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“Hinduon ki Masjid”: How Communities Joined Hands In Punjab To Display Harmony

As per the report, around 160 mosques have been restored in Punjab in recent years where Muslim population slumped to a mere 1.93 percent today from over 40 percent pre-partition.

Updated: August 13, 2023 12:45 AM IST

By Gazi Abbas Shahid

Representational Image (Pixabay)

New Delhi: Amid all the babble over the alleged growing communal divide in the country in view of recent clashes in Haryana’s Nuh, villages in Punjab Barnal district display the very essence of unity in diversity upon which this great nation was built.

Here, amidst the tranquil backdrop of village life, one experiences the echoing of the Azaan—the Muslim call for prayer—as well the soothing sounds of Gurbani and Bhajans from nearby Hindu temples and Sikh Gurdwaras in Kutba Bahmania village of Barnala where the Friday Azaan emanates from Nasir Masjid—a pre-partition mosque recently restored due to the efforts of Sikhs and Hindus in the village.

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Village head Buta Singh recently inaugurated the village’s first mosque since the original one became dilapidated due to the entire Muslim population, barring four families, migrating to Pakistan after the partition, India Today reported.

“We undertook the maintenance of the mosque and mazar (tomb) inside Gurdwara complex. But decided to pool money and restore the mosque. Its back in use now,” Buta Singh said, according to the report.

Locals of every community have expressed their pleasure at the mosque’s restoration which they believe is part of the village’s history.

As per the report, around 160 mosques have been restored in Punjab in recent years where Muslim population slumped to a mere 1.93 percent today from over 40 percent pre-partition. The abandoned mosques have been refurbished with the efforts and generous donations by villagers, including Hindus and Sikhs, who have left no stone unturned to restore these structures to their former glory.

Bahmania resident Mohammad Tariq reveals that the villagers from all communities stand united on important occasions, including festivals.

In nearby Bakhatgarh village, another mosque is being constructed on 250 square yards of land donated by Amandeep Singh and the construction is being funded by villagers who took up the effort after being inspired by the 46-year-old farmer’s warm gesture.

“We have more than enough land and property. My only son resides in Canada. I noticed that some Muslims in our village had to travel far to other villages to offer prayers. And so not conforming to the norms of donating to one’s own religion, I consulted the community members and then decided to hand over the land to them,” Amandeep said, as per the report.

“I am fortunate to belong to this village. Humanity is not above religion. We have all pooled in money to ensure the mosque is built. Today when we hear about communal riots, we are saddened. We believe everyone can live together in peace,” adds village head Taranjeet Duggal. The mosque is led by a cleric from Bihar who says he feels safe in the village despite saddening incidents happening in other areas.

In another village of Barnala, a Hindu family donated their land to build the “Aman Masjid.” The construction was funded by locals in Moom village who pooled in Rs 12 lakh in 2017 to build the mosque which was completed in 2020.

“A mosque, temple and gurudwara are all adjacent to each other. This is the true essence of unity in India,” says Manpreet Bhanot whose grandfather donated the land upon which mosque was built.

45-year-old Najam Khan who offers prayer at the Aman Masjid is one of the many Muslims who helped build the Shiv Mandir in Moom village while a Sikh family donated statues of Lord Shiva and and his wife Parvati for the temple.

Khan said that after namaz, Muslims visit the temple where the priest distributes the Prasad among all devotees. He also revealed that whether it’s Shivratri, Eid, or Gurupurab, locals celebrate every festival at the temple, and later visit the nearby Gurdwara for blessings.

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