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A Slice of Communal Harmony: Muslim Family in Bihar Donates their Land for elevation of a Hindu Temple

Free from the communal disputes, Bihar houses 16.5 percent of Muslims of the total 105 million population.

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A Hindu Temple (Representative Image) Wikimedia
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New Delhi, May 06, 2017: In the surge of hate crime across the world, a Muslim family in Bihar sets an example by donating their land for the elevation of a temple of Bihar. The land is near NH28 which the Muslim family gave for the construction of the main gate of the ancient temple at Bathanakuti in Bihar.

Tabarak Dewan and son Manu Dewan are the residents of Ahirauli Dabauli Tola Takia which came forward and donated their land.

“We have been living here for decades and taking care of each other. It is a gesture for communal harmony. We have decided to donate land for a good cause. All religions are the same”, said Manu Dewan to India Today.

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Free from the communal disputes, Bihar houses 16.5 percent of Muslims of the total 105 million population. In the Seemanchal region, they account for almost 67 percent in Kishanganj, 37 percent in Purnea, 43 percent in Katihar and nearly 40 percent in Araria.

“By donating their costly land, the Muslim family has helped us to beautify the historical temple at Bathanakuti, which is under renovation. If they had refused to donate their land, it would have been impossible to construct the main gate of the temple. Thanks to their gesture now the temple’s main gate will be constructed on their donated land,” said Amrender Kumar alias Pappu Pandey, ruling JD-U legislator of Kuchaikot.

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According to the India Today report, another Muslim named Aali Raza, a resident of Ramaina Village in Kushinagar district also donated his land for the construction of the same historic temple, said the JD-U legislator.

It is not the first time that Muslims have helped Hindus in the construction of temples. Two years ago, some Muslims in Bihar’s east Champaran district donated land to help build Hindu temple. The temple is also the largest one in terms of capacity to seat 20,000 people.

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“Muslims have not only donated land, they have also provided land at a nominal rate for construction of the world’s largest Hindu temple. Without the help of Muslims, it would have been difficult to realise this dream project” said Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Patna-based cash-rich Mahavir Mandir.

Similar examples can be traced from previous records where Muslims have also helped build a Hindu Temple dedicated to goddess Durga in Bihar’s Gaya district and construction of Lord Shiva temple in Begusarai district.

Hindus nevertheless also helped Muslims in the construction of Mazars over three decades ago.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94

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The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

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Gulyana, Pakistan

By: Wali Imran (Hindu Council of Australia)

900 years old Gulyana town of about a 50,000 people, just a few kilometers South of Gujar Khan, was raised to the ground once several centuries ago, by raiders from the West. The second time it was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Before 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikh owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat. The Dewan, Dutt, Mohyal Brahmin, and Singh families were always part of royal elite.

Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Land owners were guaranteed protection from military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storey high.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Bakshi Tek Chand, Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt, Bakshi Moti Ram and Tara Singh were the dominant names of those times.  They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 kanal holdings each and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs. They did however, treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop — what do you expect from absentee landlords.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.

The Hindus were mostly traders, money lenders and retailers.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Muslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.

During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground the several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.

One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail someone for 6 months.

Gulyana, Pakistan

When the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.

Otherwise, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me, “the Hindus and Sikh were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors’, built schools, hospitals and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikh of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansion, one dhramsala, one temple, several bowlis (watering hole) have been lost to time.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old styled spoke wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple and 100 years old Gujarati’s mansion still survives.Gulyana, Pakistan

I went into the temple inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.

Gulyana, Pakistan

 

Pakistan government build a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.

The union council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.

In short, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrator, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people and large scale farmers left in 1947.

Gulyana, Pakistan

I am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty — traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.

Other interesting places in Potohar region are:

Also Read: Protecting The World, The Hindu Way

Bedi Mahal, Pharwala fort, Malot fort, Sangini fort, Rawat fort and Mankial Stupa. (Hindu Council of Australia)