Guwahati, May 05 : A section of the society may be thriving by fanning communal sentiments, but they fail to touch the lives of the ordinary men when it comes to maintaining traditional brotherhood and amity.
The Pir Baba Hazrat Shah Kamal Dargah is a uniting factor for Muslims and Hindus of the area, which witnesses the conglomeration of people of various religions in an annual fair. The uniqueness of this place of worship is augmented by its geographical location.
The Dargah is situated atop a hill near the Indo-Bangladesh border in Mahendraganj, 25 km south of Mankachar in Dhubri district of Asom. When hostile sentiments reign supreme among the people of the North East and their Bangladeshi neighbours for various reasons, this part of the country is unbothered by such issues.
Devotees flock to the annual fair held there on all Sundays of the first month of Assamese New Year Bohag, barring the first Sunday. About 10,000 people throng to the fair, which is held in the premises of the Dargah in an area surrounded by barbed wire.
This annual fair also saw visitors in large numbers from across the border in earlier years. Passage was offered to Bangladeshi devotees to visit the Dargah during the fair days when security was a lesser issue.
Since 2001, with disturbances reported from the area, security had been hiked up and no person from across the border has since been allowed to enter Indian territory, even for the annual fair.
The people on that side of the border have now built a similar dargah and also organize fairs along with their Indian counterparts at the same time of the year.
The Dargah houses the tombs of Pir Hazrat Shah Kamal Baba and his wife Baroi Rani. Devotees visit the Dargah in the belief that their wishes would be fulfilled if they approach with a true heart.
The devotees climb 61 steps to reach the Dargah with their offerings. A Shivalinga near the Dargah itself witnesses a flow of Hindu devotees, who flock to the Dargah after visiting the temple.
Security and other concerns may have erected barriers in the passage of devotees from Bangladesh. But it has failed in breaking the bonds of friendship that still bind these people.