The picture of the Tazia and the Gauri immersion processionists shaking hands across opposite sides of a street, that went viral earlier this week, was a scene from Silvassa, a town in the Union Territory of Dadra Nagar Haveli in south Gujarat.
The scene was captured by an onlooker from Shahid Chowk on September 10 when Tazia and Gauri-Ganesh visarjan processions were crossing each other on opposite sides of the road. Youths from both the communities known to each other were seen shaking hands. Gauri Ganesh idols were later immersed in Daman Ganga river, while the Tazia procession ended at Jumma Masjid.
Some local youths had captured this gesture on their phones and posted it on social media.
Muslim community leader Arif Memon, who is also a property dealer said, “It was a picturesque photo which was captured by somebody and shared on social media. I have also shared this photo to my friends on social media. In just a short time period, the photo had gone viral across the country. I was also present on the spot when the incident of shaking hands had taken place.”
Vishal Pandey (25), who works as a police constable with Silvassa police station, was posted at Shahid Chowk on duty, for security purpose.
Vishal, who hails from Gazipur district in Uttar Pradesh, had settled down in Silvassa with his parents for the last 19 years. His father works in private firm, while he had been in Silvassa police for the last three years.
Talking to The Indian Express Vishal Pandey said, “l was on my duty at Shahid Chowk, during Tazia and Gauri Ganesh processions on September 10. I spotted Muslims youths carrying Tazia doing handshaking with the Hindus carrying Gauri Ganesh, I found it amazing and it was like a sign of true brotherhood, so I took out my mobile phone and clicked the images of handshaking done by people from both the communities. I shared it on my Facebook, Instagram and also on WhatsApp. The photo had gone viral as many people in Silvassa had kept this photo on their WhatsApp. I also send it to my superior officials in Silvassa and they too liked it and appreciated my act. The purpose of clicking and sharing such a photo is to spread communal harmony and brotherhood in the society. Silvassa has a peaceful atmosphere but nationally, this photo can send a good and effective message.”