Muslim cleric to take Kumbh dip to wash away religious differencesOctober 2nd, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Oct 2 (IANS) A dip in the sacred river during the Maha Kumbh Mela is said to wash away all sins. A senior Muslim cleric who will perform the Hindu rite hopes it will also wash away differences between the two religions.
Kalbe Sadiq, a noted Shia cleric and senior vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), will take the “holy dip” in the upcoming Maha Kumbh Mela to be held in Haridwar in 2010.
“For the sake of cementing the bond between Hindus and Muslims, I have decided to perform the ritual (holy dip) in the Ganga river, which is considered sacred and revered, particularly by Hindus,” Sadiq told IANS.
“In fact, not only the holy dip, I am ready to perform every such act that will help promote amicable atmosphere between the two communities and contribute towards the progress of the nation,” he added.
Maha Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, will be held in 2010 in the holy city Haridwar in Uttarakhand, from Jan 14 to April 28, and is expected to see an influx of 15 million pilgrims — many of whom will come from distant lands.
“Though I have not planned the exact date for carrying out the holy ritual, very soon I will make it (date) public,” Sadiq said.
The Muslim cleric has also intimated his plans to the seers in Haridwar.
“I have informed them so that they can assist me in performing the holy ritual smoothly. For this purpose, I have already held talks with Yogi Yateendra Nath Giri, who is the national convener of the Akhil Bhartiya Sadhu Parishad,” he said.
Asked about important issues that cropped up in his talks with the seer, Sadiq said: “Primarily, it remained focussed on chalking out a plan to further cement the bond between Hindus and Muslims.”
The controversial issue of Babri Masjid/Ram Mandir too cropped up during the discussion.
“Yes, we discussed it and both of us agreed that the matter should be left to the court and members of both the communities should respect the court’s order,” he added.
Maha Kumbh Mela occurs four times every 12 years and rotates among four locations: Allahabad (in Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati river; Haridwar (in Uttarakhand) along the Ganga, Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh) along the Kshipra river and Nashik (Maharashtra) along the Godavari river.
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