Muslim youth turn into ‘Gully boys’ during Ramadan: Whiling away time in playing cricket, other sports during holy nights

Hyderabad: Ramadan is a month of fasting, piety and charity. But there are groups of youngsters across Hyderabad who have begun to believe that the Holy month is also for whiling away time in sports and games. They are found spending at least four to five precious hours in the night in sports. Some groups are enjoying cricket and some others indulge in badminton and carom.

The ‘Gully boys’ as they are called after a recent Bollywood blockbuster have been found indulging in their favourite pastime by this reporter who travelled through the maze in areas such as Santosh Nagar, Khalendar Nagar, Eidi Bazar, Moghalpura, Shalibanda, Hussaini Alam, Riyasat Nagar etc.

It appears that the boys in each Mohalla (area) have decided to adopt one or two sports. They are found in community halls, playgrounds and in any open space they could find. Those who are not apt in any sport are resorting to the old Chheenam Chhani or hide and seek game. Given the sanctity of the month it might appears sacrilege for many but incidentally no religious group, NGO or individual has intervened to stop the youth.

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Shizan, a 19-year-old student summed up the situation this way. Said he, “Cricket is one of the most popular sports here in the Old city. They are crazy about it. Most of them observe fast during the day. After the Iftar (breaking of fast) and the mandatory maghrib and Isha namaz most of them return home, eat something for boost energy and bolt off to the playgrounds. They are returning home for sahri (the predawn meal). They say the fajr prayer and hit the bed. They wake up only around one or two in the afternoon.”

Father of a young man in Moghalpura is worried about this new trend. Pleading his helplessness he said, “We find it difficult to keep our children at home after midnight. To make them go to sleep, we switch off the TV. But that is not helping. The youngsters are sneaking away and indulging in sports till almost dawn.”

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In some areas, the enterprising youngsters are arranging led lights to play cricket. Their shouts during the game sucha as arre pakad..,dhoom catch,…out out…what a shot echo through the lanes. Some residents are objecting to this but to no avail.

Mohammad Qadir, a resident in Kala Pathar, said that the Islamic scholars and community leaders should join hands to stop this nuisance. “We should take the help of police if they do not listen. This should stop immediately because we have entered the last 10 crucial nights of Ramadan,” he said.

by Mohammed Hussain

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