India is a land of myriad religions, languages, faiths. In this vibrant country people live normal lives respecting each other's sentiments, religion, ways of life and also incorporating some in their. The land of 1.4 billion people is a dynamic country where life keep evolving through the tradition of mutual respect and sycretic values.
Awaz-the Voice brings a few stories of human bonds that cuts across imaginary barriers. These are heart warming stories of Indians who actions make it an inclusive cultural land. Here are a few such stories:
This one is fron Kashmir and may be strage to many youths. Not long ago Ashok Khashu and Mohad Ashraf Aram of downtown Srinagar nurtured a bond that defines Kashmiriyat and traditional ways of the people of Kashmir. Their friendship that started in college cememnted over the years and the bond passes on to their gext generations. Their friendship survived unheavals in Kashmir and their lives.
Read the heartwaming story: Ashok-Ashraf dosti transcends Kashmir's upheavals
Saltanat Fazil aka Saltanat Didi to the author, passed away in the wee hours of Friday at her Panchkula house. Feeling uneasy, she asked for 22-year-old daughter Noorine to give her a white Duppata. Noorine played a Naat on her mobile for her to calm down. She had breathed her last. The author Tripti Nath pays tribute to her Saltanant Didi by sharing the story of the bond between the two families that was beyond religion or other barriers.
Read the full story: Saltanat didi-Sarla behenji friendship transcends to next generation
Deepak Kumar Bose, a senior citizen, and his son Partha Sarathi Bose of North 24 Pargana's Barasat have been setting an example of Hindu-Muslim unity in today's world.
The Bose family has renovated the mosque named Amanati Masjid and for the last 50 years, Deepak Bose as a caretaker visits the mosque every day and cleans its corridors to ensure that people from the Muslim community are comfortable during their prayers. It is worth mentioning that the Amanati mosque is situated in the Nabopalli area which is dominated by the Hindus.
Sufi saint Azan Pir came to Assam in 1634 to preach. He gifted the people of the State one of its prized cultural entities called the zikir (Islamic devotional songs celebrating peace and brotherhood among Muslims and Hindus). Before preaching, the saint, whose original name was Syed Moinuddin Baghdadi and who is known by his popular names as Shah Milan, Shah Miran, and Azan Deo Saheb, learned about the neo-Vaishnavite culture founded by the saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva.
He assimilated it in his message and what came out was zikir. With time, zikir and jari (another creation of the saint) seemed to be losing interest among the youth despite some initiatives to revive it in the past. Babul Ali of Sivasagar, a zikir exponent and joint secretary, Azan Pir Dargah management committee, is not only making initiatives to retrieve and preserve the prized works of the Sufi saint, but also promoting them across India and abroad.
Read the full story: Exponent Babul Ali's mission to promote, preserve zikir
The people living in two villages of Nandgoan and Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh continue to uphold the 5,000-year tradition related to the life of Lord Krishna and his lady-love Radha and maintain the sanctity of the special Holi festival based on their friendship.
Both the Hindus and Muslims from the twin villages located in Mathura district of UP, do not marry from each other’s village to keep the purity and relevance of Lathmar holi, a festival in which women of Barsana rein in lathi blows on the menfolk from Nandgoan as the latter come to play colours a few days prior to the Holi celebration all over India.
Read the full story:Why Muslims of Barsana, Nandgoan don’t marry into each other?
Enterpreneur Tabassum Haq’s first Ramazan after her interfaith marriage to her former colleague Subodh Jain who is her husband was memorable.
“At my parents’ home in Old Delhi, we were used to donating food to people who needed it during the month of fasting, and I wondered how would I do it here,” she told Awaz-the Voice. The Jains are strict vegetarians and some don’t even use garlic, tubers, and anything fermented as a matter of religious belief.
Read the full story:Tabassum Haq’s first Ramzan with her Jain family was memorable
Like most Indians, Ali Bhojani of Mumbai was perturbed over the image of Islam that television debates conjured up in the minds of viewers. When he and some of his friends decided to change this, met people of other faiths and spoke to them about Islam, he was in for a bigger shock.
“I met the friend of a friend, who was a Jain,” he told Awaz-the Voice on phone from Mumbai. The Jain friend insisted that they move to the bar for the conversation. “After gulping down a drink or two he told me that needed to loosen up with a drink so that he could muster the courage to ask a few questions about Islam. He admitted that he had fears speaking about Islam,” Ali said. “This came as a big shock.”
Read the full story: Ali Bhojani and friends remind the world Prophet is for all
Ladakh has shown the way to the rest of India how longstanding religious conflicts can be resolved first by accepting the existing realities and second provided there is a matured political leadership to negotiate peace. This was the basis on which the Buddhists and Shia Muslims resolved their six-decade-old dispute over the construction of a Gompa (Buddhist temple) in the Shia Muslim-dominated Kargil town.
Marking a happy ending and a new beginning, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council of Kargil has acquired a 2 Kanal land plot to be soon handed over to the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) for the construction of a Buddhist temple in the New Kargil township.
Read the full story: How 60-year Buddhist-Shia conflict was resolved in Ladakh