Cuttack: The Silver City has been spreading the message of universal brotherhood and communal harmony for last many years.
Here, many people from the Muslim community not only help the Hindus to organise Durga puja in a smooth manner but also actively participate in the Dussehra festival.
Irrespective of their religious beliefs, people from the Muslim community have been working as office-bearers of some Durga puja committees of the Millennium City for last several years. Moreover, the Muslim people of many localities of the city often welcome the idols of Goddess Durga during the immersion ceremony.
According to the locals, Sayed Mustafiz Ahmed was elected as the secretary of Malgodown Puja Committee in 1983. Ahmed was instrumental in the smooth organisation of Durga puja in Malgodown area for many years. Sayed Nizamuddin Ahmed, another member from the Muslim community, has been working as the secretary of Malgodown Puja Committee since 2002.
Similarly, Ishak Khan, a devout Muslim, was elected as the vice-president of Phiring Bazar Puja Committee in 1973. Since then, he has been actively participating in the Dussehra festival. Moreover, Sikander Alli, a member of the Muslim community, is now working as the vice-president of Jobra Durga Puja Committee. In Jobra, Muslim women often welcome the idol of Devi Durga during the immersion ceremony.
Faisal Muhammad, a Muslim by belief, was elected as the vice-president of Mohammadia Bazar Puja Committee in 1978. Since then, Muhammad has been shouldering the responsibility of a smooth Dussehra. Apart from that, members of the Muslim community are helping the office-bearers of Alisha Bazar, Chandni Chowk and Mangalabag puja committees in the organisation of Dussehra festival.
“Cuttack is the city of universal brotherhood. The people of the city celebrate the festivals of all communities with great enthusiasm. Members of the Muslim community have been actively participating in Dessehra celebration for last many years,” said Mohammadia Bazar Puja Committee secretary Lingaraj Barik.
Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti Committee secretary Bhikari Das claimed that people from all communities in the city celebrate Durga puja with equal enthusiasm.
“Cuttack has the tradition of universal brotherhood. The city has become an example for many with regard to communal harmony. People from all communities come forward to celebrate Dussehra here,” said Cuttack Mahanagar Shanti Committee president Debendra Sahu.