Amid hijab row, Hindu-Muslim brotherhood on display at Bidar festival
In a change of scene, Hindus and Muslims came together in Bidar for a festival worshipping Allama Prabhu on Monday.
In a show of peace and brotherhood, Hindus and Muslims celebrated the Ashtur jathra in Bidar together. This comes at the backdrop of Muslim traders being banned from Hindu temple premises in annual fairs in various parts of Karnataka amid the ongoing hijab row.
Tensions have also been fraught by the state’s law and education ministers backing the ban on Muslim vendors by at least six temples in Karnataka, with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai saying that the government cannot interfere if the ban is legal.
The fair in Bidar is held in association with both communities as Hindus worship Allama Prabhu as the deity and Muslims pray to Ahmad Shah. The beauty of the fair is that all the devotees, regardless of caste, creed, sect or religion, participate.
The fair is being held for the first time in two years since the COVID pandemic hit, and is usually held for 3 days in Ashtur village where both Hindus and Muslims pray and offer obeisance to their respective deities in the same spot. It includes cultural events, rituals, deepotsava and music shows.
This year's fair attracted large numbers as devotees flocked to the venue without any fear of coronavirus. Devotees from all religions participated in the cultural events, bonfires, and concerts, with some even pouring in from neighbouring states like Andhra, Telangana and Maharashtra.
A private company from Telangana had reportedly organized a number of cultural events for children’s entertainment at the fair that ended on Wednesday. The events included a bonfire, followed by bhajans and kawwali by renowned musicians.
Hindus and Muslims accepted the prasad together and offered naivedya and fruits to the grave of Hazrat Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali and also to Allama Prabhu.