Dussehra may be festival Hindus, but Muslim artisans too toil hard to ensure that the effigies of demon king and his brothers stand tall before going into flames. For the past 10 years, Muslim artisans from Uttar Pradesh have been setting an example of communal harmony as they come to the city to make the effigies of Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhakarna for Dussehra.
“It is politics that divides Hindus and Muslims. Even today there is no hatred between the two communities in UP. It is just the political leaders who exploit members of both communities for votes and instigate them against each other” said Sohail Khan, one of the members of the group from Agra.
The artisans are making the effigies at Daresi ground for the past one month that would be set on fire on Dussehra falling on October 13.
Khan said that he, along with his father, had been coming to Ludhiana to make the effigies for the past 10 years. “It is our family tradition that we come to the city every year to work.
People of all walks of life come to see the effigies on fire, signifying the victory of truth over evil, and that is our reward. No amount of money can get us this reward,” said Khan.
Another member of the group Akil Ahmed, who is from Mathura, said that different groups of Muslim artisans from Uttar Pradesh move to different cities of the country to build the effigies. “The age-old tradition cannot be demolished due to certain misunderstandings between the members of two communities,” said Ahmed.
President of Sri Ramlila Committee KK Marwah said that Muslim artisans were an inseparable part of Dussehra celebrations in Ludhiana. “It is a tradition that Muslims will make the effigies of demon king and his brothers,” said Marwah.