Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 24:
Muharram was observed with due reverence and solemnity in various parts of Odisha today as hundreds of Tazias were taken out to remember the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Husain.
The Tazia processions were especially noticeable in Bhadrak, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Jatni and Soro where thousands of Muslims took part in processions and the Matam (chest beating). The day was observed in a gloomy atmosphere as Tazias taken in huge processions and later buried at Karbalas of various places.
“Today we are taking out processions and expressing our grief at the sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Husain. We also salute him on this day and remind ourselves that we would have preferred to be martyrs before the enemies could harm him, had we been there with him in the battlefield,” said Habibulla Khan, a mourner in Cuttack.
Interestingly, in Sambalpur’s Modipada, the Tazia procession was taken out by Hindus instead of Muslims. Traditional stick fight and martial arts were the big draw during the procession.
This year in Bhadrak itself, over 40 Tazias were taken out. Similarly, in Cuttack Muharram was observed at Dargha Bazaar, Tala Telenga Bazaar, Pension Lane and Sutahat. Hindu mourners were also seen accompanying these processions at several places including Cuttack. The processions passed through their routes and ended peacefully in the evening.
Some of the mourners were seen self-flagging themselves while many others attempted to inflict self-injury with sharp weapons in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Husain. The women were seen beating their chest to express their grief and solemnity.
Heavy security arrangements were made at all places to avoid any untoward incident as the festival clashed with the immersion ceremony of Dusshra. The routes of processions were closed and cops were deployed along the routes at most places.
It may be noted that the day marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and his 71 companions, who laid down their lives in the battle of Karbala for upholding truth, righteousness and justice.