Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Muslim Shop, Hindu God: Communal Harmony Project-11

Come summer and cane juice stalls are seen at every nook and corner in most cities across the country.

Coming home I heard a woman from the basti near my house yell at other women, 'Maulana ki dukan tak ja rahi hun' (I am going to Maulana's shop.

That's the Ganne ke Ras [Cane juice] shop. The shop's name was interesting--Sai Baba. The person managing the shop had a skullcap on and was wearing the kurta pyjama. Maulana Sahab appears quite liberal, I thought. Though it's not unusual. Just like there are Hindus and Sikhs going to tombs, graves and dargahs, many Muslims do revere Hindu saints as well.

A couple of days later I was again passing by the shop and had a look from the other angle. The photo of Sai Baba's idol in Shirdi was placed by the side of the machine. Now I was getting more interested.

On an off day, I stopped at the thela and asked the guy. Raja ji told me that it was Maulana's shop and he was a partner with Maulana. "That's no issue. I told him that I would like to have a photograph of Saibaba and brought it here."

"It works. The sale is up and we will earn much more than previous years.", says Raja. They were too busy and after a while I finished my glass and left.

This is not the first time I have seen such a shop. In auto-rickshaws [and buses] one often finds 'Jai Mata Di' and an Islamic calligraphic side by side.

Often the owner belongs to one community and the driver belongs to the other community. But neither has any problem with the belief of other person.

Amid the electoral din and endless debates over communalism and secularism, it seems apt to write a post on how harmoniously ordiary Indians go about their lives.

They work, they worship and they do have the real wisdom [more than the comparitively highly educated who are often less tolerant] which is the strength of our multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.

[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