Tazia binds religions

tazia procession in sambalpurLike every year, a Hindu family of Modipara in the town took out the ‘tazia’ procession to mark Muharram on Sunday. The Padhiary family has been doing it for past three generations. But the colour and rituals of Modipara tazia make it different from other tazia processions taken out by the Muslim community. When the top (tomb) of Muslim tazias are painted in white and green, the Hindu tazia has it in red. Coconuts are offered by devotees at the Hindu tazia unlike the Muslim ones.

“After the death of my father I have taken up the responsibility of bringing it out the procession every year. The practice dates back to 1664,” said the eldest member of the family Lalmohan Padhiary.

He said one of his forefathers Jaydev left home in 1655 to avoid marriage. He did not return till 1663. The family members, believing him to be dead, had performed his last rituals. But he appeared one fine morning in 1664 along with two maulanas and wished to take out a tazia procession that year. Initially, he did not get any support from his family because of religious and social restrictions. The people also vehemently objected it but it was the ruler of Sambalpur kingdom who not only supported him but also allotted a piece of land to meet the expenses of tazia procession.

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