Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peer Baba Muhammad Ali fair held in Fazilka

FAZILIKA - Sufi saints have been known for centuries to have spread the message of brotherhood, love and peace beyond the religious confines of different communities in India.

People of Punjab recently organized a fair dedicated to Peer Baba Muhammad Ali, and a large number of believers of the mystic converged regardless of caste, creed or gender, to pay obeisance at his mausoleum.

The fair is organised at Baba's mausoleum annually, which is located along the Fazilka-Ferozepur Highway in southwest Punjab. It is being held since 1947 Partition.

It is believed that the mausoleum has been in existence since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

As the owner of the land in which mausoleum is located belongs to a Hindu Seth Munsi Ram, a Hindu family is the caretaker of the mausoleum and organizes the fair.

Be it Hindu, Sikh or a Muslim - they pay obeisance with great faith and devotion.

"Devotees of all faiths come here. Devotees seek the blessing of the Peer Baba with ardent devotion. There is no distinction made among Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. No matter who belongs to which religion and caste, everyone gets an equal treatment in the house of Peer Baba Muhammad Ali," said Kailash Rani, a devotee.

An example of communal harmony in India, this holy place comes alive with activities involving shopping, food, sports and cultural programmes.

On this occasion, various rural sports events are organized during the fair with Kabaddi attracting from nearby villages participate with great enthusiasm.

The idea is to inspire youngsters to take up sports and keep them away from bad habits like drug addiction. It's a unique effort that has succeeded.

"Every year, sports events like kabaddi are organized and artistes are roped in to entertain. Such events inspire people to stay away of all bad habits. Whatever offerings we receive are spent on activities that benefit humanity, which includes sports and health," said Narendra Jeet, a devotee.

"This fair is organised in collaboration with all religious communities. It is an excellent initiative to maintain peace and brotherhood among the people," said Bohar Singh, another devotee.

On this occasion, a rural fair without Sufi and folk music would have remained incomplete. Thus, noted singers like Mohammad Sadaique sang devotional and folk songs. The fair helped in binding the people together. 

By Avtar Gill (ANI)

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