In a first, Udupi Krishna Mutt hosts iftar for Muslims, calls for communal harmony
In a noble gesture which can serve as an example of communal harmony, a top Hindu seer of Karnataka-based Mutt organised iftar for the Muslim community in Udupi on Sunday.
In a first of its kind gesture, the famed Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi hosted an iftar meal for the Muslim community on Sunday, The Hindu reported.
According to the report, Sri Vishvesha Tirtha, the head of the Udupi-based Pejawar Mutt, organised iftar (the traditional feast of Muslim community to break the daily Ramzan fast) at the mutt's Annabrahma Dining Hall, which was attended by at least 100 members of the Muslim community.
The report added that after the group of Muslims broke their fast at 6.59 pm on Sunday, they were served with banana, watermelon, apple, dates and cashewnut along with ‘kashaya', a drink made of black pepper. The 86-year-old seer also took part in the proceedings at the event, aptly named Souharda Upahara Koota (harmony breakfast meet), and distributed dates to those gathered for the iftar.
The News Minute reported that after breaking the fast, Muslims gathered for the event also offered namaz in the mutt premises itself, under the guidance of Maulana Innayatullah, Imam of a local mosque.
Urging communal harmony among the various communities of coastal Karnataka, the seer was quoted by the The News Minute as saying, “Karnataka, especially in the coastal areas, must become an area which is peaceful and set an example for the state to be tolerant. All of us are children of the same creator.”
Pejawar Mutt is one of the eight major mutts established by Sri Adhokshaja Tirtha, a disciple of Madhavacharya, the founder of Dvaita school of Vendanta philosophy. Tirtha, the current head of the mutt, is well known for his association with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and his advocacy of cow protection.
Move lauded by various quarters
The move to hold iftar in the mutt premises was lauded by the Muslim community in Karnataka.
MA Gafoor, the chairman of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation, welcomed the move. “The Iftar koota and offering of namaz at a temple is a historic decision and a great sign of communal harmony shown by the Pejawar Mutt,” he told The News Minute.
The ruling Congress party too praised the seer for his initiative, with Karnataka minister for food and civil supplies, UT Khader, hailing him as an role model for communal harmony.
"Coming from a person of his stature, the gesture will have ripple effect in fostering communal amity not just in the district or the state, but across the country as well," The Times of India quoted the minister as saying while taking a dig at the rising intolerance across the country.
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