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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Muslim businessman sets example of communal harmony in Dumka

Mohammed Naushad Sheikh has spent over Rs 30 lakh, entirely from his own pocket, to build a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 15.02.22, 02:28 AM
The newly build temple at Dumka.

The newly build temple at Dumka. Shabbir Hussain

A Muslim businessman has set an example of communal harmony in Dumka district of Jharkhand, at a time when religious intolerance patronised by certain political parties are fomenting hatred in the country.

Mohammed Naushad Sheikh, the 55-year-old construction material businessman, has spent over Rs 30 lakh, entirely from his own pocket, to build a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Mohammed is a native of Hamidpur village under the Kumirdaha panchayat of Dumka district, some 350 km from capital Ranchi, built the temple at the neighbouring Mahishbathan village.

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The temple built on a floor area of 1600 sq ft and has a carpet area of 6400 sq feet and dedicated through pran pratistha (consecration ritual of the deities) on Monday afternoon.

“I had gone to Mayapur (in Nadia district of Bengal) in 2019 and in the night I had a dream in 2019 in which Lord Krishna asked me to build a temple.

“I returned to my village and discussed with my family and since then started contributing my expenses to build the temple and finally managed to complete it this month and the Jal Abhishek and pran pratistha was performed on Monday,” said Mohammed Naushad Sheikh who is also the Ranishwar block up pramukh (deputy chief) and offers namaz too.

Devotees beat drums at the temple on Monday.

Devotees beat drums at the temple on Monday. Shabbir Hussain

The Muslim social worker refused any donation for the temple.

“It was my project and even if somebody would have offered me donation I would have refused. I am a firm believer in Hinduism, Muslim and even Christianity. All religions are equal for me so there is no question of seeking funds from anyone. I will have to spend few more lakhs to build a shed for the visitors, a permanent structure for the distribution of bhogs and for the offering of kirtan and bhajans. I am determined to complete these projects too without taking anybody’s help,” said Naushad.

Gautam Chatterjee, a local scribe and a friend of Naushad, claimed that earlier there was only a small idol of Lord Krishna Partha Sarathi formed on a small structure under an open structure.

Mohammed Naushad Sheikh.

Mohammed Naushad Sheikh. Shabbir Hussain

“During festivals, Naushad used to put up shamianas (tents) for the kirtans and devotees since the two decades. Now he has completed the temple. He was passionately involved in the project for over three years. It is a lesson for masses who get carried away by politicians and spread hatred on religious lines,” said Gautam.

The Ranishwar block has a majority of Hindus (nearly 70 per cent) but has never witnessed any communal strife.

Village experts claim that about 300 years ago, the royal family of Hetampur Estate (in Birbhum district) of Bengal started worshiping Lord Partha Sarathi by making a clay idol and the village used to come under this estate. But it was closed after the abolition of the Zamindari system. In the 1980s, the block pramukh of Ranishwar, Mohammed Qadir, started worshipping here again.

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