Two Muslim college students of Lucknow University observed a fast on the first day of Navratri festival, setting an example in communal harmony, notwithstanding the bickering among politicians over the Dadri lynching.
"If Hindus and Muslims start celebrating festivals together, there will never be a Dadri (Dadri Lynching episode). If I keep rozas, I also observe fast on Navratri. In my village, Hindu festivals Holi and Diwali begin from our house", said Sahaduddin, The Times of India reported.
Sahaduddin Ahmed and Abdul Kalim, the two Muslim students, will also observe a fast on the last day of the 9-day festival.
It comes amid raging communal tension over the killing of Mohammed Akhlaq in Bisara village in Dadri over suspicion that he had beef at his house, a suspicion that has been proved wrong after a forensic test at the instance of the state police.
Sahaduddin's grandfather Bashir Ahmed and Param Vir Chakra winner Hamid were brothers and used to live next door in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.
Sahaduddin said he drew inspiration from Rasloon Bibi (wife of Hamid)."Dadi always said, unless we starting respecting each other's religions, we will not be united."
Sahaduddin and his friend Abdul, who is a second year BA Honours student at Lucknow University, distributed fruits and special-food consumed during the festival to everyone. They also recited the holy durga chalisa and did arti, the daily reported.
At a time when the nation is plagued by communalism, here is a story that sets an example of communal harmony and goodwill for all Indians.