Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslims participate in yearly Hindu yatra

Muslim families offering prayers at Jagannath parade

AHMEDABAD: Every year Ahmedabad’s Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra passes through Muslim dominated areas of Jamalpur, Dariyapur, Shahpur and Kalupur. In past, the Police used to put ‘Janata curfew’ in practice in Muslim areas with cooperation of local peace committee members. Under this mechanism, the Muslims used to observe self imposed curfew during the passing of Rath Yatra in their area. This means, the Muslims would not come out of their homes during the time of Rath Yatra. Police with help of local Muslim leaders continued this practice for several years.

Hindus offering prasad (blessed food) to Muslims, Muslims offering flower garlands to Hindus

However for last two-three years, Janata curfew has stopped. The Muslims now come out of their homes and line up to see the Rath Yatra on both sides of the roads. The children enjoy it most. The photographs present a beautiful picture of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. The Muslims are extending their hands for ‘prashad’ of Bhagwan Jagannath from a decorated motor truck of Rath Yatra procession.

When in Muslim dominated Dariapur area, one of the Raths was facing some problem in its wheel mechanism, the local Muslims rushed there to offer help on their own. They brought needed instruments and tools. Both Hindus and Muslims together repaired the Rath. Though it was an act of symbolic expression, it meant lot to Rath Yatris, when such act came from local Muslims. They released doves in sky to give a message of peace during Rath Yatra.

Read and see more photos:  Communal Harmony

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