Setting an example of communal harmony, Muslim residents of Kursari Panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda joined hands with Hindus in moving giant idols to an ancient temple here.
Six idols, each weighing between 500 kg and 700 kg and made of granite, were bought from Rajasthan to be installed at the recently renovated Shiv temple in Kursari, located at a hill top, three kilometres away from the Bhaderwah-Doda highway.
The Shiv Mandir committee was caught in a fix due to non-availability of a road, making the transport of the idols an uphill task.
Sensing the difficulty, Kursari Panchayat sarpanch Sajid Mir not only allotted Rs 4.6 lakh from capital expenditure budget for the urgent construction of a road but also asked 150 villagers from his community to help.
“This is our culture and these are our values which we have inherited. This is why we never fell prey to the nefarious designs of those who try to divide us on the basis of religion. Today, we have again shown that we are united,” Mir told PTI.
Over four days, volunteers from both communities used machines and ropes to carry the idols to the temple, where they will be installed at a religious function on August 9.
“It is really encouraging to see the attention we are getting…The army’s local unit of the army, road construction companies and civil administration also came forward and extended their full support,” Mir said.
The Shiv Mandir Committee is all praise for their Muslim neighbours for their gesture and enthusiasm in completing the work.
“It is heartwarming to see the love and affection of our neighbours who gave us strength. We toiled hard over the last four days to manage the transportation of idols, which at one point seemed an impossible task,” chairman of the temple committee Ravinder Pardeep said.
“I am really glad to see that our youngsters are beautifully carrying forward the ethos of communal harmony and mutual brotherhood, which shows we have successfully transferred the values to them,” Haji Abdul Gani Mastana (75), a local, said.
The army’s Rashtriya Rifles unit based in Bhaderwah dispatched men and machinery to help the villagers as a goodwill gesture.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)