Bridging Divide: Muslims visit Hindu religious centre; Both vow to work for peace
Mumtaz Alam, IndiaTomorrow.net,
Vadodara/ New Delhi, August 23: This happens not often in the country, and indeed very rarely in communally-polarized Gujarat, that a Muslim body knocks at the door of a Hindu religious centre and the gate is opened with open heart. At the end of the meeting, both vowed to jointly work for peace and humanity in the state.
Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which is currently running a two-week nationwide Peace & Humanity campaign, approached the Gayatri Pariwar centre here in Vadodara seeking time to tell about their campaign and its purpose. Much more than their expectation, they got instant positive response from the Hindu centre and the meeting was held on Tuesday.
"Even though Tuesday is a busy day for the Gayatri Pariwar centre here, they welcomed us. They gathered 70-80 people from within the centre and the program ran for about two hours," Shafi Madani Sheth, former Gujarat president of Jamaat told IndiaTomorrow.net.
Madani and Mohammad Jafar, former national vice president of Jamaat, addressed the gathering at the centre and talked about threats to peace and humanity and what the civil society and religious groups can do for humanity.
L-R (Front Row): An official of Gayatri Pariwar, Shafi Madani Sheth, ex-Gujarat president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Mohammad Jafar (speaking) at Gayatri Pariwar centre in Vadodara, Gujarat on 22 Aug 2016.
"Officials of the Gayatri Pariwar not only welcomed us, they appreciated our campaign and encouraged us. They said they are with us. Suresh Bhai and Mahendra Patel from the centre also spoke on the occasion," said Madani Sheth.
The Gayatri Pariwar, while supporting the Jamaat's campaign, stressed on the need for a big public rally on the issue.
During the Gujarat 2002 riots, Vadodara had also witnessed communal violence.