Hindu Muslim Unity: Krishna’s birthday celebrated at Narhar Dargah

Muslim family carries son playing Hindu avatar Krishna
Muslim family carries son playing Hindu avatar Krishna

JAIPUR:  Not many people know but Narhar Dargah, also known as Sharif Hazrat Hajib Shakarbar Dargah has been celebrating Janmashtami for the past 300-400 years.

“Its very hard to say the exact time and reason from when this festival is celebrated in the dargah but this marks an important event for national and communal unity. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs stay together and organiZe the event.” says dargah secretary Usman Ali Pathan.

“Thousands of Hindus come here and offer coconuts and flowers to the shrine and stay together. The idea behind organiZing this festival is to increase the love and unity among different religions in the country,” added Pathan. Devotees visiting the Dargah are surprised by such an event and the way it is smoothly organised and run from almost 400 years.

Read more: Communal Harmony

Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim artisans prepare for Krishna festival

Temple in Krishna's birthplace of Mathura
Temple in Krishna’s birthplace of Mathura

MATHURA: Thousands of Muslim artisans in the region have been working round the clock to make countless bejewelled costumes and accessories for the statues of Krishna and other Hindu deities for the Janmashtami festival. “We are working beyond our scheduled time in order to prepare maximum ‘poshak’ (dresses) of Thakur ji (Lord Krishna),” said Ikram, one of the artisans.

Another worker Iqbal, who is known for his expertise in preparing crowns for the deities, says he feels ecstatic whenever he comes up with a new design. Preparing attractive dresses and accessories has taken shape of a cottage industry in Mathura, Vrindaban and Goverdhan which employs roughly six thousand Muslim families.

While it is another example of communal amity, the artisans say any communal tension elsewhere has never impacted the relationship between the two communities. “Only politicians directly or indirectly are associated in such activities. We work like a family here. There is no exploitation,” said Azlan. “Our relations have never been strained in spite of communal riots that have taken place elsewhere in the country,” said his co-worker Zaheer.

Read more: Communal Harmony