Bhopal: There is a tradition of launching cannon to provide information about the timing of Sehri and Iftar in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh during the month of Ramzan. This tradition is being followed religiously since last 200 years.
Even today, members of the Muslim community break their roza after hearing the loud sound of the cannon. The tradition dates back to the Nawabi rule. The sound of the cannon can be heard across almost in 30 villages, which is being followed by the same family for years.
To fire this cannon, a month’s license is issued by the district administration. Preparations need to be made half-an-hour before, to fire the cannon.
Trumpets are blown to wake up people for Sehri
To give information about time, Nagadas are played to awaken the rozedars at least an hour before Sehri, so that people can prepare well before time. This responsibility is being handled by a family from generations. The Nagada is played from the ramparts of the fort and it can be heard by people staying several miles away.
Signal received from mosque
Before the cannon is fired both in the morning and evening, there is a signal from Tanke Wali Masjid. After that the cannon is fired from the fort. It is said that this tradition is followed in Rajasthan. Raisen in MP is probably the only other place to wake up people by firing cannon.
Parvez Khan, who fires the cannon, told that his grandfather, Qazi Barkatullah used to fire the cannon in the month of Ramzan, followed by his father. To fire the cannon once, about 100-150 gm gunpowder is used.
Climbing atop the fort at 3 am
To inform people about the Sehri timing, the family member has to climb atop the hill to get to the fort to fire the cannon which is finally fired at 3.40 am.