The village of Kada in Uttar Pradesh shares lessons about living in harmony.
To the west of Allahabad, in the Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh, the ancient township of Kada upholds the nonviolent, generous and egalitarian teachings of historical saints. The birthplace of the great Sufi poet Saint Maluk Das and the resting place of Khwaja Kodak Shah, Kada is known as a village of peace.
Perched on the banks of the Ganges River, Kada has long existed without communal violence and is known for being a wholly tolerant village. Visitors from far and near enjoy the dedicated shrines as sanctuaries of devotion to one God regardless of doctrine. Residents of Kada spoke with India Unheard correspondent Ajeet Bahadur about the legacy of peace the saints of Kada have left behind.
Saint Maluk Das is remembered by the community for his honesty, sacrifice and devotion to a universal God. Village resident Shivakant Kamble says, “He was honest in his work. He willingly shared a lot of things with the poor, including blankets.” Following the teachings of Maluk Das, such generosity is practiced throughout the village, regardless of caste or creed.
The son of blanket traders, Maluk Das is known across India for his poems expressing pure devotion and enlightenment; poems which reflect that lifestyles of the people living in Kada:
“His creed is unique and perfect who has abandoned all sorts of delusive acts.”
In a country like India, where communal violence and poverty plague the lives of so many, a community such a Kada is a sight to behold. Inspired by the lessons of great saints like Maluk Das, Kada is a village where people live peacefully despite their struggles and commit themselves to loving one another equally. Kada native Mohammed Islam says it well:
“There is no discrimination here. People live together in harmony. People in this nation too must live together in harmony.”