Hindus and Muslims in Burondi, a village in Ratnagiri district — located 228 km from Mumbai — have signed a 100-year pact between themselves to maintain communal harmony. The pact, which has been notarised, lays down a code of conduct for members of both the communities to avoid communal strife in the village that has a population of 4,000.
Some of the clauses in the agreement include a code of conduct for processions before they pass through a holy place. “Hindu processions, be it a marriage procession or a religious one, will pass through the masjid with drums playing. However if there is namaaz going on, the procession will stop at a distance and pass only when the namaaz is over,” the agreement states.
The three-page agreement also states that the Govinda procession will pass through the masjid area with full pomp and will also pay obeisance at the mosque.
It further stipulates that Hindus living between a particular stretch in the village will help and serve during the annual Urs that is held at Karajgaon Dargah.
The agreement says members of both the communities will take part in each other’s festivities and steps need to be taken to ensure that these festivals are celebrated in an inclusive way.
In any public programme held in the village, members of both the communities should be present on the dais and senior members of both the religions should be felicitated, it adds.
At present, Muslims constitute nearly 20 per cent population of the village, and like most areas in the Konkan region, Burondi has been able to maintain communal harmony. Two of its nine Grampanchayat members are Muslims. The only instance of violence that took place here was in 1987 when members of the two communities clashed over a wedding procession playing music while passing by the mosque.
“The village has been largely peaceful since then, barring an incident three years ago when a procession of Govindas passed three times in front of the mosque. Because of that incident and the situation in the country we thought it made sense to draft an agreement between the two communities,” said Pradeep Rane, the sarpanch of village who initiated the move.