MANGALURU: The head of a temple trust has donated 12 cents of his land for the extension of a dargah and mosque in a Puttur village in Dakshina Kannada district. Mohan Rai, chief of Sri Vishnumurthy Temple in Olemundovu village, has an undeveloped property next to the dargah. Sometime ago, the mosque authorities, who wanted to extend the worship place to accommodate more people to pray, submitted a request to Rai.
On Saturday, Rai, who turned up at the mosque, offered 12 cents (486 sq m) of his land for the mosque extension in the presence of mosque authorities. His gesture received wide appreciation from both the communities in the strife-torn coastal region and on social media.
People welcomed the gesture saying that though politicians have been trying their best to divide people on communal lines, people like Rai prove them wrong with such gestures. Olemundovu village falls under Keyyur gram panchayat limit and people of different communities have been living in harmony here. The Muslim community here has high regard for Rai who also actively takes part in the annual Urs of the dargah.
Rai, a progressive farmer, owns a huge chunk of land in the village. “For me God is one and he should be respected irrespective of the forms in which he is worshipped. God has given everything to me and I have just returned a part of it to Him. People should not fight on the basis of religion as it helps none,” he said.
K R Hussain, convenor, Renjiladi Islamic Centre, said it was a memorable day the entire Dakshina Kannada. “I believe that harmony is the biggest asset of the country and Rai has shown it by this gesture, today. The Muslim community is indebted to Rai,” he said.