An Uttar Pradesh village where Hindus, Muslims live in one family

November 14th, 2007 - 2:14 am ICT by admin  
Sadhan (Agra), Oct.14 (ANI): Sadhan Village in Agra District of Uttar Pradesh has 45 families in which half of the members of the same family follow Hinduism and the other half abide by Islam.

Half of these family members observed Rozas during Ramdan ahead of Id-ul-Fitr, whereas the other half are celebrating Navratras, the nine-day festival devoted to Goddess Durga, these days. The prayers are performed in common courtyards.

The unique feature of the members of these families showing respecting for each other’s chosen faith is setting a big example of community in Sadhan Village, 45 kilometres from Tehsil headquarters of Kirowali in Achnara Block.

Once such family is of Shakuntala, where two sons follow different religious faiths but share one roof.

“I have both (Hindu and Muslim) the religions in my family. I don’t feel odd. In the same home, some of the members observed Roza and while the rest are observing Navaratri fast. In this house, one brother is Muslim and the other is Hindu,” said Shankutala.

“My sister-in-law is a Hindu, I am a Muslim. She is worshipping her deity for the Navaratri festival and I have observed my last Roza. We are comfortable with each other’s religious practices. We cook and eat together and there is no discrimination of any sort in our family. We are living happily as one,” said Afrozi, elder daughter-in-law of Ghazni, the family head.

The village has a population of 5,000 people.

“Today there are many such families where one brother practices Islam and the other is a Hindu. There is no discrimination in this village in the name of religion. People here are very liberal. We stand by each other and religion creates no hindrance among us from coming close,” said Illiyas Ahmad Khan, a villager.

Khan, while telling about some of such families, added: There lived two real brothers -Adilbad (a Muslim by faith) and Jeevan Lal (a Hindu by faith). Another family was of Mir Khan, a Muslim by faith, but his son followed Hinduism.

Legend has it that the unique social set up prevalent in the Sadhan Village started during the Moghul era when the erstwhile ruler Aurangzeb (1658-1707) is believed to have converted Hindus to Islam en-masse. The purpose was to make Dar-al-Harb (land of infidelity) into Dar-Al-Islam (land of faith).

Later, during the nineteenth century, Hindu reformers Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Dayanand Saraswati emerged on the scene with their Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj respectively.

The Arya Samaj launched a movement named “Shuddhi” (purification) to bring back those families whose ancestors had been converted to other faiths.

But when the Shuddhi movement reached Sadhan Village, many families here decided not to get influenced by it. Rather, they opted to pursue both the religions, allowing their progenies to follow either Islam or Hindu faith. Since then, the village has witnessed this trend of a single family practising different faiths. (ANI)

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