Sending a strong message of communal harmony, a Muslim family in a nondescript village in Sultanpur got special cards printed for the Hindu invitees to their daughter’s wedding.
Two sets of cards were printed separately for the Hindu and Muslim invitees for the wedding of Mohammad Salim’s daughter, Jahana Bano, with Yusuf Mohammad on April 29 in Baghsarai village in Sultanpur, UP.
“Around 250 to 300 cards were printed for the Muslim guests in traditional Islamic style, while 130 to 140 cards were printed for the Hindu invitees in the shape of a calendar (scroll) with the pictures of gods and goddesses,” said Azad, Mohammad Salim’s son and the brother of the bride.
Besides the pictures of Ram and Sita, the invitation card also had a “kalash” (pitcher), “diya” (earthen lamp), banana leaves and even a “pooja thali” (plate) with coconut, flowers and fruits — all auspicious symbols for Hindus — printed on it.
“It was the idea of the entire family…we have friends among the Muslims as well as the Hindus and the invitations had to be sent to them,” Azad said.
“There was no objection to the special cards either from our relatives and friends or the groom’s family,” he added.
To a question on whether the family would follow the practice in the future, Azad said, “There is nothing wrong in it…it’s only a gesture, welcoming them…” Mohammad Salim said he would be happy if this gesture helped bridge the gap between Hindus and Muslims.
“It is a goodwill gesture for my Hindu brothers. If we show respect to their gods, they will definitely show respect to the Muslim community,” he added.