In Orissa, Muslims and Hindus Join Each Other's Celebrations

July 8, 2005

Source: Sify News

On July 8, 2005 Sify News reported, "In Deulasahi, a village in Orissa, Muslims joined hands with Hindus in observing the annual Rath Yatra. This heartening event took place at this village which is 45 km from Kendrapara in Orissa. As the 10-feet-high chariot carrying the presiding deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, made its way on the bumpy earthen road of the sleepy hamlet, Muslims, who constitute one third of the population in the village, joined hands with Hindu devotees in pulling the ropes of the Rath. Earlier, the Muslims had cleaned the village road for the smooth running of the chariot. A number of carpenters building the chariots are also Muslims here. Both the communities provide timber to construct the chariot and a week before the holy Ratha yatra, villagers take vegetarian food. The practice of Muslims and Hindus joining to pull the chariot has been there since long in this village that has a population of 2500 Muslims. They also take active part in Kali Puja that is observed here apart from the Rathyatra. Hindus also reciprocate their feelings of goodwill by taking part in festivals like Muharram, Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Zoha besides weddings, sources reveal."