Arts & Culture

“I am a Muslim and I celebrated Diwali”

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This Diwali was very significant for a lot of non Hindus. India has been fighting not a new but a strong wave of intolerance. Communalism has become the evil of the day. However, I will not give the standard definition by saying that people are harming each other in the name of religion, rather people are being made to harm each other. In fact, some people are being mislead into harming others. The problem is not so much about intolerance growing but about intolerance being made to grow. Nevertheless,this Diwali, some non Hindus celebrated the festival to show and encourage the spirit of tolerance and acceptance.

I am a Muslim and I celebrated Diwali the best way I could. It started with a phone call from my father, who said, ” Happy Diwali” to me. Only this and it  made me realise that I need to be together with those around me. I immediately went to my friends room who happens to be a Hindu and offered lighting a Dia with her. I was joined in by a Christian friend too.A beautiful co incidence that happened was that I had a scarf covering my head, my Christian friend was wearing a stole with a Cross on it and my Hindu friend had put on a Bindi. Upon realising this blissful coincidence, we clicked a picture wearing the symbols of our respective faiths ,and  along with it we braved a Diwali Dia.

We were immediately joined in by some other students who were Buddhists who also lighted a Diya. This was followed by a lot of other instances where people irrespective of their faiths heartily celebrated Diwali. From lights, to Dia’s and to feasts, people from different religions donned the attires of tolerance.

Similarly, I have witnessed Hindus celebrating Eid and Christmas. In fact, in the holy month of Ramdhan this year, when muslims fast for 30 days ; a group of non Muslims also observed a fast for a day to show their love and support.

Such attitude of tolerance, love and acceptance is the need of the hour. While a Bindi didn’t make me feel any less of a Muslim, but it surely made my friend feel that I am a better one. I agree symbols and festivals stand for a lot more and our religions might differ on those beliefs. However, it is so much more empowering to celebrate with our loved ones and still hold on to our respective faiths.

We are all different because of what we believe in. However, we can all be together in letting each other believe. The only thing that matters is that we all stay together. Religion asks us to trace our origins back to the creator. Let’s not miss the the fact that the creation is from a single root. While we might differ on who our creator is, we cannot debate that we are all from a single one. We share the same source. The elements of our being are similar.

In our lives plagued by the politics of terror and Oppression, it is essential that together we enjoy one day of celebration. While religion is being used to divide people, let us use religion to unite people. If people fire bullets in the name of religion, let us pledge to face them together.

The article is a personal account of a writer of DU Beat

Tooba Towfiq
[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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