Ganeshotsav festivities have been a binding factor for Mumbai’s communities for decades. This year, Bakrid coincided with the 11-day Ganpati celebrations, with the police on their toes to avert any friction. However, the bonhomie between Hindus and Muslims stole the show and reinforced communal harmony in Mumbai.
The city perhaps a considerable number of pandals where Muslims prayed during Eid, paving way for more understanding and brotherhood. The Mumbai police were the biggest beneficiaries of this get-together.
Muslims in several pockets of the city have visited Ganesh pandals and have been conducting prayer sessions before the lord for decades. The city’s ardently worshipped Lalbaugcha Raja that has been fondly worshipped in pockets of Bhendi Bazar and Muhammad Ali road of south Mumbai.
The procession of Lalbaugcha Raja takes more time to pass from the two pockets as Muslims throng the streets to perform aarti and shower garlands and flowers on the idol in the wee hours, before the journey comes to an end at Girgaum chowpatty.
On the other hand, it has been a long standing tradition of the Mumbai police offering first chadar at the famous Mahim Dargah during Urs. These tokens send a clear signal to other part of the country which have frequently witnessed communal tension.
The co-existence has evolved over the period and has got only better making it a unique experience vis-a-vis community celebrations.
Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Deven Bharti noticing the good understanding between the communities sent out a tweet from his personal handle @devenbhartiips: “Mumbai shows the way. Eid prayers in Ganapati Mandap. Salute to the spirit of Human Bondage.”