350-year-old Puja starts with Namaaz: Celebrates communal harmony

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The 350-year-old Durga Puja of Sarkar Bari in Arambagh, celebrates communal harmony as a tradition even during the days when things as little as advertisements that celebrate communal harmony, are banned. Keeping the tradition alive for almost three centuries now, the puja amalgamates Hindu and Muslim cultures- it starts with Namaaz and is then followed by an Aarti.

Started by zamindar Baburam Sarkar, Muslim families who stayed and worked on his farms during his zamindari, were also included in the puja revelry by him. That’s how people of both communities were allowed to invoke the divine power of the Mother Goddess, three centuries ago.

The Sarkar family, keeping the progressive tradition of 21st century alive, still celebrates Puja with Namaaz on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. Puja is followed by the Namaaz path.

Abdul Matleb, one of the villagers has been offering Namaaz before Puja for almost 30 years. His entire family, including his forefathers have kept this practice alive at the Sarkar Bari.

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