By Kamlesh Tripathi
In Lucknow many actors who take part in the annual Ram-Leela are Muslims, where they play the lead role of Lord Ram, Hanuman & Lakshman to name a few. In the TV serial of 1st Mahabharat the lead role of Arjun was played by a Muslim actor. And it is so refreshing to read that flowers for Kerala Deities are grown in Muslim farms.
And this indeed is the beauty of India where our society has an undercurrent-life-connect with each other and resides in a bindass environment.
FLOWERS FOR KERALA DEITIES BLOOM IN MUSLIM FARMS
Malappuram: Balanced on a battered canoe. Aslam gently plucks a lotus that is just beginning to bloom and carefully places it in a pile.
He moves through the vast expense of Valiyaparappur lake in Malappuram, collecting more flowers, all meant for different temples in Kerala. Twenty-five-year old Aslam belongs to one of the 30 Muslim families in the village of Thirunavaya, on the banks of the Bharatapuzha river, who share a deep tie with Kerala’s Hindu temples.
It is known to very few devotees that the lotus blooms used in all major temples across the state including Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Sabarimala, Kodungalloor Bhagavathy Temple, Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Thriprayar Sri Rama Temple and Parshinikkaadavu Muthappan Temple are all farmed by these families.
“We have been doing it for over a hundred years,” says Musthafa Chakkaliparambil, who has 40-acre farm on the valiyaparappur lake. He supplies at least 7,000 lotuses a day to temples in Guruvayur and Kodungallur.
On an average, the village collects and distributes around 20,000 blooms every day. “Our business has thrived only because of the blessings of the deities and the revenue from temples,” says Abdul Rahman Karakkadan, who supplies flowers to Guruvayur and Paramekkavu temple in Thrissur from his 85-acre farm. The flowers are handed over to members of the Warrier community, who handle floral decorations in temples.