Chord of Harmony: The Sattras & Dargahs of Assam, like the subjects themselves, is actually a reflection of the philosophy of humanism and universal brotherhood propagated by the great saints of Assam, Srimanta Sankardeva and Azaan Pir—a philosophy nurtured and carried forward by the later apostles and followers of both the saints. The Sankardeva movement, spearheaded by the Vaishnavite monasteries called the sattras, not only watered down the system of discrimination on the basis of caste, but also strived to save the society from practices of religious bigotry and untouchability by creating a system of harmonious co-existence. If the sattras remind people of Sankardeva’s contribution to social cohesion and the socio-cultural and literary resurgence in Assam, the dargahs, as the graves of the Muslim spiritual leaders are known, have remained the strongest symbols of the teachings of the Muslim pirs who did come to spread Islam, but stressed on unity among people of all faiths. No wonder, these dargahs spread across Assam are a favourite destination of both Muslims and Hindus, besides people of other faiths. Wasbir Hussain and Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta bring out the stories of these religious leaders who were great unifiers of people by featuring some of the sattras and dargahs.
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