Many Babu Khans remain untold even in Bhadrak

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the hullabaloo of unrest crippling the small Bhadrak district over a ‘made-up’ communal tension, there are many stories of harmony flashing across television screens. While most vouch for mutual love and affection, there are many stories of harmony waiting to be told about Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.

In such tense times, the story of Babu Khan that has gone viral recently, is worth a mention. A small town in UP’s Aligarh district, Mirzapur, has a Lord Shiva temple standing testimony to communal harmony in the country. Besides being built by a Muslim, its main priest is also from the same community. The temple was built in 2013 and all its activities are monitored and managed by Muslims.

Babu Khan, with the help of the community, manages the temple, cleans it and takes care of its upkeep. It is believed the temple was constructed to encourage unity among the two communities. All villagers live in complete harmony and Khan’s wife and children also lend hand to clean the temple. Khan also offers water to the Shivling daily.

Though such stories are difficult to come by from violence-torn places like Bhadrak at present, there are many who express solidarity for the cause of peace.

Fatima Begum, of Bhadrak town, identifies with Babu Khan’s  story. ‘’We all share the same feelings as Khan and we stand by each other. We respect all Hindu Gods with the same reverence as Allah. Such misdoings are the work of politicians who divide us in the name of religion.

Corroborating Fatima’s stand, Amar Nayak, says we celebrate Ramzaan and Eid with equal fervour as Shivratri or Dusshera. ‘’We share food and participate in each other’s celebrations like one family. We would never fight on the base of religion or community. It is the doing of someone who wants to create rift among us,’’ Nayak, who is also Fatima’s neighbour, asserts.