Where history unites communities...Statesman News Service
MAYAPUR, June 22. ó Here is a place where you can see almost a perfect example of communal harmony.
For over 500 years, the Chand Kaji Samadhi at Mayapur is standing as a symbol of communal harmony. Followers of almost all religions, especially Muslims and Hindu Vaishnavas, pay homage here.
However, in recent times, some people with vested interest are trying to break the harmony and destroy the peace of the area. They are taking money from the tourists and pilgrims.
Apart from various temples and monasteries, the place is also important for its historical background to the academicians and researchers. Many historians say that the place became famous as the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu paid respect to the Muslim teacher Moulana Sirajuddin here, by planting a Gulancha tree on the cemetery, following the death of Moulana.
Since then people of both the communities pay homage to Moulana and the place became a centre of communal harmony.
According to the book Mayapur : Past and Future, written by the eminent researcher Sanjit Dutta, Hussein Shah, the prime minister of Sultan Mujaffar Shah, was sworn in by the Sultan in 1493 after he defeated Mujaffar. Moulana Sirajuddin was the teacher of Hussein Shah. Later, Hussein Shah granted him the power to rule Gargana in Nabadwip.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the contemporary of Hussein Shah and used to stay mostly at Nabadwip. Chaitanya was preaching Vaishnavism that time and sang songs in praise of God in Nabadwip. But non-Vaishnavas protested. They complained to Moulana Sirajuddin alias Chand Kaji that singing hymns were creating sound pollution. Moulana received several protest letters simultaneously from people of different religions. He ordered to stop the singing of hymns. The followers of Kaji then went to Sribas and ransacked the holy place.
According to historians, Chaitanya was probably the first to evolve the concept of launching non-violence agitation. He protested in this unique way against the decision of Chand Kaji.
Along with a large number of followers, he went to the Chand Kajiís house and started a sit-in demonstration, till the Kaji agreed to discuss the matter with him. After the discussion Chand Kaji conceded his mistake and cancelled the order to stop the singing of hymns. Chaitanya was then 18 years old.
After three years, Chand Kaji died and Chaitanya went at his burial ground to pay respect to the Kaji and planted a Gulancha tree at the place. Chand Kaji had become a follower of Chaitanya, say the local people, though he maintained his own religious customs.