In many villages of the land of colours, many Muslims and Hindus are not only living together, they are making sure that they get to know each other more by getting closer to their customs and religious beliefs.
Here is how they do it.
In the holy month of Ramazan, many Hindus are fasting along with their Muslim brothers and sisters in the villages of Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan.
Not only that many of the Hindus have also been offering five-times-a-day prayers so they can also have the benefits and blessings of the Muslim holy month.
To everyone’s surprise, Muslims in those villages also love to celebrate many Hindu festivals for instance Diwali. They even sing their Hindu devotional songs along with their Hindu neighbours on special occasions.
“All those who are followers of Peer Pithoro keep a fast at this time, during the month of Ramazan. The practice is prevalent in many villages – Godhad Ka Tala, Rabasar, Sata, Sinhania, Bakhasar and Kelnore. The Saiyeed Kasam dargah at Gohad Ka Tala sees many Muslim and Hindu devotees. Our traditions are similar. The little children keep roza [fast] too, so it is all just something that is done as a matter of course,” said a Hindu official Shankara Ram.
Love or mutual understanding is said to be the root of the Muslim-Hindu harmony in the villages of Rajasthan but no one remembers how it came to be this way.
After the partition in 1947, many Hindu families had to migrate to Rajasthan from Sindh, now a province in Pakistan. Probably since then the two completely different communities have been living together here.
“We celebrate each other’s festivals and we’ve been sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. After Partition and also after the wars, the families that have moved here from Pakistan have come to share all our rituals. Many Meghwals also feel great devotion for Peer Pithoro, whose dargah is in Sindh,” said a Barmer official Megharam Gadhveer.
Until today, the Muslim and Hindu cultural exchange has been so strong in the villages of Barmer and Jaisalmer districts, that it becomes almost close to impossible to segregate a Muslim from a Hindu or a Hindu from a Muslim from just their attire or language.