Muslims of Gujarat: Scarred but willing to heal

Rupa Abdi,

In an unprecedented gesture of good will and communal harmony the Muslim community of Rajkot in Gujarat invited Morari Bapu, a well respected spiritual leader of Gujarat, to conduct a Rama Katha in Rajkot this week. On his behalf Morari Bapu, was more than willing to accept this invitation and was of the opinion that it would set an extraordinary example of communal harmony in the country. He further assured the Muslim community that for the Rama Katha they were not required to denounce their religious code and conduct.

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The proceeds from this sponsored katha will go towards the welfare of the Muslim community. Morari Bapu, who is a renowned kathatkar(one who recites religious stories) of Gujarat, is perhaps the only Hindu spiritual leader who has been interacting with the Muslim community in Gujarat after the Godhra carnagae and the communal violence that followed. Morari Bapu had recently addressed a Sarva Dharma Sabha (a meeting of all religions) at the urs of Geban Shah Pir mosque in Rajkot.


In a similar gesture in the month of December, last year, Sayed Mehadi Bapu, a community leader in Mahuwa of Junagadh district, donated two acres of land for the construction of a Shiva temple in the presence of Morari Bapu and the local people. Mahuwa has a long standing tradition of communal harmony. This has been largely due to the efforts of Mehadi Bapu and Morari Bapu. Even during the bloodshed that followed the Godhra carnage in the year 2002, Mahuwa remained an island of peace and communal harmony.


The scars that the post Godhra nightmare left on the Muslims of Gujarat have barely healed, hence such initiatives on behalf of the Muslims need to be commended and encouraged in order to ensure a climate of healing and harmony. Such moves on behalf of the Muslims should not be mistaken for weakness or compromise. ‘Demand justice for the victims but do not hate the perpetuators of the crime’, is what Mahatma Gandhi taught us.


Morari Bapu: the official website.