Unity in diversity

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by sesha_maruthi27, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    HINDUS HELPING TO RESTRUCTURE A MASJID

    HUBLI: As the nation anxiously awaits one mosque verdict, villagers in Karnataka's Gadag district have made their judgment clear as far as their local mosque is concerned. The spirited folk of Purtageri, a village around 500km from Bangalore, dissolved religious lines to come together and rebuild a mosque that was crumbling.

    The 50-year-old mosque in this predominantly Hindu village was in urgent need of repair: with heavy rains lashing the region, the bamboo roof leaked. Around 20 Muslims of the village - which has 150 Hindu families - were struggling to pray there. That's when the Hindus laid some solid bricks of communal harmony.

    Hindus help rebuild mosque in Karnataka village - The Times of India
    Village elders and the gram panchayat inspected the mosque and realized that rebuilding the roof with reinforced concrete was the only permanent solution. As they began rebuilding the mosque, help both in cash and kind began pouring in.

    While cement and slab dealers gave construction material, workers offered to put in free labour. "The villagers volunteered to donate cash ranging between Rs 100 and Rs 1,500," said Shivabasappa Hadagali, a village elder.

    Construction work began about a month ago and so far, the renovation has cost Rs 1 lakh. Another Rs 50,000 may be needed. "We're planning to get the mosque ready by mid-December," said panchayat member Lakshmana Gooli.

    "Had our Hindu brothers not helped, the mosque would not have got refurbished," said Allasaab Nadaf, a daily wager at a sawmill. "None of the Muslims are involved in the renovation as they are all poor and can't afford to miss even a day's wage."

    Hanumant Mushigeri, a first-year BA student in Bhoomaraddi Arts and Commerce College here, said he was proud to come from a village which upholds secularism as much in deed as in words.


    Read more: Hindus help rebuild mosque in Karnataka village - The Times of India Hindus help rebuild mosque in Karnataka village - The Times of India
     
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  3. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Purtageri: A small village in North Karnataka has showed the way to communal harmony. In Purtageri near Gadag in North Karnataka, it's Hindus who've come forward to help their Muslim brethren restore a mosque that was on the brink of collapse.

    It’s a century old mosque that's been crying for attention since last October. It's roofs started leaking and a portion of it was badly damaged in the heavy rains that lashed many parts of north Karnataka last year.

    But the rains set off a lesson -- a rare show of communal harmony. Hindus taking the lead to pitch in with donations and construction material to re-build the damaged mosque in remote Purtageri, a village near Gadag in north Karnataka, about 400 kms from Bangalore.

    There are about 150 households in Purtageri, of which only about ten families are Muslim who are daily wagers or agricultural labourers. So they couldn't afford the renovation of their only place of worship.

    But Hindus from the neighbouring historic town of Gajendraghada donated willingly and work is now on in full swing with donations to the tune of about Rs 1 lakh that has come in. In fact, some Hindus who couldn't donate in cash or kind, have volunteered to help with the masonry and labour.

    The mosque is likely to get ready by December this year -- the month that's known for the demolition of the Babri Masjid that these villagers hope will now be known for their efforts at communal unity.
     
  4. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Shesha, I think the title should read 'Unity IN diversity'. : )
     
  5. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    A shop that sells the scent of faith


    JAIPUR: Barely 200 meters from the revered shrine of
    Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti

    in Ajmer is a century-old shop named Lala Sitaram Ayodhya Prasad. The shop is run by a Hindu family and sells 'ittar' (scent) to devotees visiting the Sufi saint's shrine. For visitors, the name 'Ayodhya Prasad' means just one thing — the only place to look for quality scents.

    Originally from Kannauj, the founder of the shop, Ayodhya Prasad, came to Ajmer in 1851 with the sole aim of selling 'ittar' to the devotees of the Khawaja. Over the years Ayodhya Prasad's ittar has become a brand name among the Khawaja's devotees. The shop has a dedicated clientele, most of whom are Muslims. In the last 60 years, the temple-mosque dispute at Ayodhya may have been a source of discord between the two communities, but the sellers of the 'ittar' have never faced any problem because of the shop's name or its owners' religion in dealing with the clients.

    "After demolition of Babri Masjid, our relatives suggested dropping the name 'Ayodhya' from the shop, fearing a drop in clientele. The family, however, decided not to change the name," said Rajendra Gupta, a fourth-generation owner of the shop in the Muslim-dominated area.

    Even today the youngest family member of the shop's founder is called as 'Ayodhya Prasadji.' The family has two shops located in Dargah Bazaar and Madaar Gate areas with the same name. And, both are located on the route that leads to the shrine. At first glance, the shops look like antique museums with 1,500 different kinds of fragrances, besides a century-old collection of decanters, flasks made from camel skin imported from France and the Middle East, respectively.

