Lucknow, Oct 21 (IANS) Amid small and big communal flashpoints, Hindu-Muslim harmony in Uttar Pradesh, widely called the “Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb”, is still alive in the country’s most populous state.
It may be difficult to believe but a leading Muslim cleric recited Hindu ‘shlokas’ (hymns) during the ongoing Moharram here.
And Muslims came out in large numbers in Allahabad to tell officials that they would not immerse their ‘tazias’ in the Ganga — since immersion of Hindu idols had been banned for environmental reasons.
Last week, in Lucknow, an event was held to spread the need for communal harmony by showcasing why Hindus considered the cow holy.
Milk from the cows was offered to clerics on the occasion. Moved by the do, eminent cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali urged people from his community to avoid beef as it hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
The cleric publicly exhorted Muslims to be alive to the sensitivities of people from all religions.
Also in Allahabad, Muslims have decided not to take out the Moharaam procession on Friday as the date coincides with the famous ‘Bharat Milap Yatra’ in the city.
Since the route and date of the Ramdal at Bharat Milap and ‘Mehndi’ coincided, officials were obviously jittery.
But seniors from both communities sat down to thrash out an amicable solution. Muslims decided to withdraw the the procession of ‘Masoom Ali Asgar ke Jhoole’ so that the Bharat Milaap could go ahead unhindered.
Allahabad’s Senior Superintendent of Police K.S. Emanuel is full of praise for the Muslim community, and says the decision has paved the way for stronger communal harmony.
In Lucknow, Shamsi Tahrani, who was in the city to address a gathering of Muslims during Moharram, stunned many by reciting a Sanskrit ‘shloka’ while talking to the faithful.
These little known instances are taking place at a time when much of Uttar Pradesh became charged after a Hindu mob lynched a Muslim man on charges that he ate beef. The man’s son was seriously injured in the attack.
The distraught family denied the allegation, saying the victim only consumed mutton.
As the incident drew widespread condemnation, with well known writers returning their awards over the growing cases of intolerance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled up senior party colleagues who had made vitriolic or communally charged statements.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)