In Pune’s Ghorpadi Gaon, the windows of the Ahle-Sunnat Jamaat Masjid opens into the yard of the Kashi Vishweshwar Mandir, a wall separates them only somewhat. This unique congregation is 18-years-old.
The Masjid has been here for 200 years.
In 1992, the year that saw massive communal riots following the demolition of Babri Masjid, Hindus and the Muslims came together to build the Temple whose foundation had been laid adjacent to the Mosque.
“We started the Temple work when the country was fighting over Mandir-Masjid. Many Muslims worked for the construction. We even used the water from the Masjid,” said Alfred Anthony, President, Kashi Vishweshwar Mandir Trust.
When it’s time for azaan, the arati stops, and vice-versa.
Eid, Diwali, Shiv Ratri and Moharram are common celebrations.
“Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna. Hindi hai hum, watan hai Hindustan hamara,” sang Nasir Khan, Maulana, Ahle-Sunnat Jamaat Masjid.
The area derives its calm from this religious harmony and peace prevails even in times of communal disquiet.
“It’s a perfect example of national integration,” said Devidas Patil, Inspector, Ghorpadi Police Station.
The broad message of the court verdict on Ayodhya is: On God, there should be no dispute. And if a Temple and a Masjid can co-exist peacefully in Pune, then why not in other parts of the country?
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