Residents of a Hindu-dominated village in Gujarat's Mehsana district have presented a rare example of communal harmony by contributing Rs 17 lakh for the renovation of a 700-year-old Dargah there.
Over 5,000 people, both Hindus and Muslims, gathered at the Aloda village in Mehsana district yesterday for the inaugural function of the Fakir Bava's Dargah, restored by funds entirely donated by the villagers.
"Our village has no Muslim population but all of us were unanimous in our decision to rebuild the 700-year-old Dargah which was badly damaged during the 2001 earthquake," said Nutan Desai from Aloda village, 60 km from Banaskantha.
"Our joy knew no bounds on Labh Pancham (fifth day from Diwali) when the renovation work of Fakir Bava's Dargah was dedicated to the people," he added.
Maulana Mustakh Ahmed Patel hailing from nearby Chhathiyarda village, who had performed the inaugural rituals of the Dargah said, "Aloda has set a rare example of communal harmony. We pray to God that others will also follow the example provided by this small village."
Maulana Khalil Ahmed from a near by village who was specially invited for the inaugural ceremony said, "Saiyed Badru Rehmat-ulla-Alai had come from Mecca and settled in the village more than 700 years ago. He was well known as a Sufi saint in the region."
"We have been specially invited by the villagers.. We cannot express our happiness in words," Maulana Khalil added.