While the country is shrouded in the intolerance debate, a Muslim kite-maker, who recently made 10, 000 kites with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ensuing Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti, feels that there is no intolerance in the country.
Fifty-five-year-old Talib, a Ranchi-based kite maker who has been making kites for the Hindu festival for four decades, said: “Had there been intolerance in India, they would not have asked a Muslim man to make kites for a Hindu festival.”
Talib, along with his associates from the same community, was busy making kites for this season’s festivities on Monday at his old, thatched shop at Karballa Chowk, a minority-dominated locality in the Jharkhand capital.
“People who spread hatred have their own agenda…it is our responsibility to differentiate between the good and the evil,” he said.
The intolerance row had recently hit the country with actors, filmmakers and artists returning their awards against the alleged bigotry towards the minorities in India. However, Talib said he had been insulated from the alleged hatred all his life.
“I have never experienced hatred here. All I got was love from my Hindu and Christian brothers,” he said.
The kites he made would be flown during the NaMo Patang Utsav at Argora Ground in Ranchi. The festival has been organised by a group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members and Modi supporters here. In 2013, the festival was celebrated for the first time by the group and Yoga guru Ramdev had inaugurated it in Ranchi. Even then, Talib, had made almost all the kites used, he said.
Talib’s shop is one of the most popular kite shops in the city. This year, orders of over one lakh kites have been placed at his shop for the Makar Sankranti festival.
The kite maker appealed to other members of society to take a united stand against those spreading communal hatred.
“I urge all my Hindu and Muslim brothers to unite against the communal forces India is ours and we have to ensure peace here,” he said.