In Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, there have been quite a few incidents of communal unrest during the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi and the Muslim festival of Ramzan Eid and Muharram.
However, the atmosphere this time was suffused with harmony and warmth rather than riots when the village decided to celebrate Ganesh festival and ‘Muharram sawari’ under one roof. Prayers are being offered for both the occasions at the same venue in Vidul village.
The initiative was taken by Yavatmal Superintendent of Police, Megnathan Rajkumar who instructed the Umarkhed police station inspector, Hanumant Gaikwad to call a peace meeting of villagers on September 08 in the gram panchayat office, reported TOI.
Given the past incidents of communal disharmony, Gaikwad put forward the SP’s suggestion of holding the Ganesh idol and Muharram sawari under the same roof which was welcomed by the villagers with open arms.
Consequently, the locals even set up a pandal at Nalsaheb Devsthan temple in Vidul where both the religious functions are being held. The Ganesh festival is being celebrated in the premises for the last 134 years.
Temple trust’s chairman, Jayaram Dhage told TOI “Some years, Ganpati and Muharram coincide. We have now decided that whenever these two festivals coincide, we will celebrate them together with fervour and enthusiasm.”Separate time schedules have also been prepared for Ganesh idol immersion and the procession of ‘Muharram sawari’ to avoid any confrontation between the two communities.
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