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Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated in Assam, people pray for formation of inclusive govt

Lakhimpur: Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated across Assam with traditional fervour and gaiety on Thursday, with Muslims offering prayers in mosques and Eidgahs.

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan when the believers fast from dawn to dusk.

The festival is celebrated this year ahead of the Lok Sabha election, making it different from other years.

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As national award-winning filmmaker Merajur Rahman Baruah offered namaz at his home town in North Lakhimpur on Thursday, he prayed that the concept of equality, be it of religion or race, is ‘re-conceived and re-enforced’ as the country prepares to elect a new government.

Local businessmen Iftikhar Ahmed and Abdul Qadir also echoed Baruah as they urged political parties to ensure that an inclusive government is formed after the elections.

Baruah, whose documentaries focus on social issues, said that Assam was known as the land of ‘Shankar-Azan’, referring to the Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankardeva and Muslim peer Azan Fakir.

For the Film and Television Institute of India graduate who has spent the last few decades working outside the state, his identity of being an Assamese overrides all other identities.

“When I went for my studies outside Assam, I introduced myself only as an Assamese as religion is not important for us,” he said, maintaining that the religious equality and tolerance that was a hallmark of the state is being eroded at some level.

He claimed that Azan’s name is getting sidelined, and the ideology and philosophy of Shankardeva are being ‘diminished’ in its true form.

“We need to re-conceive and re-enforce the concept of Shankar-Azan,” he added.

“Today we celebrated Eid while Bihu, the national festival of Assam, is next week. And after that, there are the elections, which is another festival so to speak. We have to ensure that we re-discover ourselves,” Baruah added.

Ahmed also made an appeal for a government focused on growth and inclusive development.

“Elections are also a kind of festival for everyone, and an important one at that. Whichever political party may form the government, I would request that they work for all sections, especially the minority people, and take care of everyone’s rights and development,” he added.

Another local business Abdul Qadir also hoped that the election would bring in stability and peace.

“We don’t know what the results of elections will be. But we do hope it is conducted peacefully,” he added.

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