Mandals set example of unity, communal harmony
Muslim office-bearers organise puja, Navratri event
CBD BELAPUR: Even as there are reports of communal disharmony from across the country, Navi Mumbai has set an example of peace and harmony through the Navratri festival.
Last month, Muslims in the city performed namaaz near a Ganpati mandal in Kopar Khairane during Ganeshotsav.
They have now joined the puja celebrations by taking active participation in the events.
At several mandals, Muslims are not only office-bearers but have taken charge of everything including planning and organising the puja. They even play dandiya.
There are three mandals in Turbhe that have Muslims as the president this year.
Shivprem Mitra Mandal in Turbhe naka area of Ambedkar Nagar, which has been celebrating Ganeshotsav and Navratri for 19 years, is presided by Raju Shaikh. Apart from Shaikh, the mandal has several Muslim members.
“People of all religions and castes have been coming together in Turbhe naka for the past 10 years to celebrate Ganeshotsav and Navratri. We have a mini-India celebration here,” said Shaikh.
The president of Durga Mandal of Ganpatipada, Indira Nagar is Abdul Majir Qureshi and the president of Gajanan Mitra Mandal is Akhtar Choudhary.
In Seawoods, the secretary of Omkar Kala, Krida Mandal, which has been celebrating Navratri for 16 years, is Sameer Bagwan.
“Through the festival, we want to spread the message of national integrity, unity and religious tolerance. Humanity is what it is all about and we all need to understand it,” said Bagwan.
The MIDC police on Wednesday felicitated the people from the Muslim community including the three mandal presidents of Turbhe.
Nerul’s Amar Prabasi Mandal employed artisans from Nabadwip, West Bengal, to make the idol at Ramleela ground. (Inset) The entrance is decorated with winnowing fans and sea shells.