Lucknow: “Jo Rab hain, wo Ram hain” (Allah and Ram are one). Carrying on with this message for centuries, thousands of Hindus and Muslims celebrate Holi festival together at the Holy shrine of Saint Haji Waris Ali Shah, popularly known as Dargah Dewa Sharif, in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh.
Unlike Shahjahanpur where 43 mosques were covered with tarpaulin to maintain peace and communal harmony, it is perhaps the only dargah in the country where Holi is celebrated with great fervour by Hindus and Muslims every year.
People from different parts of the country including Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, Kokatta etc come to Dewa village in Barabanki, about 52 kms from Lucknow, to celebrate Holi. As per tradition, the festival begins with a procession from Qaumi Ekta Gate.
People from all religions throw colours and flower petals on each other en route procession which culminates at the Dargah of Haji Waris Ali Shah, believed to be the 26th generation descendent of Prophet Hazrat Imam Ali. The saint was famous for his teachings of love, peace, brotherhood, unity and communal harmony.
Then thousands of Muslims and Hindus across the country gather at the complex of the Holy Shrine and play Holi with gulal and flower petals. Women and children sprinkle water of gulab and kewra attar on the disciples celebrating this unique bond of communal harmony.
People forgot about the Covid-19 protocol when riots of colours fill the air at the dargah complex where security forces are hardly seen. "Dargah has no history of any unsavoury incident. Brother don't fight here but hug each other," smiled a staff of the dargah
Hindu disciples coming from different parts of the country distribute ‘gujhiyas’ and hug each other to strengthen their bond further. “I am coming here to celebrate holi for the last 30 years,” says Manjeet Singh from Haryana.
Dargah Dewa Sharif is one of the holy places which is always included into the religious itinerray of ‘jayareens’ (muslim pilgrims) visiting Khwaza Ajmer Sharief. Every year, urs is organized where Hindus always outnumber Muslims to pay homage to Saint Haji Wari Ali Shah.