I have said several times that only some kind of French Revolution can solve the huge socio-economic problems of the Indian subcontinent (massive poverty, record and rising unemployment, appalling level of child mal-nourishment, almost total lack of healthcare and good education for the masses, widespread farmers distress, etc).
But for such kind of Revolution unity among the people is absolutely indispensable.
I was therefore becoming increasingly despondent on seeing the spate of recent events in India (culminating in the recent sordid happenings in parts of Delhi) in which religious discord was spreading, fanned by certain elements, thus making unity among the people appear like a forlorn hope and a distant dream.
But my flagging spirit was aroused and buoyed up by what the boys (particularly the Muslim youth) did in Adilnagar, Kalyanpur, Lucknow on the occasion of Holi on 8th March. Now I am reassured that people of India will again get united, and the Revolution which I envisage is inevitable (though still in the horizon, and for which many efforts and sacrifices will have to be made by our patriotic youth).
What the boys of Adilnagar have done is in my opinion historic. They organised a Holi Milan in a mosque compound!
Here is the Facebook message I received from Shariq Ameen, one of the organisers of the event.
"On an unusually cold Holi day for Lucknow, some Muslim brethren of Adilnagar, Kalyanpur, Lucknow, brought warmth and cheer by hosting an inter faith Holi Milan in the foreground of Usman Ghani mosque. The youngsters living in the vicinity of the masjid were determined not to let the current animosity lately brewing in the country to spoil the festivity. So they approached the Imam Saheb of the mosque, Suhail Nadvi, with the idea. The Reverend Imam immediately gave his blessings to the initiative, and also gave his contribution toward it by his time and funds.
Many Hindu families residing in the neighbourhood were pleasantly delighted at being hosted by their Muslim neighbours.
While the adults spent the evening discussing things in general over gujiya (the traditional sweet prepared and served at Holi) and other snacks and tea, the children participated in Holi themed events and competitions, in which many won prizes.”
Shariq added, "Growing up we too looked forward to Holi, the festival of colours. We did not want the present situation in the country to spread gloom. So we really wanted to do something special.
The other members of our core team were Zain Siddique, Santosh Yadav, Quari Usman, Ravinder, and Taaha Mehmood. Our vision was of spreading the message of brotherhood when attempts are being made by some elements of spreading hatred between communities.
We personally invited our Hindu brothers and sisters who live in the locality to the event, in which there were healthy speeches and discussions for preserving communal harmony and unity.
The event was a phenomenal success. Over 300 people attended, including women and children.The feedback was heart melting. Several Hindu brethren said they will organise similar events on Eid on 24th May".
Though this event may seem a minor affair, in my opinion it is of historical significance. Never before have I heard of Holi being celebrated in the grounds of a mosque. It is said that a single spark can set the prairie to fire. In my opinion the overwhelming majority of people in the Indian subcontinent want unity and brotherhood, despite efforts of some people who wish to divide us.
The Holi Milan organised by the youth of Adilnagar, Lucknow is that spark which will lead the way to unity among our people, which is the essential prerequisite for the coming Great Revolution which will pave the way for a prosperous Indian subcontinent. I regard these boys of Adilnagar as my heroes, and I am sure their example will be emulated by all patriots.
I appeal to Hindus to celebrate the coming Eid on 24th May by holding similar events in their temples.
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
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