Unity in Diversity

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In a hamlet in the Belagavi area where there isn’t a single Muslim family, Muharram is observed for five days each year. Even though there are no Muslims in the area, a large crowd gathers on the streets every year. The festival is grandly observed for five days each year in the Hirebidanur hamlet in Belagavi’s Saundatti taluk. The first month of the Islamic calendar is Muharram, which is second only to Ramadan in terms of holiness. The month will end on August 28 this year after beginning on July 31.According to a source in The Times Of India, the area has a sizable population of Valmiki and Kuruba people who celebrate the event by praying in a mosque that houses the shrine of the “Fakireshwar swamiji.” Villagers pray in great numbers to “Fakireshwar swamiji” while lighting up the streets with vibrant serial sets.The mosque’s pooja is typically performed by a Hindu priest, but every year during the festival, the locals invite a moulvi from the nearby hamlet to lead prayers according to Islamic tradition for a week.

By Subhechcha Ganguly