Bakrid, Gan­pati at the same venue

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Mus­lims of­fer Eid pray­ers at Kopar Khairane.

The city that has been known for its com­mu­nal har­mony and peace over the years has set more ex­am­ples this fes­tive sea­son.

Fol­low­ing the curbs last year on the Dahi Handi man­dals and Ganeshot­sav cel­e­bra­tions on roads or­dered by the high court, the Mus­lims de­cided that they will not of­fer na­maaz on road this Bakrid. They de­cided to have ad­di­tional con­gre­ga­tions to ac­com­mo­date those com­ing for the spe­cial pray­ers.

They stuck to the de­ci­sion this year too and na­maaz was not of­fered on the roads.

The Hindu com­mu­nity went out of the way to en­sure that the Mus­lims did not face any has­sle. The ini­tia­tive re­sulted in the Mus­lim com­mu­nity of­fer­ing the spe­cial pray­ers op­po­site a Ganeshot­sav man­dal on the same ground at sec­tor 10 in Kopar Khairane. Bakrid and Ganeshot­sav were cel­e­brated to­gether for the sec­ond year in a row here.

Mus­lims liv­ing in sec­tor 10 have been us­ing the ground twice in a year for their Eid pray­ers since 1995. This year like last year, Eid came dur­ing the Ganeshot­sav. Since the pan­dal had al­ready come up on the ground, they did not have an al­ter­na­tive ground.

The com­mu­nity mem­bers got in touch with the or­gan­is­ers again. Lo­cal Shiv Sena cor­po­ra­tor Ram­das Pawle said: “We told the Mus­lim com­mu­nity mem­bers who ap­proached us that we have no is­sues if the com­mu­nity of­fers na­maaz op­po­site the Ganeshot­sav man­dal.”

The Mus­lims of­fered na­maaz at the ground. The sound sys­tem used for the na­maaz was taken from the pan­dal. Sev­eral com­mu­nity mem­bers even at­tended the arti at the pan­dal.

Afroze Shaikh said, “We are touched by the cooperation by the man­dal and the lead­ers. That we can cel­e­brate the fes­ti­vals of both com­mu­ni­ties to­gether is such a fan­tas­tic mes­sage to the rest of the coun­try.”

Pawle said, “We will con­tinue with the tra­di­tion. We will not al­low any is­sue to di­vide us.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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