September 24, 2017 03:45 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, Sept 24: Every year, Abdul Wahid Mansuri of Nepalgunj celebrates Dashain along with his Hindu friends. His friend Subash Gyawali who belongs to a non-Muslim family invites him to the celebration of the greatest festival of Hindus at his home which is in Belaspur. Mansuri who is also the first vice-president of Nepalgunj Chamber of Commerce, visit's his friend's home on this occasion and receives Tika and blessings from his mother. He has been doing so for the past decade and a half.
"I don't like missing Tika from my friend's mother who is no less than my own mother for me," said Mansuri. Both of them have been sharing their happiness by celebrating various Hindu and Muslim festivals together since young age when they were classmates. He says festivals have played a pivotal role in uniting their families and strengthening their relationship. "During Dashain, we have fun at his home and during Eid and Muharram we have fun at my home," Mansuri added.
Similarly, Subeda Farheen of Eklaini, Nepalgunj celebrates Dashain like Hindus. She reaches out to her friend Sapana Bhattarai in Nepalgunj-11 for sharing her joy and happiness. Not just in Dashain but Subeda's family visits Sapana's family in most of the festivals and so does Sapana's family during Muslim festivals. They have been doing so for decades. "Not just festivals, we have been celebrating other important occasions together,” says Sapana.
This clearly proves that Nepalgunj in recent years has developed communal and religious solidarity. People of various religions are jointly celebrating festivals with no restrictions, setting a great example of peaceful and harmonic coexistence of various religions. "Religious harmony has been so strong here that it is not possible for anyone to break it," said Rahman Miya, former chairperson of Jama Mosque Idgah Management Committee, Nepalgunj.
According to him, there are some people and organizations which have been trying to fuel controversies and provoke communal fights. “However; they have failed,” he says. When Muslims jointly read Namaj at the Idgah at BP chowk, a large number of Hindus reach there to wish them for the festivals and share happiness. "We are delighted to see people of two different religions celebrating each other's festivals and this has become common in Nepalgunj," said Miya.