Ekramul Molla, TDN World, Kolkata:
In order to spread the message of peace and harmony a Hindu Professor in Kolkata has been observing fast and performing Pujo side by side since last 22 years.
Besides following Hindu rituals Udayan Mitra has been keeping fast during Ramadan, also performing namaz, Eid and other Islamic practices.

But why despite being a Hindu he also follows Islamic doctrines?
The Professor said, ” This is what my heart craves for, that’s why I love to do this.”

Wearing skull-cape, attired with traditional Panjabi he practices some of the Islamic preachings.

Yes, not for one, or two years, but Udayan Mitra has been doing so for consecutive 22 years. And thus, in the way, he has been silently nurturing his profound love for the Muslim community and maintaining strong social attachment with them. He was a resident of Nabin Chand Boral Sarani in Kolkata, near Bowbazar. Now he lives at Durgapur Subhash Pally. Udayan Mitra is a professor of BBA faculty in Durgapur Science Technology and Management college. His parents were government service holder.

Udayan Mitra told TDN correspondent, ” I have been offering namaz of Eid festivals since 1996. Besides other places, most of the times I offered namaz in Red Road ground. Because there government officials from various departments and people speaking in diverse language come together to offer prayer. I feel a kind of deep attachment and affinity with them. Actually, all this began from a natural likings.”

But, why instpite of his Hindu Identity he has been offering namaz?

The professor revealed, ” Namaz establishes sort of peace for mind as it is offered with a sense of unity.
This is a message of harmony. I really feel good when so many people come together to offer namaz, it helps building bonds between people. Really it is an amazing experience. I am telling this with my natural likings, and from the bottom of my heart, I am impressed with the hospitality I received from the Muslims. Many a times Muslim government officials and police officers bought me clothes. Several times it also happened that Calcutta Madrasa headmaster prepared my food for Iftar along with others. I also had my iftar there with them.”

Udayan also intends to reach the people in their doors propagating message of harmony and peace. But his busy schedule fails him in doing so.

” I am very happy with the religious activities of the Muslims. I encourage everyone to offer namaz during dawn on the day of Eid. Because, as I know, namaz at dawn is a must to get one’s Eid prayer is granted (by Almighty). Sometimes, when I see, namaz is to be offered for a deceased person, I also took part in it. When a child born, Azan (call for prayer) is said in its ears. And when someone dies, last time namaz is offered for the deceased. So I attend this last prayer also standing with them,” Udayan Mitra told all these in a single stretch, hardly taking a breath in between the words he uttered.

 Mr Udayan has contacts with many influential Muslim leaders, MPs, MLAs, officials and public representatives.

As he belongs to Hindu faith did not he face any opposition from the fold of his society? The professor said, ” No one in my family has grievance regarding me offering namaz. They respect individual choice. It’s your mind that will lead you to our ultimate destination and motivate you for your eternal solace.”

However, besides his inter-faith religious engagement, Udayan Mitra clings his religious root to Hinduism.