Tag Archives: diwali



By Kamlesh Tripathi



By stopping Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Muzaffarnagar, from playing the role of Maaricha, uncle of Ravan, in the local Ramlila, after 20 years, Shiv Sena has stood out like a thorn in the society. Ramlila is a famous play enacted each year, all over India and even abroad. Let me for a moment juxtapose Muzaffarnagar with Lucknow on Ramlila. Both have been holding it since ages. Where, Lucknow is even more famous. For a lot of Muslim actors take part in the local Ramlila, and at times they even go on and on with their acting, even when they are keeping Rozas during Ramzan, if it happens to fall in the same month. This intermingling is the ultimate beauty, of one and only one—India. We are no deep state, but the biggest democracy of the world. Where, Ramlila, Dushera, Durga Puja and Diwali are our tall, widespread, cultural and festive totem-poles. Ramlila is therefore our Indian-ness. That belongs, to we Indians, and not Hindus alone. Nawazuddin is our own son. Rather the worthy son of Muzaffarnagar, and now even of India, who entertains us through his movies. He was born and brought up in Muzaffarnagar. So, Shiv Sena cannot just snatch away the colourful memories of his childhood by not allowing him to act in his home theatre 20 years later. He is free to visit his childhood the way he wants in his own city. Muzaffarnagar is amassed in him, so you just can’t dig it out like that. Shiv Sena needs to understand this. And, last but not the least, you just can’t seize hold of any Indian’s Indian-ness, by just citing his religion, because there is a fine distinction between Religion and Culture.






Yesterday, on the eve of Christmas I was told our office is not closed. As majority are non Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas. So we need to work on Christmas. A similar thing happened on Eid where again our office remained open. And, on both the days, I left in the morning only to return in the evening. Barely squeezing in time for a few text messages of ‘good wishes’ on the occasion to my Christian and Muslim friends, leave aside celebrating with them. I found this approach of certain establishment’s quite non-secular. But I was even more surprised when none of the so called secular parties of India came forward to address this non-secular issue. And, contrary to this on Holi and Diwali, the two major Hindu festivals, when our office remained closed no Christian or Muslim could come to work even if he wanted to. And with the same hypothesis this too was non-secular.


India should celebrate and grieve together. Unless we reach out to minorities in their thick and thin, and the minorities reach us in the breath, a sound weaving of minds will never happen, as everyone will celebrate their festivals only as a community and we won’t have too many national festivals.

After all; all our Gods reside in this very country and they all have Indian passports; and it is only for some non-secular establishments to realize this vintage fact.