Haryana’s Gragram, on the outskirts of the national capital Delhi, has been a hotbed of sectarian tensions for the past several weeks. There are offices and production units of various multinational and national companies, especially those involved in information technology. Due to the lack of mosques, Muslims offer Friday prayers in government-owned grounds with the permission of the local administration. But since September, some local and non-local extremist Hindu organizations have launched a regular campaign against it.
‘Under no circumstances will prayers be allowed’
When Muslims gather for Friday prayers at places permitted by the administration, activists of extremist Hindu organizations make every effort to disrupt Muslim worship. During this time slogans of J. Shri Ram are also chanted and besides giving speeches, drums are also played.
The administration had earlier allowed local Muslims to offer Friday prayers at 38 open spaces, but prayers were stopped at eight of them after objections and protests by Hindu organizations. But protesters say they will continue to protest until a complete ban is imposed on Friday prayers in squares and parks. Last week, he announced that he would take “any step” to stop such prayers.
Two weeks ago, these Hindu organizations had performed ‘Gordhan Puja’ at the place of prayer. In it cow dung is worshiped. Also present on the occasion was BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who is accused of being involved in Delhi’s communal riots. Last week, a day before Friday, dung was planted at the place of prayer and then a volleyball court was announced to be built there.
In view of the plight of Muslims, last week a local Hindu businessman, Akshay Yadav, offered to offer prayers on the roof of his house and in the shop.
Yadav said, “I am allowing prayers on my privately owned land. No one should object to that. I will keep doing this. I will be happy to do whatever it takes to reduce tensions between Hindus and Muslims. ”
Yadav, 40, added that he grew up in an environment of Hindu-Muslim unity and did not want his children to grow up in an environment of hatred. Muslims welcomed Yadav’s offer and offered prayers in one of his empty shops last Friday.
Offered by Sikhs
On Wednesday, local Sikh organizations also offered Muslims to offer Friday prayers at gurdwaras. Sherdal Singh Sadhu, president of Gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha, said, “We cannot remain silent spectators in what is happening.”
Sadhu said, “The administration gave Muslims a place to pray. But now they are not allowed to offer prayers there. Seeing this, we are both angry and upset. This attitude is beyond our comprehension. “At the same time, he said,” The doors of gurdwaras will remain open for prayers. ”
Expression of gratitude by Muslims
Muslims have welcomed the offer made by a Hindu and then a Sikh. Talking to media, Altaf Ahmed, co-founder of the local peace committee ‘Gurugram Nagarak Ekta Manch’, which was set up in view of the tension, said, “This is a true example of India’s shared culture. Muslims welcome it. That is what India is famous for. ”
Mufti Muhammad Saleem, a local Muslim leader, said: “This has not only given us a place of worship but also a clear voice against hatred.”
Analysts say that in India, where some extremist organizations are systematically trying to widen the gulf between Hindus and Muslims, such goodwill gestures by Hindus and Sikhs have led to extremism. Will help thwart plans.