Hindus too observes Muharram in Karnataka

On Friday, Muslims in the districts of Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag, and Belagavi observed Muharram in several locations, especially in rural areas where hindus joined them as well. Muharram fell on the same day as the Hindu festival of Varamahalaxmi this year. However, according to the COVID-19 procedure, both occurrences were muted.

Over the years, both of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Karnataka have participated in Muharram processions. While there have been incidents of rioting and group fights in the state, communal calm in most sections of the state has helped to strengthen the relationship between the two communities.

Muharram’s “panjas” are placed in miniature pandals during the holiday, as is customary. Due to the sheer pandemic, their numbers were lower this time. Other locals gathered in several areas in North Karnataka since there are only one or two Muslim families to follow various Muharram rites. Due to the restriction on processions, there was no procession by persons of Iranian descent, which is usually held in Dharwad during Muharram. Eventually, a small group of individuals marched in procession with ‘panjas,’ and Hindus joined in.

On Friday, an incident was reported in Hubballi during a ritual. A boy bearing the ‘panja’ stumbled and fell down while running over live charcoal. However, he was quickly hauled out of it, avoiding any serious burn damage.

Meanwhile, Muharram is witnessed by Shia Muslims to celebrate the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain, who was killed in the battle of Karbala in 680 A.D. Throughout this time, the prophet’s son-in-law, Ali, and Ali’s elder son, Hassan, are also recognised as having suffered and died for a good cause.
However, one more example of religious harmony is in Harlapur village, which is predominantly Hindu residential area where no muslim family is present, but yet constructed a dargah for ‘Fakeer Swamy’ eleven years ago after raising finances and celebrate rituals. They also observe Muharram with whole heartedly.

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