By Lokendra Singh
Jaipur, Jan 21 : The colourful mirrored bangles that Hindu women wear as symbol of marital status, it also tells the story of communal amity in India.
From time immemorial, the bangles, inlaid with intricate mirror designs in lac, have been made by Muslims.
Bangle makers have nurtured the art since time immemorial and more than 2,000 Muslim families of Jaipur and Ajmer are engaged in giving shapes and shines to these bangles.
Lac is a resinous substance deposited by lac insect on various trees in Southern Asia. "Lac bangles signify the marital status of the women. Most of the Muslims are into this business of making lac bangles. These bangles are very famous throughout India and abroad. We feel happier especially when customers of other religion come and purchase bangles from us. Lot of women come to us and it develops a sense of respect in us and as well in them," said Babu Khan, lac bangles manufacturer.
'Maniharon ka Raasta' in Jaipur and 'Khwaja Ki Nagri', in Ajmer are brimming with shops manufacturing lac bangles. People from all over the country and abroad visit here looking for variety of designs.
Women prefer these bangles to the glass ones for their beautiful designs and vibrant colours. They also feel that the Lac bangles have helped bridge the gap to a great extent between the Hindus and Muslims in the region.
"We feel very good and proud about our country and culture. Muslims make these bangles with so much interest and passion that no one amongst Hindus think that it is made by a Muslim and whether they should wear it or not. There is no such feeling and we wear it with immense pride," said Seema Jaiswal, customer.
The bangle makers believe that it is their identity and the art should never seize to exist, come what may.
The lacquer bangles industry in Rajasthan is booming with the annual business rising to 200 million rupees per annum.
It is estimated that about 70 per cent of the bangle production is sold domestically and 30 percent is exported.
The bangles are mostly exported to Britain, UAE, France, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and the US.