Thank you Mr. President for this gesture, although a majority of Muslims do not subscribe to this ritual, almost all Indians regardless of their religion respect the Saint and pay a homage to him. It is not an Islamic value, but a cultural value.
I've been there with my late wife to honor this man who forged healthy relationships between people of different faiths. I can never forget that day - Najma was around 50 then, and we were not comfortable under the green chaddar (cloth covering the shrine). The Mujawar (care taker of the shrine) suggested that if we do the minnat (wish) for a child, and tie the dhaga (string) to the metal screen around, the saint may bless us to have a child. It is all belief and I wish all the visitors the best.
As a Pluralist who admires the pluralistic ethos of India, I welcome this step, and hope Mr. Modi follows it as well. I fully understand Mr. Modi's predicament, he wants to do a lot of good for "all Indians" but he is not trained to do that. Not all, but many kids coming out of an RSS Madrasa or a Muslim Madrasa have an exclusive language...their language does not figure others, and they don't know how to talk about all Indians as Indians - A few Muslims talk negatively about Hindus and the same percent of Hindus do the opposite; talk negatively about Muslims.
What matters is, if we can have a good heart for all people, every one would be better off. There is no need to do the score keeping either. These are the small things that go a long ways in building better societies, as envisaged by the Vedas - Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum as well as Quran.
# # #
Obama sends chadar to Ajmer Sufi shrinehttp://www.dawn.com/news/1177206/obama-sends-chadar-to-ajmer-sufi-shrine
NEW DELHI: A red coloured Chadar (Holy Cloth), which was sent by US President Barack Obama on the occasion of the 803th annual Urs of Hazrat Khawaja Moinudeen Chishty, was offered at Ajmer Dargah Sharif in Rajasthan on Monday, Press Trust of India said.
The Chadar with a message ‘Greeting of Peace’ from Mr Obama was handed over to Haji Syed Salman Chishty, Director of the Chishty Foundation by the US Ambassador in India Richard Verma.
According to Haji Chishty, the Chadar was received from the US Embassy a few days back.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2015
On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play