Tuesday, Mar 26, 2002
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By Syed Muthahar
TIRUNELVELI, March 25. Residents of Pulimankulam and surrounding villages near Thisaiyanvilai, following different faiths today set an example for others observing Muharram, martyrdom of Hazrath Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohamed, who laid down his life in a war to protect the principles of democracy.
A large number of Hindus participated in the `Tazia' procession along with Muslims at Pulimankulam. The procession was led by V. Nayaz Ahmed Bijili and H. Habeebur Rahman Bijili, hereditary trustees of the Athangarai Pallivasal Dargah. Hindus from Sokkalingapuram, Urumankulam, Tiruvamabalapuram and Avudayalpuram, marched towards the `chavadi', where the `Panjas' were installed, and offered prayers.
Three persons, two of them non-Muslims, took part in a firewalk held in the early hours. S. Ache Miyan, hereditary Muzaavar, led the rite in which Veerabahu Asari (55) of Sokkalingapuram and Arumugam Yadav (28) of Pulimankulam participated. Mr. Veerabahu has been taking part in the firewalks for the past 25 years. Last year, about 10 persons participated two of them Muslims.
The Hindus, who take part in the firewalk adhere strictly to fasting as do the Muslims. Many of them also read the Tamil version of Shahadat naama, which depicts the tale of the martyrdom of Hazrath Imam Hussain in the war of Karbala.
Hindus of these villages vie with the Muslims in making arrangements for the Muharram. They fell trees on their farms to prepare wood for the firewalk. A group of Hindu volunteers stayed around the `alaawa' throughout the night to keep people away from the fire.
According to the residents of Pulimankulam, Hindus and Muslims have been observing Muharram jointly for the past many decades.
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