MITTABAGILU (DAKSHINA KANNADA): This Eid brought heart-warming instances of harmony in the communally sensitive Dakshina Kannada district. The district, ravaged by floods, seemed to have washed away religious differences.
On Monday, men and women hailing from Hindu and Muslim communities worked together cleaning the trail of a mess left by the floods.
The first sign of this came when religious places offered shelter to people. Friday (August 9) dawned as usual, but with spells of rain, which was not unusual at this time of the year.
Mohammad Arif and Mohammad Shafiq left their house in Mittabagilu village to offer special prayers at the mosque.
Netravati river, although the water level was rising, was flowing on a regular course.
There are around 50 houses in this village situated near the river banks and the foot of Western Ghats. All of them were at the mosque. The prayers went peacefully. Suddenly the scene changed. Flash floods caused by massive landslides and cloudbursts swelled the river and water entered all the houses in no time. This was something that the village had not witnessed before.
Arif and Shafiq and others rushed to their houses to evacuate their families.
“There was panic all round. No one had a clue where to go. Women and children started screaming in fear seeing the rush of water. Then everyone ran towards the Durga Parameshwari temple,” Monappa Gowda, a resident, said.
Arif and Shafiq and others, belonging to both communities, went into the temple premises for shelter.
The temple management immediately made all the arrangements opening the hall for the victims to stay the night. They were supplied with food. The people left the next morning after water receded.
Ramanna, who works at the temple, said, “Politics divides religions and people but nature unites us.”
Shafiq said the incident taught them that all were equal.
And it was not just this incident that shone through these grim times, and made this Eid different.
With the water receding and rain subsiding, both communities, are working together to help stranded people and clean up the rain-ravaged village, where material destruction has brought about harmony among the communities.