    The most expensive scent in India costing Rs 8,000 per 10 gm has found many takers here. Their largest clients are from Pakistan, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. "Our family shares a beautiful relationship with the pilgrims from Pakistan. They understand the value of the ittar and purchase in bulk," said Gupta. Exchange of gifts between the Indian Hindu ittar selling family and the Pakistani Muslim clients is also quite normal. "They never forget to wish us on our festivals nor do we miss to wish them on their festivals," Gupta said.

    Read more: A shop that sells the scent of faith - The Times of India A shop that sells the scent of faith - The Times of India
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    An apt reflection of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb


    VARANASI: Engrossed in tightening the stringed instrument and the big dhol, Anisur Rehman looks like any other Dholochi (artists who play dhol to mark special puja on Maha Ashtami of holy Shardiya Navratra) in the city.

    What sets him apart from other members of the group is not his Muslim connection but strong commitment to keep fast and play dholak (the big cylindrical dhol) for long hours during the colourful display of Dhunuchi (special dance performed on Maha Ashtami). Rehman has kept roza and is now keeping the Navratra vrat (fast).

    The artist, like other members of the group, is a native of West Bengal. "My strong faith in Goddess Durga has brought me to the holy city," said the young artist, who arrived in the city on Friday with other members of the group. "We are preparing to perform on Maha Ashtami (falling on Saturday) and the grace of Durga would help us in our task," he added, indicating his strong resolve and determination to perform on the holy occasion that marks traditional start of Dussehra festivity in the city.

    While the 100-odd members, mostly belonging to Bankuda district of West Bengal, have kept visiting the city during the Shardiya Navratra, a few of them, representing minority community, enjoy the luxury of extra care and support from other artists. This, in turn, reflects Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (culture) of the city

    "The salaries and perks apart, we look after each other like family members. We also maintain a restrained diet-- a pure vegetarian and fruit-based diet," said Manohar, another senior artist of the group. "In fact, all our family members in West Bengal stick to this practice that sets the tone for Durga Puja celebrations," he added.

    It may be mentioned here that the city- also called Mini-Bengal (due to its huge Bengali populace)- has as many as 175 traditional Durga Puja pandals, a majority of them witnessing Dhak (special decoration) and performance from Dhakiyas (artists) including Dholochi and Dhunuchi dance on Maha Ashtami, marking the traditional start of Dussehra celebrations.

    The Dhakiyas (artists) usually perform in a group of three to four, each member attired in white dhoti, kurta and red scarf, dancing on Dhunuchi and playing dhols to mark Dhak (special decoration) of Goddess Durga with floral leaves, thermocoal and peacock wings on Maha Ashtami. The function, marking the start of Dussehra celebrations, also witnesses special puja and playing of shankha with havan and prayers performed in Bengali style.

    "We would keep visiting the city as it is the abode of Lord Shiva and has traces of Goddess Durga everywhere, making it all the more special," said Sheikh Rehman, another Dholochi, who has come for the first time in the city. "The strong Bengal connection and communal harmony reflected in its culture makes it a special place and Maha Ashtami celebrations in pandals is a mere endorsement of this fact," he concluded.

    An apt reflection of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb - The Times of India
     
  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Puja & namaaz, part of this community



    JAIPUR: For the Cheetah-Mehrat community, the Ayodhya land dispute is a non-issue. An embodiment of the true spirit of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, this community practises both Hinduism and Islam. They offer puja and namaaz under one roof. There are families in the Cheetah-Meharat community, half of whose members worship at a mosque while the rest go to the temple to pray the Hindu way.

    "There is nothing better than peace, harmony and love for mankind. Religion doesn't teach hatred. Whatever causes tension, should be discarded by all," said Chand Bhai, sarpanch of Khakheri village, around 10km from Pushkar.

    For Chand Bhai and other members of the Cheeta-Meharat community, most of whom belong to Rajasthan's Ajmer-Beawar region, this is how they have been living for ages. "We don't find any difference between going a mosque or a temple," he said.

    The community members follow both Hindu and Muslim customs and they are determined to keep their unique tradition alive. Chand Bhai had married according to Hindu rituals but his daughter Shakina had a nikaah. "Our community is the true ambassador of a secular India," he claimed with pride.

    Rustam Cheeta of the Cheeta-Mehrat Mahasabha agreed. "The Ayodhya issue doesn't perturb us as we hardly find any difference between the two religions." There have been attempts to wean away the community members by various religious fanatics. They had even been offered money to adopt a particular religion. But they thwarted such efforts calling them "ludicrous. We had to struggle against several attempts to dilute the essence of our religion. Our community elders guide us to keep our unique religion alive," said Jalaluddin Cheeta.

