Delhi's Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna on Thursday flagged off Phool Walon Ki Sair , an event symbolic of the composite culture of Delhi that was re-started in 1961.
Members of Hindu and Muslim religious communities accompanied by colourfully dressed shehnai vaadaks and office-bearers of Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan , organiser of the festival, reached Raj Nivas in the morning and played several ragas for an auspicious beginning of the festival.
Addressing the gathering, the Lieutenant-Governor said the historic festival was commendable as it enhanced communal harmony in society, which was important to maintain peace: “The fruits of development and progress can only be enjoyed when there is peace in society.”
The age-old festival is an example of the composite culture of the country in which both Hindus and Muslims partake by laying the traditional floral chaadar at the Mehrauli mosque and the adjacent famous Yogmaya Shaktipeeth temple. The formal chadar- laying ceremony will be held at the shrine of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaaki in Mehrauli by Mr. Khanna on November 3.
A historic festival dating back to the Mughal era, it was given patronage by Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.
At a separate function on Thursday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was presented with a traditional p ankha at Delhi Secretariat by office-bearers of Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan . Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Dikshit described Phool Walon Ki Sair as a symbol of composite culture of Delhi. She said the festival has been enriching the values of unity and secularism. A number of States would be sending their attractive pankhas during the festival (from November 27 to November 5).
The Chief Minister said her government would provide all possible assistance in organising Phool Walon Ki Sair in the city. She also released a book, “Phool Walon Ki Sair”, on the occasion.