In a remarkable display of India’s famous unity in diversity ethos, a group of Muslim villagers in Bihar donated land and money to build a temple, and played host to Hindu seers and devotees at the inauguration of the temple.
A report by IANS said that it was Mansoor Ansari, who had donated land, while Mokhtar Alam donated money to build a temple and other Muslims in the village helped in its construction. A large population of the village consists of Muslim, with the number of Hindu families being about a dozen. This village was earlier declared a Naxal area.
The development comes amidst union ministers in the Centre’s Narendra Modi government contributing to hate crime by garlanding and felicitating the killers of Muslims in the neighbouring Jharkhand.
Residents of Ghatera panchayat in Guraru block in Gaya district, 140 km from Patna, Mokhtar and Mansoor- cousin brothers- came together to donate more than 2,000 sq ft land and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash for the construction of land while other villagers joined in many other ways.
Once the construction of the temple was complete, the Muslim villagers invited Hindu priests and other devotees from the neighbouring village as guests during the Yagna to formally inaugurate the first temple of the village.
The madrasa in the village was used as a guest house, where their Hindu guests stayed, while the local mosque served as a service centre.
“We had played hosts to Hindu seers and devotees earlier too when Chandi Yagna and special prayers were offered,” IANS quoted Mokhtar, who recounted how his family had also donated land for a madrassa and a mosque in the village. Mansoor said they had been living together with the Hindus for years and taking care of each other. “It is a gesture for communal harmony,” he added.
Dozens of Muslims in this village donated foodgrains, milk, edible oil and LPG cylinders for the the week long rituals. The temple was opened for prayers and worship after installation of the idol of Goddes Durga following the “Yagna” which concluded on Thursday.
Hindu villagers have applauded the kind gesture of Muslims “It was not possible without their help,” Umesh Manjhi, a Dalit villager, said. He was particularly impressed that the youth worked as volunteers and women chipped in to help.
Kailash Yadav said earlier they would offer prayers and performed rituals on a platform under the open sky. “Contribution of Muslims is something historical for us,” he added. The head of the village body, Ranvijay Das said the temple had now become a “matter of pride” for them.
Hope the development sends a powerful message to the champions of hate politics, determined to divide the society at any cost, understandably to extract electoral dividends.