The Holi celebrations of Vrindavan and Mathura are known to the world but also there is a Dargah in Uttar Pradesh where people across faiths come together to celebrate the colours of Holi every year. The Dewa Shareef is perhaps the only dargah in the country where Holi is played inside the dargah campus. Dewa Shareef is the shrine of Sufi Saint Haji Waris Ali Shah where people from across faiths have been coming for ages.
Amidst the chants of ‘Ya Waris’ and Gulal, along with flowers, people from all walks of life irrespective of their faith gather at Dewa Shareef Dargah in Barabanki to celebrate the festival of colour. The Holi celebrations at Dewa Shareef is considered as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity, where the boundaries of all castes and religions get merged. On Monday the flying colours at the Dewa Shareef dargah once again saw people across religions hugging and congratulating each other on the occasion of Holi. The tradition of playing Holi at Dewa Shareef has been going on for hundreds of years.
The tomb of Haji Warish Ali Shah was built by his Hindu friend Raja Pancham Singh and since its construction, this place has been giving the message of Hindu-Muslim unity. Somewhere Hindu devotees also consider him to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna and also inscribe the sentences of Shri Krishna Waris Sarkar on their homes and vehicles.
Sardar Paramjit Singh, who hails from Delhi and has been playing this unique Holi for 30 years continuously said, “I used to be inside my house on Holi, but when I came to play Holi here 30 years ago, I got drenched in colours here.” Another devotee, who had come from Mirzapur claimed that he was inspired by the teachings of Waris Ali Shah and has been coming to celebrate Holi for more than ten years now.
Speaking to News18, Holi committee chairman, Sahazade Alam Warsi said, “The Holi here has been played for more than 100 years, earlier there was not so much crowd and people of the town used to offer colour to Sarkar (Haji Waris Ali Shah) and he used to give his blessings to the people. Over time, the nature of Holi changed here and people from outside also started playing Holi here. Now, being the Chairman of Holi Committee, I appeal to everyone that Holi must be played with safe colors. The message of love is the message of Sarkar and this should spread all over the world.”