Lucknow: It was more than a wedding since it also symbolised celebration of unity and communal harmony when Hindus in an Uttar Pradesh village raised money for a poor Muslim girl`s marriage.
Hindus in Sunhera village in Baghpat district, some 400 km from here, performed the marriage Sunday. They are proud of their action, which they say will go a long way in fostering relations between the two communities.
Asma, 21, lost her father Aziz in a road accident when she was six years old. Her mother Mehrunissa, somehow managed to take care of her daughter by doing menial jobs. But her limited resources were not enough to fulfil her husband`s last wish -- Asma`s wedding which he hoped would be conducted with fanfare.
Mehrunissa`s neighbours too knew about the dream Aziz had cherished for his daughter which they fulfilled when Asma tied the knot with Mushtaq.
According to locals, the marriage was performed according to Muslim traditions.
"More than 800 people participated in the wedding. Such a ceremony was possible only with the generous contributions of the villagers," Mahipal Singh, village head of Sunhera, told a news agency.
"The wedding was no less than those organised in cities. Like them, the wedding had decorations, music and varied food items," he added.
The locals also gifted the couple a number of items they would need for their new life.
"They were given several household items like tables, chairs, a radio and other electronic items," said Sumer Singh, a resident of the village.
It was the locals who selected the groom for Asma.
"The job of selecting a groom for Asma was entrusted to a group of elders in the village. Though there were several proposals, we thought Mushtaq, who runs a cloth shop in a nearby village, would be best for Asma. After consulting Mehrunissa, the marriage was finalized three months ago," said Diwakar Verma, who runs a grocery shop in the village.