    There is no documented historic account about the exact origin of the community. But legend has it that they are descendants Chauhan Rajputs. They claim descent from Rao Anhal Chauhan, who along with his brother Rao Anoop Chauhan set up a small kingdom in the region, then known as Magra Merwara by defeating the Gujjars.

    Read more: Puja & namaaz, part of this community - The Times of India Puja & namaaz, part of this community - The Times of India
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    A Nawab's lesson in conflict resolution


    LUCKNOW: If history is meant to take lessons, here is one. A dispute inAyodhya similar to the Babri masjid-Ram temple was resolved by the last Nawab of Oudh, Wajid Ali Shah, in 1855 with urgency, not allowing communal forces to spread their tentacles.

    It was the time when British were taking over Oudh. Hanuman Garhi and temples around it in Ayodhya were constructed with the help of Nawab Safdarjung, the great grandfather of Wajid Ali Shah. In 1855, an accusation by a Muslim that a masjid located among the cluster of temples have been demolished by Hindus led to clashes in which over 100 people were killed. Nawab sent a three-member panel comprising a Muslim, a Hindu and a British to probe the matter. The panel found the allegations of Muslims were false.

    But a hardliner, Maulvi Ameer Ali, wanted to 'reconstruct' the mosque. Nawab sought a fatwa. Chief cleric Mujtahid Sayyad Muhammad Nasirbad consulted Ulema from Firangi Mahal and issued a fatwa that since there was no mosque, constructing one would be against Islam. Nawab's forces defeated and killed Ameer Ali near Rudauli. The dispute was solved.

    "That was the time when the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb was at its peak but the British wanted to divide Hindus and Muslims. But Nawab showed that if the government has right intentions, no matter how sensitive the dispute may be, it can be resolved," says Aziz Haider, a researcher.


    Read more: A Nawab's lesson in conflict resolution - The Times of India A Nawab's lesson in conflict resolution - The Times of India
     
  9. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nice to see so many postings of UNITY....

    This should be a lesson for those who fight using RELIGIONS....
     
  10. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Mecca of the east

    A mosque and a dargah, on land belonging to the Hanumangarhi Trust in Ayodhya, show there is more to the place than the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid conflict

    Ayodhya: The city of Ayodhya is more than a dot on the map. It's a wound that hasn't been healed in the eighteen years since December 1992 when kar sevaks brought down the Babri Masjid.

    However, what is striking is that despite all these years of communal polarisation, particularly around Ram Janambhoomi, there seems to be tranquility within the town and among its people.

    As the nation anxiously awaits the verdict in the Ramjanambhoomi-Babri mosque title suit, the 'Mecca Khurd' is busy setting a text-book example of unity in diversity.

    While several litigants are slugging it out over the 750 sq feet of land, which is said to be the birth place of Ram and where the Babri Masjid once stood, a 750-year-old mosque and dargah of a sufi saint holds out hope.
    The Argada Masjid and the Dargah of Ibrahim Sahib are both located on land belonging to the Hanumangarhi Trust.

    "The land on which the mosque stands and the nearby residential areas belong to the Hanumangarhi Trust. People residing in the area pay rent to the Trust and there has been no restriction on Muslims praying five times a day in the mosque," said Mahant Satyendra Das, chief priest of the Ramjanambhoomi temple.Das, who was also the chief priest in Hanumangarhi temple in 1959 and 1971, told MiD DAY: "When a court order restrained caretakers of the mosque from renovating and repairing it, as the land belonged to Haumangarhi, the Trust itself offered to repair the ancient mosque."

    There are more Hindus here and only a few houses belong to Muslims who are regulars at the mosque.
    Even during the riots in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, not a single incident of violence was reported from here.

    The Dargah of Ibrahim Sahib is venerated by the people of both faiths. "People, no matter which religion they pursue, come here to offer chadar and pray," said Mohammed Junaid Qadri Rizvi, Gaddinazir (Manager), Syed Mohammed Ibrahim Shah, Argada, Swargdwar.

    The head of Hanuman Garhi Trust himself visits the Dargah regularly. "Every year during the three-day Urs, which is organised on 24-26th day of the Islamic calendar month of Rajab, Sarpanch Baba Bhav Nath Dasji along with all his associates visits the Dargah to offer chadar," Mohammad Junaid told MiD DAY.

    "Journalists have always focussed on the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya. No one reported such examples of communal harmony. The two communities live in peace," he said.

