[email protected]

Balurghat, 14 November
The Mohammedan community across South
Dinajpur district, particularly those belonging to the Shia sect, are preparing to
remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad in the
legendary battle of Karbala. Majalis (gatherings) mark the observance known as one of mourning and penance for the sin committed ages back.
The mourning continues for 10 days and it
reaches its climax on the tenth day, known as Ashura that marks the killing of 72 persons, including Imam Hussein, his family and
loyalists. “It is a tale of monumental tragedy. They were driven to death by being denied even a drop of water to slake thirst. This is an occasion for mourning and penance as well as for self-cleansing. Tajias are taken out in Balurghat town every year as part of the observance”, said a Balurghat resident, Mr Mohammad Yusuf.
The preparation starts a month before the appointed day. Young boys from the town are specially trained by the principal Moulvi at Balurghat centre mosque.
“The participants don green attire while marching through the town, carrying traditional weapons like swords, bows, arrows and spears to relive the ambience of the battle of Karbala and its tearful aftermath,” said Mr Suraj Sheikh, a resident of the town.
The spirit of the observance, known for solemnity, transcends divides in Balurghat. “It is now being seen as one of strengthening the bond of harmony,” said another resident, Mr Rajarshi Dasgupta.