Hindus and Muslims on Monday came together and took out a procession, called a Holi Baraat, in this Uttar Pradesh capital to celebrate the festival of colours amid communal unity.
This is a decades old tradition followed by the members of both communities.
Hindus and Muslims were seen lost in Holi revelry while taking out the procession that had camels, horses and elephants pulling the decorated small chariots on which the revelers stood tall. They danced to the beat of the drums during the procession in the old city.
The procession was led by Lucknow MP and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lalji Tandon, who from an open jeep threw `abir’ and `gulal’ in the air.
“For more than 40 years, the Holi Baraat is being organised in our locality. The baraat holds a special significance as it projects Hindu-Muslim brotherhood," Tandon told reporters in Lucknow.
“Being a part of such an exemplary procession is really a matter of pride. Muslims of the locality, who participate in the procession shower rose petals and flowers on us... It’s a symbolic welcome for Hindus by their Muslim brothers," he added.
The procession that normally starts with small groups, amalgamates into a huge gathering, as more and more people join it as it passes through various localities.
“It just feels great. Our Holi Baraat which projects communal unity should be a lesson to those who always attempt to widen the rift between Hindus and Muslims," said Shariq Ameen, a tailor in the Chowk locality.
The multi-community procession has not been discontinued for decades, claim the residents.
They say even there was communal tension following the demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992, but still Holi in the Chowk locality was organised in the same manner by taking out the procession.