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Its not all hatred, these touching stories show harmony still exists

By Vishal S

Lucknow, June 27: Times are such that incidents of lynching and hatred make headlines instantly, but actions highlighting that people in general want harmony and peace in the society somehow do not get as much attention as they should.

Image for representation only

If violence in the name of religion has no place in the society, so do certian points of views that seem to make a deliberate attempt to see everything from a communal angle. In times when peaceful co-existence is need of the hour, it is essential that a community respects and honours the culture and practices of another community.

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Setting an example of communal harmony, a Muslim family in Uttar Pradesh's Harirampur village conducted 'terhvi', a post death ceremony, of a Hindu man as per custom.

Terhvi is a ceremony held on the thirteenth day after the death is mourned. Morari Lal Srivastava (65) was a worker at a firm owned by Irfan Mohd Khan and Farid Khan, and he died after being bitten by a poisonous animal when he was working on a farm on June 13, according to police.

However, it was not immediately known what had bit Srivastava. Police said as he had no immediate family, the body was handed over to the Khans who held his last rites with the help of some other workers of the firm.

On Tuesday, the Khans held the 'terhvi' feast for Srivastava and invited people for the ceremony. The invitation cards had names of members of the Khan family and that of their firm.

Speaking to PTI on Thursday, Irfan Khan and Farid Khan said Srivastava was working for them for the past 15 years and was like a family member.

"He was like an elderly family member and we did what should be done for any elderly member of a family," Irfan Khan said.

"Even at the time when we went about distributing cards for terhvi, people expressed surprise over it," he said.

Before the feast, as per norms, 'shanti paath' was held and all custom, including shaving off hair, was followed, Irfan Khan said. Reportedly, around 1000 people from the Hindu and Muslim communities attended the ceremony.

In yet another example, Hindus in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh donated the land belonging to them to their Muslim brethren for a burial ground, according to a report by India Today.

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There are many such examples. A Muslim family in Lucknow has been spreading the message of communal harmony three generations by organising Ramleela. Last year, it came to fore that a Muslim family adopted an orphan Hindu boy at the age of 12 and got him married as per Hindu traditions.

Muslim community in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama reportedly came together to restore a 80-year-old Shiva temple for their Hindu neighbours.

These are the tales that need more space in the social narrative than reports of lynching and violence. Also, as a society, we ought to make efforts to make these stories heard by as many as possible. Maybe, one in a lakh is a bigot, and maybe by hearing these stories, someone may decide to shun extremism.

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