Muslims Celebrate Ganeshotsav With Hindu Neighbors

September 14, 2004

Source: Pune Newsline

On September 14, 2004 Pune Newsline reported, "You go out there seeking the extraordinary. After all, it’s about Muslims participating in Ganeshotsav. You expect it to be unique. Only to be told matter-of-factly, time and again, 'shorn of our religions, aren’t we all the same?' Half the members of Taboot Street Tarun Mandal in Camp are Muslims by faith. But they feel the joy and delight in wholeheartedly participating in Ganeshotsav—from doing up the pandal, aarti preparations, attending aarti to taking the idol for immersion. 'It is only natural. When we live together, why can’t we enjoy together,' says treasurer Imaduddin Sayed, who even pieces together the Ganesh stories. With Muslim members also donating to the mandal’s fund, president Dilipkumar Saraf says, 'Every theory about Muslim-Hindu discord is proved wrong here. We respect each other’s beliefs and yet don’t let that come between us.' Incidentally, the 37-year-old mandal also comes together for Moharram when its Hindu members join the tazia procession."