Lock-making workers of Aligarh bind society

Aligarh's centuries-old lock-making industry, which comprises 5,000 organised and as many unorganised units and employs over 2 lakh workers, is famous around the world. Apart from its famous lock-making, the over Rs 4,000 crore-industry presents a unique example of communal harmony in the country. Aligarh has a mix population of Hindus and Muslims and they have been working together since ages to make this industry stronger by the day. Aligarh city has been making locks since the Mughal period, but when the British came they streamlined it into a major economic activity. In 1870, a man from England established a firm, Johnson and Company, to import locks from England for sale in Aligarh. At the turn of the 20th century, Aligarh was already producing 500,000 locks per annum, valued at Rs 2,76,000 (HR Nevill, District Gazetteers Of The United Provinces Agra And Oudh Aligarh, 1926). Buoyed by its success, the British government set up a metal workshop here in 1926 to train artisans in lock-making. In the coming few decades, every family in the district and lakhs in neighboring ones had at least one member associated with the industry. Since ages, Hindus and Muslims have thrived together due to their bond of love and their passion for lock-making. This passion has taught them to live together harmoniously. This wave of brotherhood has affected everyone in the city and people of different religious reside together with utmost love and peace. India, home to multiple religions and languages, is known for its diversity. Peaceful coexistence and regard for other religions is an integral part of the Indian ethos. And examples like these only reinforce our beliefs in the secular fabric of our country.