18, Jul 2015
Will Skip Eid To Welcome Rath Yatra
When the Jagan nath Rath Yatra rolls out on July 18, Lalabhai Shyamwala won’t be at home prepar ing for Eid fes tivities. Instead, he will be standing on the yatra route to not just welcome the rath but also ensure that it passes from a communally sensitive area peacefully .
Given the series of communal flare-ups in the city , Lalabhai and his group of friends will camp in the areas, urging people from their community not spread rumours as well as not heed to any .
They will greet the devotees and the rath near Nyay Mandir and stay back till the yatra passes by.“It is after a long time that both Eid and Jagannath Yatra will probably be celebrated on the same day . The Jagannath Yatra has always been celebrated peacefully in the city and we want to ensure that this year too both communities celebrate their festivals harmoniously .It’s an important day for both communities,“ Lalabhai told TOI.
“Too many people suffer and also lose their income due to riots. So we have always worked towards communal harmony by reaching out to both common people and police. By participating in the rath yatra, we want to send out a message that all the communities can celebrate their festivals together,“ Lalabhai, who is one of the largest event organizers in the city, said.
He will welcome the yatra and offer flowers to the saints and priests. The cops are cautious this year as the city has witnessed several communal riots on slightest of provocation in last one year. “We will be attending the peace committee meetings and appeal people not to spread any rumours. After riots last year too we had organized a joint appeal of leaders of all religions who urged their communities to maintain peace,“ he added.