NEW DELHI: In a country where
religious intolerance and communal hatred dominate the news nowadays, here
is something that goes to show that all is not rotten and ugly.
Muslim residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand offered Eid namaaz (prayers) on
Monday in a gurdwara (Sikh temple), after being invited in by its head
priest, according to the local media. There is no mosque or idgah in
Joshimath, a town perched above the Alakhnanda deep in the Garhwal
Himalayas. Usually its 800-odd Muslim residents offer namaaz at the town's
Gandhi Maidan, a public ground.
On Monday, however, Gandhi maidan had turned into slush. It had been raining
heavily for several days and Eid, the festival day too dawned in a downpour.
The Muslim community was struggling with the problem when the head of the
local gurdwara sent a heart warming message to them- The Muslims could use
the main hall of the gurdwara for offering namaaz.
So, at 9:30am, the congregation of Muslims in bright new clothes trooped
down to the gurdwara and offered the ritual prayers in the big hall. After
the ceremony, they embraced the Sikh community members waiting outside the
hall. Some Hindus from the town were present too and offered greetings to
the other two communities.
Sardar Buta Singh, Prabandhak of the gurdwara, later told media persons that
he had extended the invitation to the Muslims to help them in their crisis.
Maulvi Asif was quoted by media as saying that by solving their problem, the
gurdwara committee had presented an example of humanity and respect towards
all religions. He said that the Muslim community was thankful to the
Joshimath is located about 250 kilometers from Rishikesh on National Highway