A busy lane of Old Delhi (Photo/ANI)
A busy lane of Old Delhi (Photo/ANI)

At Purani Dilli, communities gather to keep alive tradition of celebrating Holi

By Shagun Taank | Updated: Mar 09, 2020 11:32 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 9 (ANI): From historic monuments to some of the most ancient worship places, the narrow streets of Old Delhi behold a lot of what constitutes the soul of the national capital.
Apart from its scenic beauty and the bustling marketplaces, Purani Dilli is also known as the place where people from different religions not just co-exist but live within close associations.
The geographical alignment of Gauri Shankar Mandir, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Jama Masjid and Naya Mandir (ancient Jain temple) puts the communal harmony of the place in perspective.
Among all the great events, one of the most celebrated events of Purani Dilli is its culture of celebrating Holi in the neighbourhood.
Mohammad Aslam, a shopkeeper in the Ballimaran area of Old Delhi, spoke to ANI about the Holi celebrations in the neighbourhood and said, "I don't think Holi is celebrated in a better way anywhere else in Delhi as compared to what is celebrated in Purani Dilli."
"People from four to five communities live here which includes, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jain and all of us celebrate the festival together," says Aslam.
Due to its rich culture, the place is also a major tourist attraction where people from across and outside of the country visit to get a taste of its ethnicity.
"Not just the communities residing here, we also celebrate the festival of Holi with foreigners who come here to visit the place. We use herbal colours, water balloons, exchange sweets and celebrate the festival with great fervour over here," said Anupama, a resident of Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk.
Mohammad Irfan, another shopkeeper near the Jama Masjid area told ANI that it is not just Holi but all other festivals are also celebrated together in the neighbourhood.
"Not just Holi, we celebrate all the festivals together. We are not diverse we are all together over here. When its Eid, we invite them to our houses for Daawat and when it is Diwali and Holi they invite us to their houses for bursting crackers and playing with colours respectively," said Mohammad Irfan.
Irfan further went on to very proudly say that "no matter what happens in the rest of the world, the integrity and harmony of Old Delhi remains the same to what it was in undivided India."
Historian, Rana Safvi had in a previous article titled, 'Holi Kheloo'ngi Keh kar Bismillah' (I will play Holi by chanting Bismillah) wrote, "When I celebrate Holi, Muslims often tell me that the practice is haram (forbidden) because colour is prohibited in Islam."
"But the 18th-century Punjabi mystic Bulleh Shah's words 'Holi Kheloo'ngi Keh kar Bismillah' provides the perfect frame for the subcontinent's centuries-old syncretic culture, our Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb," she says.
Speaking to ANI, the historian said, "Be it Holi, Diwali or Eid of Bakrid, all these festivals are always celebrated by all communities in Purani Dilli together. People from Purani Dilli have been taking part in each other's happiness and festivals since ages."
Old Delhi has been celebrating the festival of colours - Holi - since the old times and the integrity and unity of the place continues to remain unshaken.
The spirit of Holi in Old Delhi proves the assertion of the iconic song 'Holi ke din dil mil jaatey hain' from movie 'Sholay' to be absolutely true. (ANI)