Press Release

Freemasonry is a way of Life. It is a moral building society: Rajeev Khandelwal, newly elected Grand of Master of Grand Lodge of India

  • Swami Vivekanand, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed are some of the many prominent Indian leaders who were Freemasons

  • Gift-A-Livelihood, an initiative of Freemasons of Telangana, will be taken nationally and will be replicated across 150 plus Masonic cities in the country: Mr Rajeev Khandelwal, Grand Master, the head of Freemasonry in India.

  • Braving the difficult times, Members of Freemasonry in South India have done covid charities worth Rs 3crore: VG Madhusudan, Regional Grand Master

Hyderabad, Telangana: Freemasonry is not known to many in this part of the country. Some even perceive it to be a secretive society. There is nothing secret about Freemasonry. Just as you have a Password and User ID to your email account, so are few keywords in Freemasonry says Most Worshipful the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Rajeev Khandelwal, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of India(GLI). He is the head of Freemasonry in India. Until some time back it was believed that Freemasons have a secret that they carefully conceal. But it is no longer considered like that now says, he.

Gift-A-Livelihood” an initiative of Freemasons of Telangana to aid Petty traders with tools and implements to restart their livelihood which they lost due to covid now we will take it national and to be replicated across 150 masonic towns and cities, announced Mr Rajeeva Khandelwal.

The latest round of Gift-A-Livelihood was held yesterday for the 6th time in a row. So far 180 people have benefited. It was done under the initiative ‘Gift-A-Livelihood’, which Freemasons of Telangana embarked on in August last year. Since then six times the distribution of the tools was taken up at different intervals.  And it will be continued in the future.

Mr Rajeev Khandelwal, the head of Freemasonry in India, Mr Rajeev Khandelwal was in the city in connection with a Jewel Presentation as well as to participate in Portrait Unveiling of Mr VG Madhusudan, Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master, Regional Grand Lodge of Southern India and three Assistant Regional Grand Masters– Mr Madan Mohan Lal, Mr G. Madduleti, Mr D. Ramchandram and Felicitation of Mr Anish Kumar Sharma, Grand Master Elect and Right Worshipful the Regional Grand Master, Regional Grand Lodge of Northern India on Sunday evening at Nizam Club.

Mr Anish Kumar Sharma is going to succeed Mr Rajeev Khandelwal as Grand Master, Head of Freemasonry of India towards the end of this year. It is the maiden press briefing of Mr VG Madhusudan, Mr Anish Kumar Sharma at Hyderabad.

This is a rare case of all top leadership of Freemasonry available at a Press Conference in Hyderabad. 

Addressing the press conference in Hyderabad on Sunday, Mr. VG Madhusudan said, braving the difficult times, members of Freemasonry in South India have done charities worth Rs 3 crore, he said.  There are 11,000 members in South India.  

Freemasonry is 291 years old in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Freemasonry came to India in 1730 with officers of the East Indian Company holding their meetings in Fort William, Calcutta. Since then the organization flourished in India, patronized by British Nobles and the Indian elite class.

But, not many know about it.  Freemasonry is a way of Life. It is a moral building society. Freemasonry makes good men better, added Mr Rajeev Khandelwal.

It is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. It is a worldwide organization based on the principle of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion shared Mr VG Madhusudhan, who is the head of Freemasonry in South India. 

Masonry is spread in India across 200 towns and cities. As of now, there are 440 Masonic Lodges and over 200 other Masonic bodies located in different parts of the country under the Grand Lodge of India with a total membership of about 22,000 Freemasons adds, Mr Aneesh Kumar, who is soon to be the Head of Grand Lodge of India.

Swami Vivekanand, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed are some of the many prominent Indian leaders who were Freemasons 

Speaking about the myth that Freemasonry is a Secret Society, Mr VG Madhusudan said our real secrets, he puts is none other than our ceremonial methods of instruction and the mode of determining who are its members, which but few understand’ and those who do, envelope it in mystery. But, I am reiterating that there is nothing secret about it. We have opened up a lot in the recent past. The very reason why I am giving this interview is the proof that we are open, he explained.

