Man­dals set ex­am­ple of unity, com­mu­nal har­mony

Mus­lim of­fice-bear­ers or­gan­ise puja, Navra­tri event

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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.

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