At a time when hate crimes are increasing, a Muslim family has donated their land for the upgradation of a temple in Bihar's Gopalganj district, officials said.
Tabarak Dewan and his son Manu Dewan, residents of Ahirauli Dubauli Tola Takia under Gopalpur police station, have donated their land near the NH 28, for construction of the main gate of the historical temple at Bathanakuti.
They had purchased the land for Rs.12 lakh for setting up a business a few months ago.
"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," Amrender Kumar alias Pappu Pandey, ruling JD-U legislator of Kuchaikot, said.
According to Pandey, another Muslim, Aali Raza also donated land for the construction of the same temple. Raza, resident of Ramaina village in Kushinagar district in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, termed it a symbol of communal harmony.
"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," Manu Dewan said.
This is not the first such case. Two years ago, some Muslims in Bihar's east Champaran district, in a demonstration of communal harmony, donated land to help build the world's largest Hindu temple which will have the capacity to seat 20,000 people.
"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 help of Muslims, it would have been difficult to realise this dream project," Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Patna-based cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust that is undertaking the ambitious project, said.
Muslims have also helped build a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Durga in Bihar's Gaya district, through donations and also by supervising the construction.
Similarly, a Muslim donated his land for constructing a temple to Lord Shiva in Begusarai district. Mohammad Fakhrool Islam had given land for the temple in Muslim-dominated Bachwara village.
Over three decades ago, some Hindus donated a piece of land for the construction of a mazar in the same village.
Bihar has been by and large free from any major communal trouble, barring a few reported cases of tension, in the last few years.
Muslims form 16.5 per cent of Bihar's 105 million population. In the Seemanchal region, they account for nearly 67 per cent in Kishanganj, 37 per cent in Purnea, 43 per cent in Katihar and nearly 40 per cent in Araria.