Jaisalmer: In many villages of Barmer and Jaisalmer districts, Muslims celebrate Diwali and sing bhajans. Worship of Lord Ganesh is a practice some Muslims share with their Hindu neighbours. Now, in the holy month of Ramzan, many Hindus are keeping the roza (fast) too.
Besides keeping the roza, many Hindus have been taking part in the namaz prayers, five times a day. There is no one who remembers how it came to be this way.
After Partition, many Hindu families arrived here from Sindh which is now in Pakistan. There is much cultural exchange between thetwo communities in the villages in the border distric ts, and it is hard for the outsider to tell Hindu from Muslim by observing cuisine or attire or language.
Dr Megharam Gadhveer of Gohad Ka Tala village in Barmer says, “We celebrate each other’s festivals and we’ve been sharing each other’s joys and sorrows. After Partition and also after the wars with Pakistan, the families that have moved here from Pakistan have come to share all our rituals. Many Meghwals also feel great devotion for Peer Pithoro, whose dargah is in Sindh.”
Shankara Ram, who is on the Ramzan fast, told TOI, “All those who are followers of Peer Pithoro keep a fast at this time, during the month of Ramzan. The practice is prevalent in many villages — Godhad Ka Tala, Rabasar, Sata, Sinhania, Bakhasar, Kelnore. The Saiyeed Kasam dargah at Gohad Ka Tala sees many Muslim and Hindu devotees. Our traditions are similar. The little children keep roza too, so it is all just something that is done as a matter of course.”
Langa Mangniar Gaji Khan Banna, renowned for his music, said, “We start our musical sessions with praise for Lord Ganesh. We do that even if we happen to be performing in a foreign country. Manganiars are Muslim, but we sing in the weddings and other functions of the Hindus.”