Source: Indo-Asian News Service
On October 6, 2003 the Indo-Asian News Service reported that "hundreds of Muslims in Orissa joined Hindus in celebrating Durga Puja, and at least one even headed a managing committee for the festival. 'There is nothing wrong if a Muslim joins a Hindu festival,' asserted S.M. Ansari, who oversees Durga Puja preparations every year at Tinikonia Bagicha in the heart of Cuttack city, 26 km from here. 'Muslims and Hindus are like brothers and sisters. We organised the celebration jointly,' Bagicha told IANS. Besides contributing money, Muslims also actively took part in the Durga Puja procession, he pointed out. Muslims in Orissa make up barely three percent of the population but have set several examples of communal harmony in the past."