In the recent past, Uttar Pradesh has been portrayed as a communally sensitive state. However, in a spirit of communal harmony and brotherhood, Muslims in Allahabad have voluntarily demolished parts of mosques to make way for the upcoming Ardh Kumbh Mela preparations in 2019.
According to Hindustan Times, the Allahabad Development Authority (ADA) officials have pointed out that many buildings of religious importance are coming in the way of their road widening project. The ADA has taken up the responsibility of widening the city’s roads on account of the Ardh Kumbh Mela celebrations next year which will see a massive influx of Hindu pilgrims. The road widening project is set to end in late September or October.
Additionally, an official of the ADA said that they did not want to hurt the religious sentiments of any community and it also engaged in interactions with people where they convinced them to demolish parts of structures voluntarily.
Demolished mosques voluntarily
Reportedly, a caretaker of Masjid-e-Qadri in Rajrooppur area said that a part of the mosque was demolished after taking consent from other members of the community to help pave the way for the devotees who will come to the city to take the holy dip in the Sangam during Kumbh.
ANI quoted a Muslim resident as saying, “We have done this by our own will. These sections were built on government land and had been demolished. The government is widening roads ahead of Kumbh, and we support it.” Residents along with the caretakers of Tirpal Wali Masjid on Sardar Patel Marg, built in 1912, demolished parts of the mosque in the holy month of Ramzan.
ADA officials had demarcated parts of two mosques in the city. However, they were surprised to find out that members of the community had already demolished it on their own without any resistance or protest.
Heavy renovation work is underway in Allahabad which is preparing for the Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019 where lakhs of pilgrims are going to turn up in the city. Additionally, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been making efforts to promote Kumbh Mela in international destinations as well. The Ardh Kumbh Mela, held every six years, is scheduled to take place between January 14 to March 4, 2019, in Allahabad. The next Kumbh Mela will be held in 2022.
The Logical Indian Take
India is at a point in time when attaining communal harmony has become the need of the hour. We should always lead by example, and if the local community can willingly demolish part of the mosque build more than a century ago, during the holy month of Ramzan, then it’s truly appreciable.