Friday, February 09, 2007

Miyan Sahab saved Gorakhpur from burning

It was a tough decision to make. But Adnan Farrukh Shah alias Miyan Sahab, decided to break the tradition of the Tazia procession that was taken out in Gorakhpur for the past 303 years without any interruption.

'At a time when political parties were out to draw mileage from the anarchy prevailing inthe region, his is the voice of peace and sanity--something which saved Gorakhpur from burning', writes Rajesh Kumar Singh, in Hindustan Times, Lucknow edition.

As the activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) targeted the establishments of the minority community, it seemed the whole region would soon be engulfed in bloody clashes between the two communities.

The Muslim community was preparing to take out the ninth and tenth Moharrum procession, giving the district administration officials sleepless nights on what could be in store, the story further says.

They did not know how to manage the processions as the route passed through some Hindu dominated areas.In this hour of crisis, Mian Sahab emerged as a saviour.

He assured the district administration officials that the Muslim community would not take out the ninth and tenth Muharrum procession despite the fact that administration had permitted the processions.

It was a difficult task to convince the religious leaders and members of the community, but the voice of Mian Sahab prevailed. It was decided that all the tazias would be buried in Karbala after restoration of normalcy. Following in the footsteps of Mian Sahab, the religious heads of neighbouring Kushinagar district too decided to call off the procession.

"My family has been leading the Muharrum procession for 303 years now and for the first time in he history of Purvanchal region the tazias were not buried on Ashuraa," he said.

Mian Sahab is also taking care of 80 businessmen, majority of them Hindus who were in the city to sell their goods in the local fair. After imposition of curfew, these businessmen were stranded, writes Singh. [The story was published a couple of days back.]