At a time when India’s communal harmony is facing serious threats from the right-wing groups, a Muslim journalist’s photo of his son performing during Hindu festival Janmashtami has come as a breath of fresh air.
Journalist Rifat Jawaid, former BBC editor and founder of Janta Ka Reporter, posted a photo of his 7-year-old son, Ruwayfi Rifat Jawaid, using his official Twitter handle. While posting the photo, Rifat, a known critic of the right-wing politics and religious fanaticism, wrote, “Spot my 7-year-old Ruwayfi in this school performance for
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) August 31, 2018
In the photo, young Ruwayfi is seen dressed in yellow kurta and red dhoti while performing a special dance with his school friends to mark Janmashtami.
Within hours of Rifat posting the photo, it went viral with over 1,000 likes on Twitter alone. The photo elicited an overwhelming response from Twitterati with almost everyone showering praises for promoting religious harmony in the society. One Dr Dinesh Goyal wrote, “Your son might be at the left! His thoughts must be at right place and that’s more important.” Another user wrote, “Who can identify Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, isai among these sweet, innocent, beautiful children’s. My India was totally different before 2014. Nobody can think such thing but Modi / Shah changed everything.”
Rifat said that he was not trying to prove his secularism by posting the photo of his son. He said, “I don’t need to prove my secularism and respect for other religion to anyone. Anyone who’ve followed me on social media would know that I despise political correctness. We, as a family, have always taught our children to respect other religions. This is not the only time Ruwayfi has performed marking a festival. He was also chosen to be the lead performer during the school’s Christmas party last year.”
While posting the video of Ruwayfi’s Christmas performance in his school party, Rifat had jokingly written, “Move away @FarOutAkhtar, new ‘star’ is here to give you a run for your money?? My 6-year-old son Ruwayfi performing #ZindagiNaMilegiDobara track at school’s annual #Christmas carnival.”
We wish everyone Happy Janmashtami once again and pray that this festival helps us achieve peace in our society.