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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sai Taj durbars: Communal harmony among saints, devotees [Communal Harmony Project-13]

The 'Sai-Taj' durbars seem to be a recent phenomenon. People who have belief in both the saints--Sai Baba and Tajuddin Baba, visit these durbars which now exist in various cities.

These durbars are neither temples nor like samadhis or mazaars. But there are certain rituals that are observed here and the members of different communities with beliefs in the saint, visit these places.

The social gatherings at these durbars may not be too large but there is a camaraderie among visitors of every durbar, which is quite similar to the bonding in a cult.

I have met a number of people who are associated to different durbars. A friend is a staunch devotee of a living saint, who dabbles in tantrik practices.

The devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi comprise members of almost all the communities though he is now more considered a Hindu saint and Sai temples are common across the country.

Tajuddin Baba, a Sufi saint, has a huge following in Maharashtra and neighbouring states, particularly Chhattisgarh. Though the durbar can comprise of any two or three saints' devotees, Sai Baba and Tajuddin Baba share much more in common as they hail from same region and there are tens of thousands who throng to both shrines, in Shirdi and Nagpur.

Thus the existence of such durbars makes more sense. Of course, there is a commercial angle also. But that's the case with most shrines. The growing religiosity, ritualism and even beliefs in cults may worry social scientists and rationalists, one can't dismiss them as they do provide succour to the genuine devotees who have faith in babas and feel that they get mental peace at such places.

At the durbars, the anniversaries are celebrated with great fanfare and on certain week days also there is a big crowd. Otherwise the atmosphere is same--incense sticks around lifesize photographs and portraits of the saint, whom many believers consider divine and even at par with God.

Many Hindus and Muslims disapprove of such practices and are alarmed at the growing number of cults. However, this is a unique aspect of the Indian culture and shows the general devotion among masses many of whom remain attached to a particular religion but are at the same time devoted to saint belonging to another religion with an equal fervour.

[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


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this. I did not know that such darbars exist. I had read about Tajuddin Baba earlier and had found his story very inspiring and his photographs captivating, but have not visited his native place yet. I have been to Shirdi twice and am Baba's devotee.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

And one more thing...

Though most devotees of Sai Baba may be Hindu, he himself did not belong to any creed. So calling him a Hindu saint would not be entirely right. Baba used to say, "Allah Malik". He had a disciple Abdul Baba who read the Quran to him. Whenever some one would come to Sai Baba with a physical ailment, Baba said, "Allah accha karega." And then of course you must have heard of his saying: "Sabka Malik Ek."

Best wishes,

Abdul Muqhtadir said...

nice post...

i am a regular visitor to your blog. its been good experience till now and got lot of things from you....

indscribe said...

@ Thanks Anjali ji for your comments and information.

@ Keep visiting Muqhtadir sahab :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, why are you grouping Samjhauta express blast with the mosque blasts.
Read this http://www.rediff.com/news/2009/feb/17mumterror-only-let-common-in-26-11-samjhauta-attacks-ib.htm

Intelligence Bureau sources said that Pakistan terming the 26/11 Mumbai [Images] attacks and the Samjhauta Express blast as similar in nature is a delaying tactic.

IB officials say that the only similarity in both the cases is that it was masterminded by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images]. Intercepts picked up and investigations conducted in the Samjhauta case point a finger to the Pakistan-based terror outfit.

According to them, Lashkar attacked the train between Pakistan and India because it was upset that growing ties between the two countries may hamper its war in Kashmir. Hence the Lashkar, in coordination with the Inter Services Intelligence, bombed the train in the hope that it would derail the process.

The Lashkar utilised the services Asif Kasmani, who has been declared an international terrorist by the US, to carry out these blasts. Kasmani used to work as a coordinator between the Lashkar and the Al Qaeda [Images] and was based in Pakistan.

indscribe said...

Anon: I think you are commenting on what I wrote on twitter. Initially journos who are more active on 'terror' news keep asking about modules, are told that there is possibility of a group being involved.

In fact, there were strong evidences about the role of Sunil Joshi and Ramji Kalsangra in this attack.

As BJP was ruling in the state, the local ATS was not on hot pursuit due to Sangh links though the bags containing explosives were bought from Indore.

There were several other evidences. In Indore Hindi papers had published details about Kalsangra's plan.

You can read it here:





Anonymous said...

To refute your charges about Samjhauta blasts is this statement by the pakistani interior minister who himself says that pakistan based militants were involved in Samjhauta blasts. Though he tries to say that they were hired by Col Purohit which is ofcourse a ridiculous face saver. Here is the article.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that India is not providing details about Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit who was allegedly involved in Samjhota express bombings in 2007, which killed at least 68 people.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad, Malik alleged that Colonel Purohit had also hired some militants to carry out the bombing.

"Colonel Purohit was interrogated by one of the director investigations, Kur Kury, who was killed in the attack. ***This clearly demonstrates that there were some Pakistan-based Islamists who had been hired to carry out the Samjohta Express attack. That is the dossier we have requested India to provide us with, but they haven't," said Malik.****


The pakistani interior minister has ADMITTED that pakistani militants were involved in the Samjhauta blasts. The US intelligence also confirms this.

And please dont discount the US intelligence blaming Asif Kasmani for Samjhauta blasts. Because as we know now, US has moles like David Headley embedded in LeT etc. They generally have first hand info about terror attacks. They knew about 26/11 and had also warned India in Sept-08 about it.

I only ask you to be fair. Please clarify that there is evidence that pakistani militants did the Samjhauta blasts. It is ADMITTED by pakistan and confirmed by USA.

Shirdi Baba said...

I have lots of faith in Sai Baba. And of course I always trust all the saints of India. I would love to visit Sai Taj Durbar and this is the vacation time I"ll be there very soon.

Anonymous said...

Samjotha express bombing was the work of fanatic Hindu and Indian HIndus still in denial. It was the news all over the world, I am sure you missed it.