UP: Hindu Man Takes Care Of 120-Yr-Old Mosque Which He Saved During 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots
The 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots will go down in history as one of the most violent communal riots India has ever witnessed. Yet some unknown names, who have scripted a few silver linings in the same story, continue to restore our faith in humanity. Ramveer Kashyap from Nanheda village in Muzaffarnagar is one such person. 59-year-old Ramveer has taken up the sole responsibility of taking care of the century-old mosque in his village, which he saved from demolition in 2013 by putting up a staunch stand against a group of fanatic rioters. “It’s my religious duty. My faith teaches me to respect all places of worship,” he shared in a conversation with The Times Of India.
He is taking care of the mosque for 25 years
Nanheda is a remote village situated almost 40 km away from the district headquarters. Predominantly inhabited by Jats and a few Dalit and OBC families, the village does not house a single Muslim. This, however, did not deter Ramveer Kashyap from dutifully cleaning and maintaining the 120-year-old mosque for the past 25 years. He revealed how the erstwhile Muslim population of the village migrated before Independence. “Now, occasional visitors offer namaz here once in a while,” shared Ramveer Kashyap with The Times Of India.
A mason by profession, Ramveer’s day starts with sweeping the mosque clean in the early hours of the morning and he never fails to light a candle in the evening. He even gets the mosque whitewashed every Ramadan.
In 2013, when a band of enraged Hindus marched to demolish the structure, Ramveer alone put up a watertight defence. Soon, he gathered other villagers in his support, eventually succeeding in protecting the heritage mosque.
Ramveer narrates, “I played around it as a child. For me, it is a place of worship, which deserves respect. As there was no one to take care of it, I took on the responsibility.” To this date, he is unfailingly abiding by the duty he entrusted upon himself.
Everyone is moved by Ramveer’s efforts
“He even spends his own money to get it whitewashed once before every Ramzan. At times, his family members also assist him in cleaning up the place,” reveals Dara Singh, the village Pradhan of Nanheda.
Healthcare professional Khusnaseeb Ahmad from the neighbouring Khedi Firozabad village is one of the few occasional visitors to the Nanheda mosque. Sharing his experience, he said, “I visited the village a few years ago and was surprised to see a Hindu man looking after the mosque. I offered namaz there.” Moved by Ramveer’s gesture, he added, “There are many examples of love to counter hate.”
Darul Uloom official Ashraf Usmani said, “It is this aspect of India that makes it great. Examples like Nanheda are spread all across India.”
The Logical Indian take
Usmani’s statement has proven to be true time and again. Flood-ravaged Kerala witnessed the greatest example of communal harmony in recent times when a mosque sheltered Hindu families, a temple opened its door for Eid prayers and a Catholic priest offered a Thanksgiving speech in a mosque.