Religion always has been and will continue to be a cause of a great divide within our society. It has caused more destruction and death than anything else in human history and yet it will never dissipate. It has caused mayhem over centuries, and yet it has remained a force of good through all of it. God, or something like it, remains the vehicle of faith and hope, especially in the most trying times. Religion also has a tendency to bring out the very best in the human fabric, after all it was the teachings of her religion that led Mother Teresa to care for the hundreds of people she helped.
In a small town in Maharashtra, on the occasion of Eid, a group of people decided to put aside generations of differences and care for one another, all in the name of religion. Muslims in the town of Lonand decided to postpone Eid celebrations to July 19, because the original date July 18 clashed with a 1000-year-old Hindu tradition, namely Varkari .
Varkari is from the Vaishnava religious movement part of Hinduism. Varkari has been practiced in Maharashtra since the 13th century, when it was framed as a panth amid the Bhakti movement.
Since the traditions practiced during Eid clashed with Varkari, the Muslims of the town decided to postpone the celebrations as a goodwill gesture.
Every once in a while, people do things that are completely opposite to what is expected of them. It is in those times that the true nature of humanity is shown. This is a great the rest of this country can learn from the Muslims of Lonand. It would do us well to think of others ever so often.
Feature image source: PTI