In what could be termed a sheer example of religious harmony, the Hindus of a village in Karnataka have been observing 'Muharram' for the past 11 years.
The Harlapur village in Saudatti taluk has not a single Muslim family, yet the Hindu residents have been regularly taking part in the rituals with utmost zeal and vigour. The village also has a dargah of 'Fakeer Swamy' that was constructed 11 years ago by Hindus collecting funds.
Muharram is observed every year that marks the beginning of New Year, as per the Islamic calendar. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was a low-key affair complying with the government protocols.
The villagers prepare and install 'Panja' at the dargah, followed by the procession, special prayer, and puja. A Hindu priest performs puja on a daily basis at the dargah since its establishment, The New Indian Express reported.
Cure For Snakebite
A neem tree on the premises of the dargah is believed to cure those bitten by snakes. The snakebite is cured within two hours after consuming the juice prepared using neem leaf, according to locals. Apart from Belagavi, snakebite victims from Dharwad and Gadag districts also pay a visit to this shrine.
"We have a strong faith and devotion in 'Allah' and offer mandatory five times prayers and observe 'Muharram' every year. This year, we prayed for COVID pandemic to vanish from the earth for society's good," Priest Goudappa Adiveppa Vakkund said, while speaking to The New Indian Express.
Ravi Chulaki, a villager, said, "About 3500 people reside in Harlapur village. We have been celebrating 'Muharram' festival for several decades. The devotees who visit the famous Renuka Devi temple of Yallammana Gudda also visit this dargah four km away. We believe that wishes come true for any devotee who visits this dargah."
Members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Karnataka have time and again taken part in the Muharram processions over the years. While there have been several reports of group clashes and rioting in the state, the communal harmony in most parts of the state has nurtured the bond between both communities.