In an incident reflective of communal harmony, Hindus and Muslims came together to celebrate Eid al-Adha at the Taj Mahal in Agra on Wednesday, July 21. Members of both the communities hugged each other. However, due to the COVID pandemic, a limited number of people were allowed to offer namaz at the Taj Mahal.
While speaking to India Today, Vishal Sharma, Hindustani Biradari vice-chairman, said that the sight of Hindus and Muslims celebrating Eid and Diwali together would revive the idea of India and rebuild the broken bridges between both communities through these small steps. Sharma also said that Hindustani Biradari, founded by late journalist Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, has always promoted communal harmony among all communities in India.
Restrictions On Large Gatherings
Only 50 people were allowed to offer namaz at the Jama Masjid or Shahi Masjid in the Taj Mahal complex. The government had earlier announced that only 50 people would be allowed, and officials were asked to ensure that no sacrifice of banned animals takes place in the name of the festival. Amir, an Agra-based social activist Amir said that while it was disappointing to see only 50 people being allowed to offer namaz on Eid, it was understandable given the situation.
Other Gestures Of Harmony
The Indian Army and BSF (Border security force) exchanged sweets with the Pakistani rangers at different border posts in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. According to The Indian Army, it was a gesture to promote peace, harmony and compassion between the countries by celebrating the true spirit of the festival. The ceremony was a step to enhance confidence-building, reported The Hindu. The effort comes amidst the ongoing ceasefire along the Line Of Control between both the countries.
This was the first time that sweets were exchanged between the two forces after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. The Pakistani side ha shunned the custom after the Narendra Modi government on August 5, 2019, abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.