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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

REJOINDERS

Jambusar mosque 

The Milli Gazette Online

This is with reference to my letter published in MG (Feb.16-28 2005) about a mosque in Jambusar, Bharuch district, Gujarat. 

Here is what happened in Jambusar a few weeks ago. The tiny mosque called Ek Todaa Ni Masjid was situated at Upli Waat in a Hindu area called Mochivaad. With the passage of time, it was felt that the mosque was too small for accommodating Muslim Namaazi businessmen. Over a hundred years ago the trustees of this Masjid had purchased the premises from a Hindu Mochi gentleman. Documents of the deal are still with the trustees. When the trustees themselves pulled down this Masjid for expansion, they found a small idol at a depth of about five feet. The Muslims themselves honestly handed over the idol to nearby Hindu gentlemen for replacing it wherever they liked. In the mean time those elements who do not like peace spread the news and pictures of it appeared in Gujarati newspapers Sandesh, Divya Bhaarati and Gujarat Samachaar published from Bharuch, Surat and Ahmedabad. This brought hoards of trouble-seekers from far off places who raised a hue and cry demanding construction of a mandir there. It is noteworthy that most of the demonstrators were not from Jambusar. Local people are mostly peace loving. However it is painful that the local BJP MLA, Mr. Mori even performed a Mahaa Aarati there, siding whole-heatedly with trouble mongers. But since the trustees showed relevant document to the collector and also because the nearby Hindu residents too were not hostile like the BJP, RSS, VHP people matters could not worsen and peace prevailed. 

It is noteworthy that by and large Jambusar is a place where Hindus and Muslims have lived peacefully. Even now the president of the Jambusar Municipality is a Muslim, though Muslims are in minority here. A number of Muslims have presided over the local body in the past including my own uncle who is now no more and who was a fast friend of Justice GT Nanavati's uncle Dr Shantilal Nanavati who was also our family doctor before he shifted to Baroda. I cannot forget the days, nearly 55 years ago, of my secondary education in Jambusar Municipal High School where Hindu teachers loved their intelligent Muslim students like their own children. Relations between the two communities were very cordial. There was no bitterness of any kind. The poison of hatred has been spread mostly after Advani turned Modi into a Moozee fellow.

S Akhtar
Khanpur Deh, Gujarat

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