among the Brahma and the Prarthana Samajes during the year 1911, amended by the standing and sobjects commit­tees in the light of the opinions received from the several Samajes and finally adopted by a large majority in the Session at Calcutta in December 1911. It is as follows:—

1. The Conference shall be called the All-India Theistic Conference.

2. Its object shall be promotion of Theism and service of humanity by bringing together its adherents from different parts of India on suitable
occasions and by other mean.

3. All persons duly elected, delegates by any Theistic organization and persons elected by the Standing and Re­ception Committees of the Conference shall be considered its members for the year following. All members except those who are missionaries shall have to pay a delegation fee of at least a rupee; the Reception and the standing com­mittees however shall have power to exempt any member from such fee at their discretion.

4.The work of the Conference shall be carried on by a Standing Committee, consisting of the President of the previous Conference, ten members and one or if necessary two Secretaries who will be ex-officio members. (Ten mem­bers to bo selected ordinarily 1 from Bombay, 1 from Madras, 1 from Punjab, 1 from U. P. or C. P., 1 from Behar, 1 from Assam, and 4 from Bengal) The Committees and Secretaries shall be elected annually by the Conference and shall hold office till the appointment of their successors at the next Conference.

5. The Standing Committee will organize annual session of the Conference, keep records of its proceedings, submit annual reports and accounts, try to give effect to the Reso­lutions of the Conference and do any other work that the Conference might entrust it with. The Standing Committee will have power to organize a local Reception Committee consisting of representatives of the Theistic organizations in the province where the Con­ference of the year will be held, delegating to it such of its power as it will  think fit for co-operation in the work of the year.

6. The Standing Committee in consultation with the Re­ception Committee shall nominate a President who shall be finally elected by the Conference.

7. Any change in the constitution may bemade at a general meeting of the Conference by a majority of two-thirds of the members present.