In between daily news of religion and caste-related violence, stories of communal harmony often goes unnoticed. In one of such heartwarming gestures of cultural unity and brotherhood, the Hindu and Muslim communities have come together to celebrate Ganesh Chathurti and Muharram together in the Khadki region of Pune. After 1986, this year, both the festivals have fallen around the same time.
Of communal harmony and brotherhood
The Madhla Bazaar Mitra Mandal which has been celebrating the Ganesh festival in the area since the last 94 years and Pailwan Taziya Khadki which has been taking out the procession for Muharram since last 115 years have come together to hold religious proceedings in the same Pandal (marquee).
Realising that both Ganesh Chaturthi and Muharram fall at the same time, both the groups decided upon holding it together. After brainstorming for almost two months, appropriate arrangements were made to realise this.
Bhavik Shah, one of the members of the Madhla Bazaar Mitra Mandal told The Logical Indian, “In the year 1984, 1985 and 1986 too, both the events fell on the same day. That time too something similar was done. This year we thought of doing this. The Khadki area is also called the cultural hub of Pune. Every year both Ganesh festival and Muharram are organised peacefully. This year we have gone a step ahead and decided to hold it in the same pandal.”
“Our Muslim brothers have even decided that they would only offer vegetarian food items in their Taziya, as a mark of respect for our sentiments. In fact, they offered sweets and only vegetarian delicacies during the ritual of Niyaz. However, even if some devotees bring non-vegetarian offerings, we do not object to it,” said Chintan Shah, head of the Madhla Bazaar Mitra Mandal.
Mozin Sheikh, the head of Pailwan Taziya Khadki said, “We plan to do this next year, as well as both, will fall around the same time.”
The Logical Indian take
Thousands of lives have been lost in the name of religion. But who are we really fighting? Why are we really fighting? Politicians have been using religion as an instrument to ensure that they stay in power, but the reality is different. People have always been together in times of need and they will be in the future.
This incident again proves that we all humans at the end of the day and our love and affection for each other goes beyond the barriers of religion, caste and creed. The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates this.
This story was sent to us by one of the community members – Prasad Pramod Gudhate.