While heavy rainfall hampered the foundation stone laying ceremony of a mosque in Moga’s Bhaloor village Sunday morning, it could not dampen the spirit of community among the villagers as they opened the gates of the gurdwara and held the programme there.
Within hours, villagers from Sikh and Hindu communities had made all the arrangements for the programme. There was langar, there were steaming hot jalebis, and ardas (prayers) was held for successful completion of the project.
Sarpanch Pala Singh (45) told The Indian Express that their village has seven gurdwaras and two temples, but no mosque. “There was a mosque before Partition in 1947 but its structure turned to ruins with time. We have four Muslim families in the village that chose to stay back and since then, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh families live in harmony in our village. However, all of us wanted that Muslim families too have their place of worship, so it was decided that the mosque will rebuilt on the land where it existed earlier,” he said.
Pala Singh further said that on Sunday, when all preparations were done for laying the foundation stone of the mosque, it started raining heavily and the land turned swampy. “People were saddened and disappointed when told that the programme might have to be postponed due to the heavy rain, but all villagers decided that the venue will be shifted to the nearby Sri Satsang Sahib gurdwara. Guru’s ghar is always open for all communities. Then everyone got together and arranged everything within hours. The programme was held and all villagers participated, irrespective of their religion.”
The sarpanch said that in the past 70 years, the villagers never let anyone feel left out. “They are very happy that a mosque will be our tenth place of worship,” he added.
Villagers have even donated for the construction of the mosque. “From Rs 100 to Rs 1 lakh, people from every community gave as much they could.Waqf Board members are also contributing,” he said.
The village’s ex-sarpanch Bohar Singh, during his speech at the gurdwara, said that their entire village will fully cooperate in construction of the mosque.
Naib Shahi Imam Maulana Mohammad Usman Rahmani Ludhianvi, who attended the ceremony, thanked villagers for the venue.