Bakrid, Ganpati at the same venue
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.”