Anish Kumar Sharma takes charge as new Grand Master of Grand Lodge of India

  • | Monday | 29th November, 2021

New Delhi, Nov 29 (PTI) Chartered Accountant Anish Kumar Sharma has taken charge as the new head of the Grand Lodge of India, the apex body of Freemasons in the country, the fraternity said on Monday.Sharma, 72, was installed as the Grand Master of the GLI at an impressive ceremony held on the premises of the Freemason"s Hall on Janpath here in the presence of several senior members of the community."Most Worshpful Bro. Anish Kumar Sharma was installed as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of India. He is the 18th Grand Master," said Vishal Bakshi, Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge of India.The internal ceremony took place on Saturday evening, he said.Grand Lodge of India (GLI) is the parent body of over 22,000 Freemasons in the country. There are masonic lodges in over 160 cities across the country, Bakshi said.Members of the fraternity address each other as "brothers", and only the Grand Master has the title of "Most Worshipful", according to the norms of Freemasonry.GLI is the main governing body of Freemasonry within India. It completed 60 years on November 24 this year.On November 26, a function to mark the diamond jubilee of the GLI was hosted on the premises of the Freemason"s Hall here, with former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung as the chief guest.Before the establishment of its own order there were three delegations from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Grand Lodge of Ireland and Grand Lodge of England.After Independence, the structure was reorganised. Some chose to remain with the United Grand Lodge of England. Others came together to form one new entity in 1961.For administrative purposes, the GLI has four administrative units -- Regional Grand Lodge of North India (RGLNI), Regional Grand Lodge of South India (RGLSI), Regional Grand Lodge of East India (RGLEI) and Regional Grand Lodge of West India (RGLWI).Sharma, born in Saharanpur, earlier served as the Regional Grand Master of the RGLNI.The Freemasons fraternity counts industrialists, bankers, chartered accountants, lawyers, among others from across the country, as its members.Sharma, a chartered accountant by profession, has also been installed as "First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Chapter of India and also as the Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of India," said Bakshi, who has been reappointed as the Grand Secretary of all the three bodies for another three-year term."As Freemasons, we have been serving our brothers in need through philanthropic activities. And, our biggest such contribution would be during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have lost hundreds of our members to Covid, many of whom died while serving people during the two waves," Sharma told PTI."Our vision is to continue to serve people," he said.Freemasonry, an esoteric fraternity which owes its origin in the late 16th to 17th century in Scotland and England, came to India through the East India Company in the early 18th century. They are known by their most recognisable symbol of an interlaced "Square and Compass", found on the facade of all Freemason"s Hall.They are one of the world"s oldest secretive societies whose members included Motilal Nehru, Vivekananda, JRD Tata, King George VI and George Washington, among others.Masonic temples and lodges are specimens of grand architecture and their arcane rituals have inspired much curiosity and at times dark intrigue. PTI KND KJ

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