Agartala(PTI): Setting an example of harmony amid the country's communal tension, several Durga pujas in…
Saurav Roy, Ranchi: With a Sikha (sacred ponytail) and tilak — a mark worn on the forehead by Hindus on
religious occasions — Ram Babu Rai, a Brahmin by caste, bows down and kisses the mazaar (tomb) of Kulhari Baba in Ranchi with utmost reverence to seek the divine blessings.
Ten feet of the mazaar precincts, is the Anandamoyee Durga Temple, where Rai, a restaurant employee, offers his prayers with the same devotion. It’s a daily routine. He gets utmost peace and happiness in following it, he claims.
Mohammad Parvez, a small-time businessman, spends most of his evenings praying at the mazaar but doesn’t leave until he gets the prasad from the adjacent Durga temple.
At a time when religious leaders and right groups in the country are fighting a one-upmanship battle, a temple and mazaar sharing common confines on Ranchi’s Mahatma Gandhi road stand as an epitome of communal bonhomie and challenge the growing communal hatred.The two shrines, hardly separated by 10 feet, with an incense stick shop in between, attract scores of Ram Babu Rais and Mohammad Parvezs every day. They rub shoulders, pray and eat together and walk home hand in hand with bliss writ large on their faces.
While Jharkhand, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), saw the maximum communal flare-ups in 2013, this campus housing the two shrines has not witnessed a single incident of communal disharmony since the pre-independence era.
According to the NCRB 2014 report, with 349 incidents of communal violence, Jharkhand recorded the maximum number of such incidents. It was followed by Haryana with 207 incidents and Tamil Nadu with 120 incidents.
“People coming out of the temple and entering the mazaar might be an unusual scene for outsiders, but for Ranchiites, it’s so common. We eat prasad from the temple and they offer prayer here,” said Parvez.