We want to lose this mysterious persona we have and want to reach out to as many people as possible. To dispel this very notion of secrecy we have been organizing Open Sessions to explain the purpose and significance of the Institution of Freemasonry. Further emphasizing the transparency of the organization, he continues, “Our constitution, teachings, rituals, and activities are available for all to read. Books can be found in our offices and public libraries. There are so many online resources”, he informed.

We don’t just reveal what we do inside our ‘temple’ (the hall where they meet is called a Temple) for historical reasons. There’s nothing clandestine except our signs, tokens, and words Khandelwal stated.

The newly elected, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of India(GLI) Mr Aneesh Kumar for the year 2021-2024 is on a maiden visit to the city after he was elected to the highest office of Freemasonry in India. He was here in connection with the presentation of Long Term Service Jewel(LTS) presentation to a member— Ramdurai Manian, who completed 50years of service in the Freemasonry, as well as to unveil portraits of Masonic leaders.

“Hyderabad is one of the most vibrant Masonic centres in the country. Hyderabad is like a homecoming to me. I have been coming to this place for a long time”, informed Mr VG Madhusudhan.  

Khandelwal is the head of the Grand Lodge of India, which was consecrated as a Sovereign Grand Lodge with full Masonic Jurisdiction over the territories of the Republic of India in November 1961. As of now, there are 440 Masonic Lodges and over 150 other Masonic bodies located in different parts of the country under the Grand Lodge of India with a total membership of about 22,000 Freemasons.

Interacting with the media at Freemasons Hall at Goshamahal Baradari, Rajeev Khandelwal said Freemasonry has been in existence in the present form for nearly 304 years in the world and for over 291 years in India.

Responding to another question he informed that Freemasonry is always at the forefront of embracing technology.

When asked to comment how he would like to make the organization more relevant to the present generation, since most of its members are old people, Aneesh Kumar said, things are changing. We have a good mix of old and new members. We need both. We don’t solicit members. But, we can get more and more youth and millennials joining us.

People have their reasons why they enjoy Freemasonry, Khandelwal says. Many come for the brotherhood, others for self-improvement. Freemasonry is an ocean. You can learn many things –brotherhood, charity, education, values, discipline, character building, knowledge etc. In one word, it offers a journey of personal discovery. Its preachings appeal to all generations, he said and added that more and more millennials are becoming Masons.

It is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. More than 150 Grand Lodges are functioning all over the world, he said.

When asked to explain what Freemasonry is? he said it is a way of life. It is a character-building society. We make good men better. Replying to why Freemasonry is not seen as much as Lions, Rotary and Round Table, he said, we don’t publicize much about us. But, we are a very active body. Locally in Hyderabad, we have 23 branches which are called Lodges.

Though there is no comparison, the Masonic Fraternity is involved in several charitable projects. The General Williams Masonic Polyclinic and a Masonic Public School in Delhi, as also a Masonic Medical care centre for children in Coimbatore; Construction of Sheds for cyclone victims in Andhra Pradesh, Jyotirgamaya, electrification of remote rural India.

Freemasons in Telangana were the first to respond with Covid Relief last year. Charity projects worth well over Rs 40 lakh was done. The local masons are embarked on an ongoing and most sought after project “Gift-A-Livelihood”, to support petty traders with tools to re-start their livelihood which they lost due to covid, added three ARGMs Mr Madan Mohan Lal, Mr G. Madduleti and Mr D Ramchandram.

Some of the well-known people in the city are our members. Locally notable Freemasons include P. Ashok GajapathiRaju, Sir Terrence Keys – the British Resident, Raja Venkata Ram Reddy, Nawab Mehdi Nawaz Jang, and Nawab Ali Yavar Jang Bahadur, who became Governors of Gujarat and Maharashtra, BakshiRaghunathPershad, Syed Mohd. Bilgrami, NawabShamsher Jung Bahadur, Meher Ali Fazil, Nawab Bashir Yar Yung, Raja RajwantBahadur, Syed Hali Ali.

Nationally some of the well-known Freemasons include Swami Vivekananda, DadabhoyNowroji Tata, W.C. Bannerjee, PanditMotilal Nehru, President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Sir DorabjiJamshedji Tata, Dr C. Rajagopalachari, Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah, Aga Khan, Maharaja Ganga Singh, and others, Rajeev Khandelwal informed.

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