August 27, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Dehra Dun (August 27, 2012): The Sikhs of Uttrakhand have set tremendous example for peaceful coexistence, accepting the otherness of the others in a respectful manner and they have shown a Sikh solution to the problems of growing intolerance and hatred.
According to media reports Muslim residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand offered Eid namaaz (prayers) on Monday in a Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, after being invited in by its management.
The media reports that there was 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.
But on Monday (August 20, 2012) 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 9:30 am, 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 committee.
“The Sikhs of Joshimath, a small town in the state of Uttarakhand, have set an example by allowing the Muslim community to offer prayer at their Gurdwara on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr” writes The News International, a Daily from Pakistan.
“In a country often threatened by strife and conflict, the Times of India on Wednesday reported a heart-warming story about how in a place called Joshimath in Uttarakhand, Sikhs invited the Muslims to pray in the hall of their Gurudwara on Eid-ul-Fitr.The story was based on reports by local vernacular media as pictured above” Outlook (India) wrote on August 22.
“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” wrote The Link, an Indo-Canadian Newspaper while referring to the event.
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