Hindus and Muslims bond over Sankranti in Bhiwandi

Hindus and Muslims bond over Sankranti in BhiwandiTHANE: For the first time, both Hindus and Muslims in the communally sensitive Bhiwandi town in Thane district of Maharashtra celebrated the festival of Makar Sankranti together this year.

The town, which has a sizable Muslim community, is also known for its thriving powerloom industry, but major riots in 1970 and 1984 gave it notoriety as `communally sensitive’.

Yesterday, in a first, members of both communities, especially women, were seen distributing sweets made from `til-gul’ (sesame and jaggery) in various localities to mark the festival.

In Maharashtra, the traditional greeting on Sankranti is “Til-gul ghya ani god-god bolaa” (`Have some Til-Gul and let your talk be as sweet’).

“The younger generation has taken this initiative. They want to celebrate festivals of both religions,” said Abbas Qureshi (78).

This was for the first time that Sankranti was celebrated in this way, he added.

Youths from both communities also flew kites, which is another marker of Sankranti.

In the recent years, Muslims in Bhiwandi have been seen taking part in Ganesh Festival, Gokulashtmi and the celebration of Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of warrior king Shivaji.-PTI

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