Bhopal: Qazi Khaleel-ur-Rahman of Ujjain will lead the peshwai (procession) that marks the beginning of the month-long Simhastha.
Acharya Narendra Giri, head of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad along with the visitors visited Qazi Khaleel’s home in Ujjain and asked him to lead the procession, starting April 22 this year.
Giri said that at a time when people pursuing a “communal and divisive” agenda and going along with the policies that favour the “few and the powerful” at the expense of the weak,this move will create a goodwill and communal harmony.
“This is the first time we have formally invited the shahr (city) qazi. The objective is to create goodwill and communal harmony,” Acharya Giri told The Telegraph.
Acharya Giri said that he and the other akhara heads had thought of personally visiting and inviting Qazi Khaleel to “send out a strong signal of communal harmony from the Simhastha”.
Over 5 crore pilgrims are expected to congregate and take a dip in the river Kshipra. The occasion is called Simhastha because of a rare, 12-yearly configuration of planets with the Sun entering the Aries sign and Jupiter in Leo (Simha).