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Hindu, Muslim bhai bhai here

india Updated: Oct 12, 2007 02:57 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times
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Bhuli’s only claim to fame was the fact that it houses Asia’s largest labour colony. However, it could also gain prominence as a ground for religious convergence.

It is probably the only place in the country where Muslims take the lead in organising Durga Puja, while Hindus go all out in observing Muharram.

At a time when communal fever was at its peak and haunting memories of riots following the Partition was fresh in the minds of the people, Md Faiz, a local resident, took the initiative to celebrate Durga Puja with other members of his community.

Faiz found many takers as residents of the township irrespective of caste, creed & community stood behind him to spread the message of secularism through festivals. The Hindus reciprocated in similar vigour with Sudhir Mukherjee encouraging people of his community to observe Muharram to further strengthen the secular fabric of Bhuli.

The fact that Bhuli has never witnessed any communal flare up since 1949 is just one fact that substantiates how far Md Faiz and Sudhir Mukherjee was successful in realising their dream of a secular society.

Sudhir’s son Chandan recalls: “My father was the first person to celebrate Muharram, eight years after Faiz uncle organised Durga Puja.”