In a country like India, where several religions coexist, communal tension, religious apathy and hate are unnecessary consequences.
We’ve all seen the worst of it and they have, at times threatened to thwart our faith in humanity. But every now and then we come across people who are devoted to a build secular world.
Here’s one such instance that speaks volumes about unstoppable communal harmony and culture of tolerance that still exists. It’s a story of villagers in Ludhiana taking care of a mosque despite having zero Muslim population.
It’s been 70 years since Muslims in Ludhiana’s Hedon Bet left during partition. However the pre-partition mosque in the village still stands tall and no one has ever spoken a word about demolishing it.
According to online resports, Sikh elders in the village are determined that as long as they live, they will stand to prevent encroachment of the mosque that was built in 1920. The village elders said the 50 Muslim families who lived at Hedon Bet had left for Pakistan during the Partition in 1947.
“The mosque has always been here. No one has ever talked of demolishing it. It is the house of God,” the report quoted one 95-year-old Dhanwant Kaur, who visited village from Sialkot in Pakistan.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the mosque which is in a dire need of repair is cleaned on a daily basis and still keeps a copy of the holy Quran.
An 88-year-old man named Bhagat Singh, who was witness to the atrocities of the partition says that the village never faced any communal tensions before that and everyone live in harmony. He told HT that this mosque and another one at Salana, 6km from Hedon Bet, were built by the same mason.
Singh adds that the mason who built the structure warned the Muslim residents during partition that murders were rampant and wrote a letter urging them to move to Pakistan.
“The houses surrounding the mosque were of Muslims. When people started living here after the Partition, no one cared for the mosque. All members of a family living in a house behind the mosque were afflicted with serious ailments. Many of them died and those who survived left the place,” Prem Singh told HT.
The caretaker of the mosque, Prem Singh, said once a pipal tree endangered the structure of the mosque when its branches entered inside the mosque. He said the branches were cut to save the mosque.
Prem Singh further says that people in the village had, some years ago, asked him to clean the mosque and light an earthen lamp everyday. And since then everything has been peaceful and nothing untoward has happened.