Wednesday, October 09, 2019

How religious processions can bring Hindus and Muslims closer, a tradition from Mandideep: Communal Harmony Project-50


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

A large number of Muslims welcomed the Vijayadashami procession in Mandideep, the satellite township near Bhopal.

At two different places, Muslims welcomed the Hindu community members who participated in the procession.

They garlanded the Hindu brethren, welcomed them, threw rose petals at the procession and also shared sweets.
But this is not the first such instance. It has been a tradition in Mandideep.

For, at least, thirty years, local Muslims have been garlanding and welcoming the procession in the 'Vijayadashami Juloos', mentions journalist Ateek Ahmad. In fact, such gestures go a long way towards strengthening bonds among communities at the local level.

At the Station Road, lot of Muslims led by Iqbal Ali and Salman Bhai welcomed the procession and garlanded the people. Later, Akhtar Ali, Ramzan Khan and many others too felicitated the prominent members of the Hindu community including the priests.

These traditions over a period of few yrs become strong and people start taking pride in 'our city's tradition', helps solve law-and-order issues too. Those doing it get respect, recognition too. In Bhopal too, Hindus and Muslims have welcomed each others' procession, historically.

[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

[Photo courtesy: Nai Dunia newspaper]

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Qasbahs of Awadh: The uniqueness of Lucknow, strength of its culture, bonding with its satellite towns


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Lucknow's connect with its satellite towns is a unique cultural and social aspect.

These qasbahs or the towns have a historical bonding with the city and the culture of Lucknow was considered incomplete without them.

Malihabad, Kakori, Mohan, Nagraam, Juggaur, Satrikh, Bijnaur*, Mahmudabad, Dariyabad, Haidargarh, Rudauli, Safipur, even up to Dewa-Barabanki [*another Bijnaur, not West UP].

These are the most famous ones. They were always considered an extension of Lucknow and Lakhnawi culture. No other city I know has such a bonding or connect with towns around it. Neither Bhopal, nor Hyderabad or other major cities I personally know.

People in these towns had unique relations, apart from locals' sense of kinship, marriages, a strong cultural bond with Lucknow. And so were Lucknow people attached to these towns. This is the DIFFERENCE when it comes to Lucknow (Awadh) and other cities.

This combined feeling of a common culture and shared heritage, helped Lucknow. Even after the onslaught after 1947, when culturally Lucknow saw major changes, a lot ended but a lot survived. That's due to these towns too. No other city has such qasbahs around it.

These qasbahs produced eminent personalities, litterateurs, writers and people who achieved prominence in diverse fields. When I wrote the names on Twitter, many others came up with names of the Qasbahs that haven't been mentioned. Sandila is slightly far, isn't it! Towns like Bilgram, Khairabad, Masauli, are other examples in UP, to name a few.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Muslims extend helping hand, join Hindu neighbours in preparation for Dussehra: Communal Harmony Project-49


This is a photograph of local Muslims extending helping hand to Hindu neighbours, ahead of Dussehra.

This picture is from Bhopal. In Karod locality, the Dussehra Maidan is being readied for the festival.

The Muslims decided that they would join their neighbours in clearing the ground and in the preparations for the festival.

Just one of the innumerable such examples that we see in our daily lives in India.

Shouldn't we feel this is the real and normal India. Why not carry these photographs, share them and show them to people who feel that there is another India where just hate, abuse and lynchings happen!

It is all in our mind. If we make a resolve that we will spread positive narrative and circulate good news along with encouraging people to share such stories, perhaps, things can change a lot. So do share positive stories.

[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. Photos courtesy Mr Shafi Khan.

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

Multi-edition Urdu papers now printing in remote corners of country: Urdu newspapers in Gangtok,Guwahati



Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Once it was unthinkable that an Urdu daily would be published from a city in a state like Sikkim.

But today Urdu papers are being published from Gangtok (Sikkim) and Guwahati (Assam).

Taasir is a newspaper that is published from ten cities that include Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Ranchi, Howrah, Bangalore and even down South, Chennai.

This is a new trend as multi-edition Urdu newspapers are now publishing from cities that were not considered 'Urdu cities'. Roznama Sahara has nine editions and the other major newspaper is Inquilab that has even more editions.

Inquilab focuses more on UP and Bihar. Apart from Delhi and Mumbai, its editions are in Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Aligarh, Bareilli, Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Kanpur in UP. The other editions include Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. In all, it has 13 editions.

It is an interesting aspect that major Urdu papers are now getting published from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. That not just Allahabad, Banaras, Aligarh and Gorakhpur or Meerut, but Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Saharanpur have Urdu paper(s), is quite heartening.

Sahara has nine editions that include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Patna, Gorakhpur and Kanpur.

Earlier, In Dinon was probably the first paper that was published from many big and small cities across the country.

Today, it has these editions--It is now published from New Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Saharanpur, Patna, Mumbai and Bangalore.

There are umpteen papers in states and are published from different sets of cities. For example, Saeban is published from Delhi and the two major state capitals, Patna and Bhopal.

Qaumi Muqaam is published from Allahabad, Chitrakoot, Mirzapur, Raipur and Lucknow. Urdu Action from Burhanpur and Bhopal. Similarly, there are several papers with editions in Jharkhand-Bihar and West Bengal, the Eastern part of India.

And, papers that are published from different cities in Karnataka apart from Hyderabad like Salar and Siasat. Salar is published from Bengaluru, Hubli and Kalaburgi (Gulbarga). Siasat too has an edition in Bangalore.

However, reaching cities down South and North East is important. The papers also need to publish from Western part of the country, particularly, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Konkan belt, though Mumbai is a big centre.

[Shams Ur Rehman Alavi, is a journalist for more than two decades. He had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Later, he worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, also as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, subsequently Metro Editor with Absolute India, Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post. He has written for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.]