Hold Holi Milans, spread cheer: Naib Imam | india | Hindustan Times
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Hold Holi Milans, spread cheer: Naib Imam

IF COMMUNAL tension was what the terrorists behind the Varanasi blasts had in mind, things surely haven't gone their way. The temple town is in no mood to cower in fear and instead, is all set to celebrate Holi. And the Muslim community is pitching in to ensure it's a memorable Holi.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2006 01:29 IST
M. Hasan

Varanasi beats fear with a riot of colours

IF COMMUNAL tension was what the terrorists behind the Varanasi blasts had in mind, things surely haven't gone their way. The temple town is in no mood to cower in fear and instead, is all set to celebrate Holi. And the Muslim community is pitching in to ensure it's a memorable Holi.

After issuing a fatwa on the Sankat Mochan temple attack, Maulana Khalid Rashid of the Dar-ul Ifta Firangi Mahal on Monday called on the Muslim community to organize 'Holi milan' programmes, saying it would help contain “nafrat ki fiza (atmosphere of hatred)”. Announcing that he too would organize such a programme, he asked Muslims to provide full protection to their Hindu brothers on Wednesday.

Stressing the need to hold all-religion meetings, Rashid said the sense of extremism that had cropped up among Muslims over some global issues should be contained so that the two communities could live in peace. And this would be possible only by bringing right thinking people on one platform. It would also lessen prevailing tension.

On reports that the Sonkar community had decided to skip Holi, Rashid appealed to the community to forget the past and celebrate. A team of Muslims met Sonkar leaders in this regard. There is some resentment among Muslims but it is directed towards some leaders in their own community who have been trying to tap their anger for political gains.

“Some in the community have been playing a dangerous game and they need to be exposed,” said a Muslim IAS officer. But the sense of harmony seems far more prevalent.

And guess who’s joining in the festivities? According to a report from Meerut, UP minorities welfare minister Haji Yaqoob Quereshi — of the cartoon bounty fame — will hold a Holi milan programme on Wednesday. He had recently organized a blood donation camp for the blast victims of Varanasi.

As for the recent fatwas against militants naming their outfits after Prophet Mohammad and Allah, the National Commission for Minorities on Tuesday extended support to the Muslim clerics who issued them. “These (fatwas) should have come long ago. Nobody can kill innocent people in the name of God.

Nobody should be allowed to use religion as a pretext to attack innocents,” NCM chief Mohammad Hamid Ansari said.