LUCKNOW: A dip in the sacred river during the Maha Kumbh Mela is said to wash away all sins. A senior Muslim cleric who will perform the Hindu rite at the upcoming Maha Kumbh in Hardwar hopes it will also wash away differences between the two religions.

Kalbe Sadiq, a noted Shia cleric and senior vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), will take the “holy dip” at the upcoming Kumbh Mela in 2010.

“For the sake of cementing the bond between Hindus and Muslims, I have decided to perform the ritual (holy dip) in the Ganga, which is considered sacred and revered, particularly by Hindus,” the Shia cleric told IANS.

Promoting peace

“In fact, not only the holy dip, I am ready to perform every such act that will help promote amicable atmosphere between the two communities and contribute towards the progress of the nation,” he added.

The Maha Kumbh, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, will be held in Hardwar from January 14 to April 28 next year and is expected to see an influx of 15 million pilgrims -- many of whom will come from distant lands.

“Though I have not planned the exact date for carrying out the holy ritual, very soon I will make it (date) public,” said Mr. Sadiq.-- IANS