The country’s encounter with terrorism has managed to cast a pall of gloom over Eid celebrations this year.
If the Batla House shootout stripped Eid-ul-Fitr of its festive fervour, the Mumbai attacks had people steering clear of any form of conspicuous celebrations on Eid-ul-Zuha on Tuesday.
<b1>An appeal for peace and condemnation of the attacks served as the leitmotif for the day as Imams of mosques across the Capital made direct and oblique references to the Mumbai horror during the morning namaaz offered on Tuesday.
“Terrorists are just using Islam to champion their cause. Our neighbour’s (Pakistan) involvement in the terror attacks is not new, but the government has not done enough to punish those responsible,” said Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari in his emotionally charged Taqreer (address) at Jama Masjid.
The Malegaon blasts were interestingly woven in as well. The Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid in the Walled City was vocal asking the government to bring all perpetrators of terror to justice, including the culprits of the Malegaon attack.
The people, on the other hand, registered their protest silently by sporting black armbands.
The appeal to do so was endorsed by many Imams, including Mohsin Ali Taqvi of Grant Shia Mosque in Kashmeri Gate.
“The world needs to remember that those who are waging an unholy war in the name of Islam are only an insignificant sect of our community and we do not identify with them. All acts of terror are un-Islamic and the bands represent our anger,” he said.
Jamia Nagar, an area affected by the aftermath of the September 19 police encounter of alleged terrorists, wore a sullen look.
The residents who actively demanded an independent inquiry into the encounter came together to register their protest against the atrocities committed in Mumbai. Celebrations here, too, were low-key.
“We’ve made an appeal for simple celebration and there won’t be any significant merry-making or eid milan in Batla House today,” said Imam Mohammed Yaqub of Masjid Khalilullaha in Jamia Nagar.
Many people responded positively to the appeal and decided to steer clear of celebration. While most followed the rituals, they did not spend money on new clothes or encourage any get-togethers.
Danish Ali Khan, a 25-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia University, did not buy any new clothes for the festival or organize any community celebration as a member of Batla House Association.
“People are carrying out the rituals just as a perfunctory gesture and all of it is stripped of happiness,” said Khan.