Saturday, September 22, 2018

Muharram rituals: Tazia processions, unique traditions in India

Muharram is a time to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and his companions at the battle of Karbala.

The tragedy appeals to Muslims across the world. Hussain's stand against the tyrant, has inspired not just Muslims but non-Muslims too.

For years, we have documented photographs of traditional Muharram rituals in different parts of India. This year too, this blog brings to you photographs of the manner in which Muharram is observed in different cities. 

The first photograph is from Indore where the Sarkari Tazia is being taken out amid a sea of devotees.

The second photograph is from Dharampuri in Dhar district in tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh. Nearly 100 Tazias are taken out in this small town and immersed in the local Karbala. 

On the left is the photograph of devotees walking on fire on the eve of Yaum-e-Ashurah, in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh.

On the occasion, there are mourning processions in almost all the cities and towns of India.

While Shia mourners beat their chests and carry 'Alam', the Sunnis mostly carry Tazias.

Akhadas are also part of the Muharram processions.

The next photo is from Ujjain, a historic town and one of the oldest cities of the world.

The other photos include that of a procession in Raipur--the capital of Chhattisgarh.

There are some more photos too, below:

In this photo, you can see the 'alams'. There is also a photograph from Bhopal, where Tazias are lined up, on their way towards the Karbala.

Akhada in Chhatarpur
The last photo is of an Akhada in Chhatarpur. There is display of self-defence skills.

The processions in all regions have slightly distinct flavour, in accordance with the local traditions. 

In the past, we have focused on Tazias, their shapes and sizes. [See the third link below]

Once you move from MP towards Rajasthan or Maharashtra, you can see the difference, clearly. 

More posts on this blog about Muharram traditions: 

*Ashurah: Traditions in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. LINK

*Muharram rituals in Hyderabad, procession in Ahmedabad. LINK

*Huge Tazias: Muharram in Maharashtra's Sangli. LINK

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hinduism Vs Hindutva: Radicals supporting rape accused and terror convicts in India

No one could have believed it till a few decades ago that Indian society would change so drastically.

That, people would openly come out on streets and support killers or those involved in murder-rape of minor girl.

But this has happened and right-wing extremism has become mainstream in India.

The right-wing extremist groups openly advocate violence and yet manage to get away due to softness of the police, authorities.

The latest example of how Indian society has changed, was witnessed recently when a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) extremist who had been convicted by a court for bomb blast (Terrorism), was given a grand welcome.

The man--Bhavesh Patel was held guilty in a case of terrorism. Yet the crowd came to felicitate him. He was released on bail from the prison. There were politicians, members of right-wing groups around.

They carried him on his shoulders. There was slogan shouting, in his support. Rose petals were flung as he moved towards his home in Bharuch (Gujarat). Patel is one of the two persons who were held guilty in the case of terror attack on Ajmer Sharif dargah in Rajasthan.

This is just one of the incidents. Those arrested for rape, torture and murder of a girl child in Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, were also given public support. Rallies were taken out and people wanted them released. That's India in the year 2018.  [Photo courtesy Indian Express]

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sanatan Sanstha extremist caught with explosives, terror strike foiled: ATS

The Sanatan Sanstha (SS), a right-wing extremist group, is once again in the news for wrong reasons.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has conducted a raid and arrested Vaibhav Raut, an alleged SS sympathiser.

Huge cache of explosives that were enough to make dozens of bombs, was recovered.

After the midnight swoop, the ATS team conducted more arrests. Raut was caught from Nalasopara in Mumbai.

The ATS sources say that the accused was planning terror strikes in different cities in Maharashtra.

The arrests later were made from Pune and Palghar. Multiple raids are on in Maharashtra at several places including Aurangabad.

The advocate of Sanatan Sanstha told media that though Raut was not associated with him he was a 'Hindutva worker' and the Sanstha would fight the legal case. LINK

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hindutva Hand: Right-wing terror module was behind Gauri Lankesh murder, accused arrested


The police have arrested the right-wing Hindutva extremists who were involved in hatching the conspiracy to kill journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Lankesh was murdered a few months ago. But the terrorist module had several other names including those of rationalists on their hit-list. The masterminds were Pune-based engineer Amol Kale and Parshuram Waghmare.

Along with other fanatics, they planned and murdered Lankesh. Apart from Waghmare and Kale, the other accused include KT Naveen Kumar, Sujith Kumar alias Praveen, Manohar Dundappa Edave alias Manoj and Amit Degwekar alias Pradeep Mahajan.

Edave, another accused, who is in police custody told police that he updated Kale and Dada, who is still absconding, about Lankesh's movement. Along with KT Naveen Kumar, Yadave had followed her.

Naveen Kumar's wife told SIT that her husband had bought a pistol and offered his blood to it. She told the police she had gone with her husband to Mangalore and when next day there were reports about the murder, she spoke to him but he didn't react.

Sources said that Naveen had met Praveen and other associates at Belagavi city hotel on November 20 to discuss the plan to eliminate KS Bhagwan, the noted writer. He admitted names of Kale, Parveen, Amit Digwekar and another person to a forest near Mandya to practice shooting.

The police found 22 cell phones in his possession and 21 in Kale's possession. Amil Kale, who livres in Pune, has been associated with Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), a radical Hindutva group in the past.

Waghmare had confessed that he shot Lankesh. Kalue and Amit had trained Parshuram at Satara in Maharashtra and Belagavi in Karnataka.  When asked why he killed her, he would tell interrogators that he did it for the 'sake of Hinduism'.

Waghmare had been arrested in the past with five Ram Sene members for unfurling a Pakistani flag outside tehsildar office at Sindagi. Kale had recruited and trained Waghmare. They had once made a bid on her life and failed. On the second occasion, the assassins pumped multiple bullets, killing her on the spot.

A diary has been recovering and there are names of several rationalists including theatre personality Girish Karnad in it. Other names on the hit-list include politician-litterateur B.T. Lalitha Naik, pontiff Veerabhadra Chennamalla Swamiji of Nidumamidi Mutt and rationalist C.S. Dwarakanath.

LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3 and LINK 4

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hindus offer sherbet at Jama Masjid, join Muslims in celebrating Eid: Communal Harmony Project-41



This is a photograph from Burhanpur, a historic town in South Western part of Madhya Pradesh.

A group of local Hindus went to the Jama Masjid and wished Muslims 'Eid Mubarak'.

They offered 'sherbet' to Muslims who came to offer the special prayers on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Now, these are gestures we witness all over India but not every such incident is mentioned. Muslims offer sherbet to 'Kanwariyas'. Sikhs, Christians too do join festivities of other communities.

The members of the Hindu Seva Samiti offered 400 lites of sherbet to Muslims at the Jama Masjid near Lal Bagh in the town. The office-bearer, Rakesh Chauksey, said that they celebrate Hindu festivals and speak for Hindus' rights but also join people belonging to other communities in celebrating their events. This is the photo courtesy Hindi newspaper, Dainik Bhaskar.

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now.

This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project]

#Communalharmony #Communalharmonyproject #India