An Iftar party at a Hindu temple might seem like an outlandish idea in the backdrop of communal riots, but on Monday evening Krishnapura, a small township 18km away from Mangalore, set an example for the rest of the state.
Administrators of Baikampadi Sri Sarala Dhoomavathi Daivasthana in Krishnapura and the youth wing of Jama’at e-Islami Hind came together to organise an unusual spread of brotherhood and peace.
Close to 300 Muslims accepted the invitation to offer prayers and break the Ramazan fast at Sarala Dhoomavathi Daivasthana. It was mainly restricted to slices of fruits and juice, but more than a sumptuous meal it was the spirit behind the gesture that caught attention.
Krishnapura has a history of communal tension between the two communities. In 1997, 17 people were killed in a riot and the region went into an unprecedented curfew of six days.
At the temple, Hindus and Muslims promised each other that they would strive towards establishing peace.
“This time the numbers are in hundreds. Next year it will increase to thousands,” said a visibly emotional S Pramod Bhandari, president of the temple administration.
“Humanity, love and brotherhood are the core elements of every religion. If we are truly religious, we must bridge the gap between the followers of different religions,” he added.
Muhammad Kunhi, manager of Shanthi Prakashana, called upon
the gathering to become the true followers of the original messages of the religion, which preaches mankind to live in harmony.
On the same occasion Kannada translations of Quran were distributed to the Hindu hosts.