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Bhopal Ijtima

Bhopal Tablighi Ijtema (Photo courtesy:
Bhopal Ijtima or Alami Tablighi Ijtima, held every year for three days at Bhopal is one of the world’s largest religious congregations. The event concluded on Monday the 20th November with offering prayers by more than 12 lakh Muslims. Previously this event used to be held at Taj-Ul-Masjid in Bhopal, but has been shifted out of city five years back, to a place called Ghasipura near Bhopal.
Almost every Bhopali of my generation remembers the fair that came to be associated with this Ijtima. The foreign delegates used to bring clothes which were sold in this fair at very attractive prize. Those were the days of pre-liberalization, pre-television. These clothes were probably discards of these foreign delegates. There are many rumors which claim that people who bought these clothes found foreign currency in the pockets! The hype and hoopla surrounding these clothes was such that most part of the city did not even know that the fair was actually just a by-product of a much bigger event, the actual Ijtima, which is reported to be the second biggest non-political gathering of Muslims after the Hajj!
Bhopal Tablighi Ijtema (Photo Courtesy:

Many Bhopalis used to avoid buying anything new during these days, for the fear of being labeled as bought from Ijtima. The taunt went “Kyun Ijtima se liya”? Many went to the extent of hiding the things purchased from Ijtima till well after the event was over. The charm and nostalgia associated with Ijtima started dwindling with free availability of high quality clothing and advent of television.

7 thoughts on “Bhopal Ijtima”

  1. Did you hear the joke going about” a bra manufacturer had a lot of bras that he had lot to be discarded and called a kabadiwala. They made deal and both went either way. However the manufacturer was jolted when the kabadiwala came back and asked for more of the same. The manufacturer asked him “Why” and the response was aama knan bhopal mein ijtema mein kaat kkat key topi bechta huun.

  2. The popularity of attractive deals in clothing has spread beyond the confines of the boundaries of Bhopal. A few years back we had some visitors from Orrisa, who looked forward to the Ijtema market, bought suitcases full of woolens. Guess they didn’t have to face the stigma attached to fashionable clothing ,” Ijtema sey liya kya” as is prevalent in Bhopal.

  3. Ya….this was quite well-known as Bhopalis would ask, ‘kyoN khaN kya ijtime ka hai?’ You have written well. If you had posted a photo also, it would have been great.

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