By Abu Zaim for MuslimMirror.com,
New Delhi/ Kolhapur: During the just concluded the Ganesh festival, some media outlets carried a story prominently from Kurundwad–a non-descript town in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra– that “in a show of communal amity the idols of Ganesha were “placed inside five mosques”. However, the agitated local Muslims of Kurundwad have strongly denied the news item describing it as a “cock and bull story” and “baseless”. They argued that no Muslim would dare to put any idol in mosque because it is simply antithesis to the very concept of Islam. They said the Ganesha idols were installed not in a mosque but an Ashur Kahana which is a separate building.
TV18 Channel, some other newspapers and news websites carried the story circulated by ANI. Even the TV18 Urdu website also carried the story without cross-checking it. It published he story under the headline “Maharashtra main anukhi misaal, paanch masjidon mian ganesha ke moorti nasab ki gai” (Unique example in Maharashtra, idols of Ganesha placed in five mosques)
According to ANI, “Setting a unique example of brotherhood and communal amity, Hindus and Muslims gathered at mosques in Kolhapur region on the occasion of Ganesha festival on Friday. —-The idols of Ganesha is placed inside mosques and devotees from both the communities participate in the festivity with great fervour. On Friday, Muslim devotees said the idols were installed in at least half-a-dozen mosques in the region during the 10-day-long festival. — For the past 50-60 years we have been performing this ritual here. We have such idols in six to seven mosques. Hindu and Muslims take part in the immersion of the idol together—–.”
The story was filed by one Sandeep Raj Golkar that was published in the TV18 Urdu website.
When Muslim Mirror contacted to know the truth about the story, it found the story had no basis. Talking to Muslim Mirror on phone, local activist Abbas Mullah flatly refuted the story and sent some photographs as evidence which clearly show the two separate buildings. He said Kurundwad is a small town Shirol Tahsil in Kolhapur district of Western Maharashtra which has a population of 50,000 to 55,000 and out of this Muslims constitutes about 30 to 35 percent of the total population.
However, he said there is an old the Ashrukahana (Imambara) which houses Alams and Tazia and Ganesha idols also but its building is separate from the mosque.
This year incidentally 10-day long Ganesha festival had coincided with Muharram as a section of ignorant Muslims commemorates the martyrdom of Hazt Husain by installing Alams and Tazia in the Ashrukahana. There is exemplary communal bonding between both the communities in the town.
Another activist Qasim Mullah said it seems the reporter is ignorant about the difference between a mosque and ashurkhana. The reporter got erroneous impression about the mosque as minarets of the mosque are behind the AshurKahan, he said and added that how Muslims can place an idol in the mosque? Mullah further said the story seems to be the reporter’s “figment of imagination”.
Zakir Shaik, businessman said respecting each other’s religion does not need to compromise one’s faith. However, he said some Muslims took part in the immersion of the Ganesha idol with their Hindu brethren but this does not construe as comprising with faith.
Local Muslims said such fake news stories may prove counterproductive in forging the communal harmony as it portrayed one community in a wrong-way. What impression would take of ours by our fellow Muslim brothers in the country after reading such fake news, Mullah asked.