In a written competition that tests knowledge on Bhagwad Gita, a Mumbai-based Muslim girl pipped 3,000 competitors to emerge the winner.
Maryam Siddiqui, who studies in Cosmopolitan High School, Mira Road won the first prize at the 'Gita Champions League' contest, which was organized by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) in January, reports Times of India.
Maryam went though the material provided by Iskcon for almost a month before giving the test in English.
"I have always been inquisitive about religions and I often read up on them during my free time. So when my teacher told me about this contest I thought it would be a good chance to understand what the book is about. My parents too supported my idea of participating in the contest," said Maryam, according to the Times of India report.
Amid communal tension in the country, Maryam and her parents' view comes as a refreshing change. "Our family believes that one needs to respect and accept all religions. No religion preaches hatred or wrong", said her father Asif Siddiqui, in this New Indian Express report.
Earlier this month, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that government will introduce teaching of Bhagavad Gita in schools across the state from coming academic session. The Gita, believed to be the divine advice of Lord Krishna, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is a part of the literary epic Mahabharata.
"It is a matter of joy that a Muslim girl has won the first prize. Whether it is Gita or Quran, these are religious scriptures. Religion unites and not divides," Muslim cleric Maulana Umer Ahmed Ilyasi said, according to this CNN-IBN report.
Maryam's universal and open-minded thoughts are best expressed in a line she said in this interview to ANI, "Humanity is the ultimate religion."
Muslim girl Maryam Siddiqui, who won 'Gita' competition in school, shares a message on unity https://t.co/RfB0O9NsPs
— ANI (@ANI_news) April 3, 2015
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2015 16:26:55 IST