Agra’s Eid fervour dampened by terror, financial crisis

December 8th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Dec 8 (IANS) The customary Eid fervour in Agra is clearly missing this time around with the terror attacks in Mumbai and the recessionary trends casting a shadow over the festivities.Many Muslim leaders have urged people to observe the Bakr-Eid festival, which falls Tuesday, with austerity in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Uttar Pradesh All Party Muslim Action Committee general secretary Mohammed Aslam Sheikh asked Muslims to celebrate Eid in a simple manner in memory of the Mumbai victims.

The strikes in Mumbai that claimed 172 lives have hit the city’s tourism industry and handicrafts exports hard - both employing a large number of muslims.

“Though our shops are open even on weekly holidays, the sales have not picked up and there is a clear lack of enthusiasm, which we normally associate with festivals,” said Bankey Maheshwari, a shopkeeper in Johri Baazar area near Jama Masjid.

“The mood is sullen, the sales are dull and only formalities are being gone through. The emotional build-up is lacking. The reasons are not clear… maybe a combination of several factors has dampened the mood,” said Abbas, a teacher.

Even the shoe industry has started feeling the heat of global recession, causing panic among traders and material suppliers of the traditional Hing ki Mandi shoe market.

However, the ceremonial goats that have fancy names, including that of filmstars, continue to fetch attractive prices. Muslims buy goats for sacrificial offerings on Eid-ul-Zuha - also meaning the festival of sacrifice.

Bakr-Eid commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail on god’s command.

The area around the Taj Mahal has been cleaned and spruced up by the municipal corporation ahead of the festival.

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