In a bid to promote communal accord, a temple in Kerala on Thursday arranged an Iftar party for members of the Muslim community. The Lekshmi Narasimha Murthy Vishnu Temple, Malappuram, hosted close to 400 Muslims as well as 100 persons from other communities for an Iftar feast. Vegetarian fare was offered to the guests which included sadhya, a traditional meal in Kerala.
The temple has been undergoing Punaprethishta (restoration) rituals since May 29. Iftar, the tradition of breaking one’s fast at the end of the day in the holy month of Ramazan, was held as part of the rituals. Contributors toward the restoration of the temple, which is located in a Muslim dominated area in Vettichira, include 300 Muslim families.
“We have grown up in an atmosphere of religious harmony. What matters for us is humanity, not religion. Everybody has the right to follow their religion or caste, but it does not mean that we should not be friendly to people of other religions. We should not close our heart from welcoming people of other religions” Temple Committee Secretary PT Mohanan was quoted by the News Minute as saying.
The venue of the feast was the residence of one Mammu Master as the temple complex was not large enough to house all the invitees. Muslim families were told about the party in advance which helped the large turnout. “There was no hesitation from anybody’s part. The response was overwhelming,” the News Minute quoted Mohanan as saying.