LUCKNOW: For the past 65 years, fingers that turn tulsi mala to complete the 108 gayatri mantra chants also count the beads of tasbeeh during the month of Ramzan. These blessed hands belong to Khairatan Devi, a Hindu in Chawalwali Gali of Nakkhas Bazaar who fasts during Ramzan along with thousands of Muslims in the city. She reminds one of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah who said if his left eye represented a Muslim, the right a Hindu, thus sowing the seeds of Lucknow’s fabled Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.
Heritage researcher Sayed Rizwan said the roots of Hindu-Muslim solidarity in Avadh run deep. “When Abe-zam-zam (water from the masjid in Mecca) was no available, Muslims broke their fast with Gangajal (water from the Ganges River).”
LUCKNOW: Many Muslims in Mumtaz Nagar village of Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district have been keeping alive the village’s decades-old custom of organizing all arrangements for holding Ramlia, a play based on the Hindu epic the Ramayana.
“We take pride in following such a tradition that exhibits communal harmony in a true sense. Every year when we organise the play, we get a unique feeling of serving the almighty. After all, our Hindu brothers are the creation of the same supreme power that has made us,” shopkeeper Naseem Khan said.”Besides entertainment and enjoying other religious aspects, we derive a great satisfaction by organising Ramlila that, in a way, instills a sense of brotherhood among members of the two communities,” he added. Muslims organise the play under the banner of Ramlila Ramayana Samiti (RRS), a committee that was constituted by Muslims of Mumtaz Nagar village around 47 years ago for the promotion of communal harmony.
“Though the protagonists of Ramlila are Hindus, a few Muslim villagers also play small roles that also foster bonding between the two communities,” said RSS’ President Majid Ali.