Diwali 'solitary' but peaceful for Pakistani Hindu immigrants
Pali (Haryana): Arjun Das Hirani (42) celebrated his second Diwali in India at Pali village of Faridabad district, Haryana. It was a joyous Diwali, even if rather frugal.
"Though there were few earthen lamps and only a handful of sweets and crackers, it was Diwali in India, which is where I belong. Nobody could say anything to me if my tent was illuminated with lamps," says Hirani, a Pakistani Hindu who crossed into India in September last year.
Hirani's family was among the 600-odd Pakistani Hindu families which fled Pakistan and crossed the Atari border in September 2011, taking refuge in India.
Of the 600 families, around 150 stayed at the capital's Majnu ka Tilla initially, but later moved to different places in the capital and other neighbouring states, spreading into Haryana and Rajasthan.
"In 2011, it was Diwali again after 40 years, for many of us had stopped celebrating the festival in Pakistan. Last year, many of us were at Majnu ka Tilla and celebrated the festival there; this time, it is a rather solitary affair," Hirani's wife Chandrama said.
The family fled Pakistan's Hyderabad, when they found that they could not continue observing their traditions there.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot recently launched a book that highlights the strategies of the State's Housing Board's Self-financed scheme for 2013 at his office in Indira Gandhi Nagar, Jagatpura Sector 10 and 12, in Jaipur.
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