Sikh family donates ancestral land to build mosque in Malerkotla village
Setting another example of communal harmony in the Muslim-majority Malerkotla, a Sikh family from Jitwal Kalan village in the newly created district’s Ahmedgarh subdivision has donated its ancestral land to build a mosque.
Until now, around a dozen Muslim families residing in the village, situated about 15 kilometres from the district headquarters, had to go to neighbouring villages to offer prayers during Eid and other occasions.
Jagmail Singh, 40, whose family owns a large tract of land, on Tuesday announced to donate 6 biswa (around 8,000 square feet) in the centre of the village to construct a mosque. Muslims from Malerkotla and other villages also assembled at the spot to offer prayers.
“There are around 12 Muslim families in the village. They have to go to other villages to offer prayers. I knew they could not buy land, as they mostly work as labourers and are poor,” said Jagmail Singh, whose family has been associated with Muslims in the village for three generations.
Iqbal Singh, 33, another member of the family, said: “The construction of the mosque will start after relaxations in Covid-19 restrictions. We will also try to provide financial aid for its construction.”
Roshan Khan, 61, a local Muslim, said they have a long association with the Sikh family and have been living peacefully in the village for decades.
Abdul Rashid, 40, a truck driver, said, “We are poor and could not purchase land for building a mosque. Our Sikh brothers have shown a big heart.”
Gurwinder Singh, a local, said: “Malerkotla has been known as the land of Sikh-Muslim unity for centuries. The initiative to donate land will cement our brotherhood further.”
A historic town, Malerkotla is known for communal harmony since Nawab Sher Mohammed Khan had protested against the torture and bricking alive of the younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh. The area also remained peaceful during the Partition in 1947.