While country seems to be reeling from growing instances of religious intolerance, two Muslim youth of Lucknow University are setting a unique example of harmony and mutual trust.
Sahaduddin Ahmed alias Sameer, a close relative of Pram Vir Chakra winner Abdul Hamid and his friend Abdul Kalim have observed fast on the first day of Navratri and the duo has vowed to observe fast on the last day as well, Times of India reports.
On the first day of Navratra, Sameer, who completed his LLB and is now studying Arab Culture at LU, distributed fruits and 'falahaar' (food consumed during fast) to his Hindu friends at a university hostel. Not only this, he recited Durga Chalisa and performed 'aarti', the TOI report says.
"If Hindus and Muslims start celebrating festivals together, there will never be a Dadri. If I keep rozas, I also observe fast on Navratri. In my village, Hindu festivals Holi and Diwali begins from our house. On every Bada Mangal, I organize bhandharas," said Sameer.
Sameer's grandfather Bashir Ahmed and PVC Hamid were brothers. Both the families live next door in Ghazipur.
According to Sameer, he draws his inspiration from Hamid's widow Rasoolan Bibi. "Dadi always says that no religion talks ill of other religion. Until and unless we start respecting each other (Hindu and Muslims), outsiders will draw advantage. It's high time that we get united."
On the other hand, Kalim, a second year BA (Hons) student at LU, said: "Hindu-Muslim unity in our country was exemplary to the West. Unfortunately, religion is being used to divide communities and societies. We will continue to spread communal harmony in our own ways."
The duo is unrelenting in their efforts to transcend faith in reaching to others.
After Navratri, Sameer is gearing up for Diwali.
"I will visit people who cannot afford to light a 'diya' in their house because of any reason. If I make few Hindu families smile, I will feel my life in peace," he said.