Cuttack (Odisha) [India]: In a unique example of communal harmony, Muslim artisans are making beautiful tableaux of Goddess Durga ahead of the ‘Durga Puja’ festival in Odisha.
Other than the tableaux of Goddess Durga, Muslim artisans for years have been making adornments for the goddess like head gear and earrings etc., made of golden threads called ‘zari’.
Muslim artisans residing in the Banka Bazar of Cuttack city have been designing tableaux for generations and their works are in demand in the neighbouring states as well.
A Muslim artisan, Zahir Khan, said this tradition has been going on for several decades.
“Relations between us remain good and we are happy to make the gears for the idols. They happily take it. There is no question that they think that we are Muslims and they won’t take things from us. Everything goes well here,” said Khan.
Another local artisan said customers are often overwhelmed by the intricate designs created by Muslims.
“Both Hindus and Muslims pray together during festivals. We head to their procession and they head to ours. When they celebrate Durga Puja, we celebrate it too. Now, we will have the Muharram festival and then they will have Dussehra. We will celebrate it together,” said a resident.
Durga Puja, also referred to as ‘Durgotsava’ or ‘Sharadotsav’, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. It marks the victory of the Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo-demon Mahishasura. The festival epitomises victory of good over evil. (ANI)