Every Year, This Muslim Family in Madhya Pradesh Builds Ravan's Effigy for Dussehra
A Muslim family that resides in the Khedipura locality of Harda has carried the tradition of preparing the effigy of Ravan for 50 years, and across three generations.
An effigy of demon king Ravana is lit to be burnt marking the end of Dussehra festival. Image for representation. (Image: AP)
Harda (Madhya Pradesh): The festival of Dussehra, which signifies the victory of good over evil, also carrries the added message of communal harmony for the town of Harda in Madhya Pradesh.
A Muslim family that resides in the Khedipura locality of the town has carried the tradition of preparing the effigy of Ravan for 50 years, and across three generations.
Sheikh Zahoor Khan and Sheikh Sattar Khan are credited with having started the tradition, which requires that preparations for the figure begin a week before Dussehra at the local Nehru stadium. Local Hindus often help with the elaborate process.
This year, the original craftsmen's posterity — Sheikh Salim, Sheikh Zafar, Iqbal Sheikh Munna, and their grandson Ayan Khan — are responsible for the task.
Sheikh Bablu, who was also working on the effigy, said that his family had learnt the craft from their father.
Abdul Salim, another member of the family, said that they had as much faith in Lord Ram as in Allah. The youngest member of the clan Ayan also expressed his delight in continuing the family tradition.
Chairman of Harda municipality Surendra Jain said, "This town, unlike other places, does not witness the burning of Ravan's effigy at multiple places. A common effigy is burnt, and the event is attended by people of all castes, creed and religions."
This year, town's municipality decided to make the festival evern more special by launching a campaign against plastic during the Dussehra function. The civic body will spread the message of getting rid of plastic and would also distribute cloth bags after the function.
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