The invincible India: This Ram-Rahman duo prays together for the world to heal
Corona warriors SHO Ram Prasad Sharma and head constable Askar Khan have set an amazing example of Hindu-Muslim unity.
One of the most moving pictures clicked on Eid, it summarises India’s true spirit! You see two police officers, one a Hindu and the other a Muslim, praying to their respective Gods on the auspicious occasion for the world to heal.
On Eid, head constable Askar Khan was on duty in an idgah in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh to enforce the lockdown. When it was time for namaz, Khan prayed to Allah while his boss, SHO Ram Prasad Sharma, stood beside him and did his puja. “As I saw Khan offering namaz, I felt a positive aura. I closed my eyes and did my puja, praying for the world to heal. I think someone took the picture in that moment,” he says.
Sharma says that Khan is like a brother to him, and they have been fighting against coronavirus together. “We have fought the deadly virus together. Khan is an amazing person who can even recite Hanuman Chalisa and Gayatri Mantra. And he never misses his namaz and roza. On Eid, we prayed to God together and it was such a happy feeling,” says Sharma.
Humbled by the praise, Khan, a native of Gwalra village near Aligarh, says Sharma is an inspiration for him and for the entire city. “Sab ka marg darshan karte hain woh. Us din, jab main namaaz ada kar raha tha, sahib ke mann mein na jaane kya aaya ki woh bhi bhakti mein leen ho gaye (He is the guiding force for all. That day, when I was offering namaaz, don’t know what he felt that he also immersed himself in bhakti),” says Khan.
Khan’s father used to offer namaaz five times a day, and that’s how he picked up the habit. And Khan also learnt Gayatri Mantra in his childhood. “There was an Arya Samaj Mahavidyala in my village. I used to attend the hawan there and recite Gayatri Mantra. I get a lot of peace in bhakti, whether it is namaaz or reciting mantras,” says Khan.
Khan later learnt Hanuman Chalisa from his friends in the police station.
“Those who have very shallow knowledge of religion poison minds. Khuda, Ram, Allah…they are all one. Antar sirf bhashaon ka hai. (just the languages differ),” says Khan.
The policeman says that Hindus and Muslims have always lived as one in his village, sharing joy and grief.
“Jab bhi Gwalra mein koi baraat aati thi, hum sab mil kar aadar satkaar karte ki gaun ki badnami na ho, Hindu Muslim ka fark beech mein kadapi nahin aaya (Whenever a baraat came to my village, we used to welcome it together to maintain the reputation of our village, there was no difference between Hindus and Muslims),” he says.
Khan praises SHO Ram Prasad Sharma for keeping people in Amroha united in a similar fashion. “The atmosphere here is always of love, peace, unity. People celebrate all the festivals together, and the bond is so strong that no one can break it,” he says.
The picture of the two cops praying on Eid went viral as soon as someone put it up on social media.
IPS Rahul Srivastava says the picture is a celebration our age-old tradition of religious harmony, the richest legacy of India that defines us as Indians. “Once we don the khaki uniform, the boundaries of cast, creed, and religion cease to exist for us forever. Selfless service to human beings is our only religion. I love the way this picture captures the essence of togetherness that India is known for,” he says.
“I saw this viral picture on social media. Pluralism will always be the bedrock of our nation. I salute both the cops,” says Utsav Bains, lawyer, Supreme Court.
People like Khan and Sharma define the India we love!
This is the India that’s worth dying for!