In a time when we are witnessing a massive divide between different communities owing to race, caste, class, and religion, a group of young Muslim men from Mumbai in textile town of Ichalkaranji near Sangli have set a heartwarming example of communal harmony by cleaning temples in the village that were marooned in floods.
“Around 900 Muslim volunteers gathered at Jama Masjid in the city on Friday morning and participated in the cleanliness drive in different teams. One of the teams that was assigned the Nadi Ves area of the city cleaned even the Margubai Temple in the area,” Husen Kalawant, one of the volunteers who participated in the initiative taken by the community.
“The volunteers were from all cross-sections of the society and they had with them 10 tracter-trollies, 2 earthmovers and other cleaning materials like brooms, shovels etc so that the silt accumulated in various areas of the city could be cleaned. Margubai temple is revered as the temple of village god. Hence we decided to clean the area first. Then we also cleaned the Baudha Vihar, Makhtum Darga, Mahadeo Mandir and Sikandar Dargah,” Husen added.
After cleaning the road and other areas around the temple, Maulanas who look after the Masjid in the city were entrusted with the task of cleaning the temple from inside.
They bathed the goddess idol and even draped it with a new saree as per the Hindu tradition.
Ichalkaranji is the same place where 10 years ago communal riots took place at an alarming rate. “Yesterday’s cleanliness drive has shown that the torn fabric is woven again and regained its original texture,” said Gaus Jamadar a loom owner.
“It is often said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Whatever we did was our way of worshipping god,” said the Maulavi involved in the drive.
What’s touching is that they didn’t discriminate between Hindu and Muslim gods.
We hope this stands as an inspiration to end communal disharmony!