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]