The Freemasons’ Grand Festival, a significant event in the history of Freemasonry in India, recently commenced in Hyderabad at the Imperial Garden in Secunderabad. This two-day event, marking the first time it’s held in Hyderabad, is a gathering of the Grand Lodge of India, the premier body of Freemasons in the country. The festival saw participation from over 1200 Freemasons from India and abroad, including delegates from various Grand Lodges from countries like the United Kingdom, Scotland, Paraguay, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Russia, Mauritius, and others.
Anish Kumar Sharma, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of India and the head of Freemasonry in India, addressed the media during the event. He emphasized that Freemasonry, which has been present in India for 293 years, is more than an organization; it’s a way of life. Responding to questions about the aging membership, Sharma highlighted the changing dynamics within the organization, noting an increasing mix of older and younger members. He stressed that while the organization does not actively solicit members, it is seeing more youth and millennials joining its ranks.
Freemasonry is described as a moral-building organization by A.K. Sharma. It focuses on instilling values such as brotherly love, relief, truth, and virtues like faith, hope, charity, temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, and many more. The Grand Lodge of India, established in 1961, is the apex body of over 22,000 Freemasons in the country, with Masonic lodges in over 160 cities. Members of the fraternity refer to each other as ‘brothers’, and the Grand Master is uniquely titled ‘Most Worshipful’.
The event is a landmark moment for the Freemasons in Telangana, given the historical roots of Freemasonry in India dating back to the early 18th century. The first meetings were held by officers of the East India Company in Fort William, Calcutta, in 1730, marking the beginning of Freemasonry’s long-standing presence in the country.