An Anti-apartheid Story of Dalvana

Story Highlights
  • Communal harmony against the 'Sirocco' of hate blossoms in Dalvana.
  • Doors of historic Varanda Vir Maharaj temple opened for Muslims.
  • 100 Muslims break fast and hold evening prayers on Friday.

Dalvana, Gujarat: An explicit example of communal harmony in India was seen in an arid village of Banaskantha, Gujarat as a historic Hindu temple opened its gates for Muslim rozedaars to break their fast Friday evening.

As many as 100 Muslims in Vadgam taluka were invited to break their fast and hold the evening prayers in a 1200-year-old temple holding great social and religious significance for the people of Dalvana.

In a media interaction, fifty-five-year-old Pankaj Thakar, the priest at Varanda Vir Maharaj temple claimed the act to be one of its kind. “The Varanda Vir Maharaj temple is a historic site in our village. Several tourists visit it throughout the year. We have always believed in co-existence and brotherhood. Many times, the dates of Hindu and Muslim festivals clash, and we ensure that the villagers help in each of them. This year, the temple trust and gram panchayat decided to invite the Muslim rozedars to our temple premises to break their fast. We arranged for five to six types of fruits, dates and sherbet for over 100 Muslim rozedars of our village. I personally welcomed the Maulana sahib of our local mosque today,” said Thakar.

Recalling the help received during Ramnavami and Holi, Dalvana Sarpanch Pinkyba Rajput said, “During Ramnavami and Holi festivals, our Muslim brothers helped us so we thought that this year, we should do the same for them. Our village is an example of social harmony for the entire country.”

Dalvana, a helmet in Gujarat is home to 2,500 mainly comprising Rajput, Patel, Prajapati, Devipujak and Muslim communities. Merely 50 Muslim families reside here mostly engaged in farming and business.

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