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Maler Kotla - shining example of communal harmony

Maler Kotla, a Muslim majority area of Punjab, is even today the cradle of peace and cooperation. During the black days of fierce communal riots, this region was quite safe. When Punjab was burning, people of this place were having a peaceful sleep. The way people of this place, Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs, were living here in peace and harmony before partition of the country, are living in the same peaceful manner even today. There is neither mutual hatred nor enmity against each other. An atmosphere of unity and cooperation with each other prevails here. No one wants to hinder others progress. People are moving forward shoulder to shoulder on the road to progress.

An American research scholar, Ms Anna Barry, is in India these days to carry out her research on this wonderful communal peace and harmony. She is presently touring Punjab and is herself seeing the peaceful atmosphere in Maler Kotla and its rural areas. She meets different people and is studying human psychology. In fact, she wants to probe and search spiritual values of man which binds human beings together and impels them to live harmoniously. To her, Maler Kotla appears to be the ideal place for her research. She has now a feeling that religion is not meant for shedding each others’ blood but for creating an atmosphere of peace and love.

As the tradition goes, when both the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth ‘guru’ of Sikhs, were allegedly buried alive in the walls, Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan was the ruler of Maler Kotla. When he came to know of this incident, he felt extremely sad and strongly condemned this act of cruelty and termed this action against the teachings of Islam. This truthful and bold statement had a deep and salutary effect on Sikhs who declared him as their friend. It is said that the Nawab had helped Guru Gobind Singh who had blessed him and prayed for him. Since then the territory of Maler Kotla is free from all mischief and riots and all inhabitants, Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs lead their lives in peace and harmony.

Anna’s contention is that ‘the events of history occupy the minds of people and their astonishing results come out in the open. We should learn and find out such things from the study of history which may eliminate or at least reduce hatred and promote mutual understanding and friendship between nations.’

Anna took many photos of Maler Kotla’s ruins which are also a part of her research. Dr Zeenatullah arranged a ‘Mushaira’ in Patiala in honour of Anna. At the end of the ‘mushaira’ Anna expressed her regret that historical memories of unity and cooperation in Punjab are gradually coming to an end. Grand mosques and tombs are now turning into ruins. If Punjab’s glory is to be safeguarded, these buildings too must be preserved. 

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