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By K. Rehman, Edited by Adam Rizvi, The India observer, TIO, NJ: When the communal rhetoric is reaching a crescendo in India, members of Sikh and Muslim communities came together to celebrate Guru Nanak’s 553rd birth anniversary.
The local Muslims of East Delhi welcomed the Sikh procession with sweets and garlands. They hugged each other and exchanged wishes to strengthen the bonhomie between both the communities.
Mohammad Qasim, secretary of masjid committee, told that every year Muslims and Sikhs celebrate Eid and Gurupurab together. “We have been welcoming Sikh procession in our area since more than 50 years. And this is our social responsibility to celebrate every festival together.”
Jitender Kohli, who is a ‘sewadar’ in the local gurudwara, said that a Sikh delegation also visits the local mosque every year on the occasion of Eid. “Whenever our Gurupurab procession passes by the masjid, our Muslim brothers always shower their love on us. We also reciprocate the gesture and organise an iftar party for them in Ramadan.”
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The communal harmony among the Sikhs and Muslims is not new in East Delhi. During 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Many Muslim families saved their Sikh neighbours from huge bloodthirsty crowd by keeping them hidden in their houses. They were provided shelter till the return of normalcy in the area.
Trilok Singh, a local resident, recalled the horror of the riots. Some of his relatives were killed in front of his eyes mercilessly by the mob at Seelampur. He, somehow, managed to flee from the scene and took refuge at his friend Turab Ali’s house.
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“My uncle and cousin were beaten to death by the rioters. Fortunately, I fled from there and hid himself at my friend Turab Ali’s house. Even today the memories of those days send shiver down my spine,” he told.
Almost 40 years have passed since then, now all the communities in the area are living together with peace and tranquility. From Eid, Diwali to Gurupurab, every festival provides an opportunity to mingle and share happiness.
Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai
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