    The popular belief is Syed Mohammed Ibrahim Shah had come to this place from Tashkent in Kazakhstan on a horse. His horse stopped at this very spot and refused to move further. "The place is called Argara because of this myth," Junaid said.

    Icons Of Peace
    >> Dargah Naugazi, an 18 yards (16.2 metres) long-grave, named after a pir (saint) named Nuh Aleihi Salaam, is located in a narrow lane. Interestingly, Nuh is believed to be Noah and the grave the famous Ark. Another interpretation is that the mound perhaps was built over the remains of the Ark. The shrine, visited by scores of devotees, has no independent custodian.

    >> The Teen Darvesh dargah, whose dome was also targeted by kar sevaks in December 1992 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, is near Naugazi. No one knows the identity of the three saints buried there but it has a large following from all communities.

    >> The most notable after Naugazi is the dargah of Sheesh Paigambar. Considered one of the holiest shrines in town, some people believe the saint to be the son of Adam. There is a spot called the Ganesh Kund, on the southern side of the grave, where devotees take a dip. There appears to be no contradiction of faiths here.

    >> The dargah of Badi Bua located at a railway crossing between Ayodhya and Faizabad, is one of the few dargahs of women in the area. Badi Bua was the sister of Hazrat Khwaja Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehli, the spiritual successor of the Hazrat Khwaja Nizammudin Auliya, the Chisti Sufi of Delhi.

    >> Two famous Jain temples in Ayodhya and the Gurudwara Brahmakund Sahib - where three prominent Sikh gurus, including the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, are known to have preached - are symbolic of the peaceful coexistence of communities over the centuries.
     
  11. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nice to see more people poting there realities. I think thepoliticians and the pro-religious people should go through all the posts here. Atleast by seeing these they would realise the value of humans and their lives........
     
  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Muslims, Hindus build temple together in Bihar - India News - IBNLive

    New Delhi: One part of India has remain untouched by the verdict on Ayodhya. Muslims in a village in Bihar are busy building a temple for their Hindus neighbours - setting a concrete example of real coexistence.

    While the nation is still holding back its breath - the post Ayodhya verdict, a remote village in Bihar is celebrating. Muslims in Bachawara village of Begusarai district are busy constructing a temple these days. The land has been donated by a Muslim landlord to construct a Shiva temple, the money is being raised by fellow Muslims & they are even volunteering physically.

    The village has pre-dominant Muslim population and they are building a temple in reciprocation to one of the Mazar located there, which has been built by Ganga Chaudhary, a Hindu farmer.

    Even post Ayodhya verdict, the construction of temple continued with the same zeal.

    Unfazed by the bitterness over mandir-maszid dispute, these villagers have proved by their act, that for them humanity is the only religion, whether they worship in temples or offer namaz in mosque".

    "We have accepted the verdict and celebrated with both Hindus and Muslims," said a villager, Salauddin Ansari.

    These villagers are untouched by distrust and hatred elsewhere and earning livelihood out of making biri is all that matters to them.

    "Both Hindus and Muslims stay together here," said another villager Veena Devi.

    These faceless and ordinary folks are displaying what could not be practiced by so called baton bearers of both the religion.
     
  13. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Palanpur nawab had strengthened Hindu-Muslim bond during Navratri

    PALANPUR: When millions are held enthralled during Navratri as it is a time of thanksgiving to Goddess Amba, to some it also evokes nostalgia about Hindu-Muslim unity in Gujarat. This is exemplified by Palanpur Nawab Talley Mohammad Khan peforming Nav Chandi Yagna on the eve of Prana Pratishta at Ambaji Temple in 1942. (Prana Pratishta is a symbolic ritual during installation ceremony of an idol).

    "Not only did the nawab perform the Hindu ritual, he also used to give Rs 181 every month for the maintenance of the temple until 1981," said honorary secretary of Palanpur Hindu Samaj Umakant Pandya.

    "Priests and scholars, headed by Pandit Gyaneshwar Mishra, had asserted that the yagna cannot yield the desired results until the ruler of the land himself gives ahuti (offerings of butter, incense and other things into the holy fire) to the yagna," says 97-year-old S G Dave. This can also be found in the temple trust records.

    The temple trustees were in a dilemma as the ruler was a Muslim. "On coming to know about it, the nawab remarked: 'A ruler is father to his subjects and, therefore religion is no bar for him'," said Shirish Modi, former president of civic body and president, Banaskantha District Kelvani Mandal.

    "The nawab and his family, including his Hindu begum Sukhbai Rajput, princess of Jalore, participated in the yagna," says Dinesh Hathi, a retired bank employee and son of late Vishwanath Hathi, a well-known academician and close associate of the royal family.
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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