At a time when religious differences are high on the minds, Lucknow witnessed a unique wedding ceremony that left all differences of religion and caste aside. At the community centre at Sahara States in Jankipuram, chanting of mantras for marriage and reading of nikahnama resonated simultaneously on Sunday evening. Hindu and muslim couples tied knots under the same roof during the same time and vowed for a happy life amidst grand arrangements.
Twenty one couples of diverse castes and religion got married at a mass marriage ceremony organised by Nirdhan Jal Kalyan Samiti.
Rubina, daughter of a labourer, was one of the brides. She worked as a domestic help and the family struggled hard to make both ends meet. But she had a dream wedding with lavish ensemble, venue and gifts.
She said, “People may feel Hindus and Muslims are different but this wedding is beyond all such thoughts. I am glad that we all tied knots together.”
The food, gifts and all other arrangements were common for all couples. While nikahnama was read for the muslim couple, for hindu couples, vedic mantras were recited by priests.
Soni, another bride said, “We all got ready together. We are only brides and grooms here---no Hindu or Muslim, no upper or lower caste.”
Ramavtar, whose niece got married during the occasion said, “We couldn’t have ever thought of such a ceremony. God and Allah together are showering their blessings on the couples tonight.”
BL Diwakar, member of the organising Samiti said, “It is for the last four years that we have been organising such mass marriages. Every year, there are Hindu and Muslim couples tie knots together. The wedding ceremony is held during Navratri every year.”
While selection of brides and grooms were done by the respective families, the organising committee did an investigation to find about the finer details of the families. Their below poverty line (BPL)ration cards were checked before they were registered for the wedding.
Gifts including clothes, utensils,mattress, bed among other things were gifted to every couple by the organising committee, he added.