Salaam Namaste

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“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
C.S. Lewis – British Novelist, 1898-1963)

I often take several pictures of those two boys whenever I go to the chawk in Varanasi (Benaras).
After school, Abdulaim doesn’t take the time to get rid of his tie as he is rushing to meet his best friend who is waiting for him in order to play at the upper terrace of his father’s shop.
One is Muslim and the other is Hindu.
Those boys mean so much to me, they are like a symbol for now and for the future and I wish them to cherish this precious friendship forever.

I wanted to upload their portraits now, at a few hours from the final verdict which will be delivered by Allahabad High Court concerning the Ayodhya Judgement.
The Ayodhya debate is a political, historical and socio-religious debate that was most prevalent in the 1990s in Ayodhya, a city located in the Faizabad district of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The main issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded as the birthplace of the Hindu God Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque in 1527 by order of Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India.

Before the 1940s, the mosque was called Masjid-i Janmasthan (“mosque of the birthplace”) acknowledging the site as the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Lord Rama.
The mosque was little used by the Muslim community of the district and Hindu worshippers’ of Rama gained access to the site.
However the Babri Masjid (or Mosque of Babur) was destroyed by hardline Hindu activists during a political rally involving 150,000 people which turned into a riot on December 6, 1992.
More than 2,000 people were killed in ensuing riots in many major Indian cities including Mumbai and Delhi.

The final verdict will be delivered on September 30th at 3.30 pm.
There is a palpable tension across the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Most of the schools are closed, stores and offices will be closed during the afternoon as well, fearing communal flareup.

Nevertheless our office will remain opened in order to shelter anyone in case of trouble, may they be Muslims or Hindus.
UNITY shall prevail whatever happens…!!!

(“Salaam Namaste” is a Bollywood film of 2005, using Urdu and Hindi greetings, respectively).


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