INTRODUCTION: Monday (19 January) was celebrated by Moslems as the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.
GV Delhi: Elephants lead procession through streets of old city
GV Camels in procession
SCU Youth Congress President Ghulam Nabi Azad sitting in crowd
GV Moslems in Arab dress on horseback
GVs Various floats in procession (4 shots)
GV PAN Women and children watch from rooftop
GV Procession with elephants
GV RAWALPINDI: Procession with banners, buses with people and banners all over them. Rear View bus covered with people (3 shots)
SV PAN Men in Arab dress on float
GV PAN Floats pulled by bullocks in procession
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Monday (19 January) was celebrated by Moslems as the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. It was an occasion for colourful processions in both Pakistan and India.
SYNOPSIS: Elephants, camels and horses nosed their way through cheerful holiday crowds in the narrow streets of Old Delhi. There is a big concentration of Moslems living in the old part of the Indian capital.
The Youth Congress President, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was the leading public figure taking part. The procession and floats emphasised the extent to which the Islamic religion is practised in many countries. There were tableaux depicting famous mosques in different parts of the world.
Moslems make up little more than a tenth of the Indian population: over 80 percent are Hindus. But India is officially a secular state, in which members of all faiths enjoy the same public status.
In Rawalpindi, the people of Pakistan celebrated the occasion in much the same way. But the political background is totally different. Pakistan has been an Islamic state since its foundation in 1947; and since the present ruler, General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq came to power three and a half years ago, he has pursued a policy of increasing the role of Islam in the law and public life. The prophet's birthday, known as Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi, is an official public holiday; and these processions are the only ones allowed under martial law.