Some would say religious unity is a myth these days. It's hard enough to believe with the kind of incidents reported in India every other day. Even so, coexistence has been a long-standing format in India without any doubt.
In the Bidnal area of Hubli, Dharwad in Karnataka, locals are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi and Muharram together at the same pandal. This is a tradition unique to the area and was born out of a coincidence.
Finding unity in diversity
In the same village in Karnataka last year in 2019, their unique celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and Muharram received attention. Last year too, the two communities of Muslims and Hindus came together to celebrate the same two occasions, since they fall so close to each other.
While for some this may seem curious or intriguing, the people in Bidnal have been celebrating like this for the past 35 years. This year, both auspicious occasions have been burdened by the impact of COVID-19. While public celebration and immersion of Ganesh idols will not be allowed, Muharram processions have also been barred in cities.
Speaking to news agency ANI on the occasion the Maulana Zakir Qasi said, "In this village, nobody is a Hindu or a Muslim alone, both come together in unison. All of us are children of the God."
The pandal has been erected in the centre of the village, the village also doesn't have a separate committee to oversee the two festivals, the preparations are also done together, The New Indian Express reported in 2019. It's not just Ganesh Chaturthi and Muharram, the village's residents celebrate most festivals together.
While moments like these are reported every year from different corners of the country, they are much farther and fewer in between the stories of strife. Hopefully, traditions like these will continue, despite the pandemic.