Alia Khan dressed as Lord Krishna in the Gita recitation competition
Breaking religious barriers, Alia Khan, a Muslim girl from Meerut beat scores of children across the state of Uttar Pradesh to win the second prize in the Gita recitation competition organised by the Yogi Adityanath government. However, many fanatics have failed to understand that this symbolises inter-faith harmony and have issued a fatwa (religious decree) against her.
Bhagwad Gita, which is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is highly cited and considered a valuable guide for spiritual seekers. The young girl, who recited portions of the holy book dressed in Lord Krishna’s attire, may not understand the vision but she knows well that the philosophy outlined in the Gita transcends religion.
Alia had dressed up as Lord Krishna and recited the Bhagwad Gita shlokas while competing with other students. The Class 10 student won the second prize for her performance and was also given a cash prize of Rs. 25,000.
Alia Khan’s mother, Afroz, said they were praying that she wins the first prize. “It is all because of the prayers and hard work of teachers that she reached till here,” she said.
Alia asserted that no one discouraged her from learning the scriptures of a different religion. “Even if someone says anything, I have a straight-forward answer. I do not read Gita for religion. I read Gita for knowledge and we can access knowledge from anywhere,” she said, matter-of-factly.
The function was organised by the Uttar Pradesh government to mark the 101 years of the historic Lucknow Pact of Freedom Struggle. The event was based on famous freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s interpretation of Bhagwad Gita.
The clerics at Dar-ul-uloom of Deoband however have issued a fatwa issued against her. The Islamic seminary issued the fatwa to Khan on January 2 for reciting the verses of the Hindu holy book at an event. They termed her act as un-Islamic, ANI reported.
Alia Khan isn’t the only one to have achieved this distinction.
A few days back, Afreen Rauf, 16, from a municipal school in Lucknow had secured the first place in Lucknow division. A labourer’s daughter, Afreen Rauf, who wears a hijab, said the most important lesson that she had learnt from the Gita was to do good deeds, be honest every time and not wish bad for anyone.