Lucknow Muslims fund, organise this Ramlila
By Tousif Khan - Tue Oct 04, 6:25 pm
Lucknow : Naseem Khan is satisfied with the modest earnings from his small tailoring shop. But every year around Dusshera, Khan turns slightly worried.
He starts accepting orders in bulk to raise his income, not for his family, but for raising funds for organising Ramlila: the mythological play based on the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Like Khan, many Muslims in Mumtaz Nagar village of Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district have been keeping alive the village’s decades-old custom, under which all arrangements for holding Ramlia are looked after by members of the minority community.
“We take pride in following such a tradition that exhibits communal harmony in a true sense. Every year when we organise the play, we get a unique feeling of serving the almighty. After all, our Hindu brothers are the creation of the same supreme power that has made us,” 42-year-old Khan told IANS by telephone from Faizabad, some 126 km from Lucknow.
“Besides entertainment and enjoying other religious aspects, we derive a great satisfaction by organising Ramlila that, in a way, instills a sense of brotherhood among members of the two communities,” he added.
Muslims organise the mythological play under the banner of Ramlila Ramayana Samiti (RRS), a committee that was constituted by Muslims of Mumtaz Nagar village around 47 years ago for the promotion of communal harmony.
Mumtaz Nagar has a population of around 800 people, more than 65 percent of them Muslims.
“Being a Muslim-dominated village, Mumtaz Nagar used to be livelier on Muslim functions than Hindu festivals. As there was a limited population of Hindus, our ancestors thought being in majority they should do something for enhancing the celebrations of Hindu festival,” Majid Ali, RRS president, told IANS.