Celebrating India’s pluralism: Muslim girl wins Gita contest

It’s a showcase story of India’s vibrant multi-religious pluralistic society. A Muslim girl, studying in the sixth standard at a Mumbai school, has emerged as the winner of an inter school Gita competition – the Gita Champions League – organised by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). She stood first in the written examination, which had about a hundred questions, leaving behind more than 4,000 other students. The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to felicitate the 12-year-old girl for attaining the first position. The award is expected to send a powerful message across in the state about knowing and respecting all religions in the society, and should have special relevance in India’s largest state that is known for intermittent religious tensions and bouts of communal violence.
Mariyam Asif Siddiqui, a student at the Cosmopolitan High School, Mira Road in Mumbai, underwent a month of preparation to understand deep teachings of religious Hindu poem-text, which encapsulates key tenets of the Hindu philosophy and way of life, with its focus on karma and dharma.

Read More