India, as civilization has always been the torch bearer of the concept of unity in diversity. Living amidst a wide range of languages, religions, and cultures, the nation has learned to celebrate the differences and yet stand as one. While there have been instances in the past, where people have tried to spread hatred in the name of religion, yet Indians have always upheld the spirit of secularism.
One such instance is of a Muslim family that has been taking care of the 500-year-old temple of Shiva located at the Rangamahal village in Guwahati, generation after generation. Draped in red clothes, the idols of Lord Shiva are worshiped under a huge Banyan tree in this one of its kind temple in Assam.
This is not the only unique thing about this temple. People from all faiths come and offer prayer to Lord Shiva in this temple. “People from both religions, Hindu and Muslim, come here to offer prayers,” said Matibar Rehman, the caretaker of the temple. Matibar’s family has been taking care of this temple for generations and teaching the world a lesson on secularism.
Today, this temple stands as the testimony of religious harmony and brotherhood observed in our country. However, this is not the first time that Muslims have offered prayers at a Hindu Temple. There is a unique tradition followed by the Muslim families of Gadag district of Karnataka, where they celebrate Eid with Hindus by performing pooja in temples. Recently, a Muslim man in Karnataka donated a portion of his retirement benefits for the construction of a Ganesha Temple after he saw a dream in which he was asked to install an idol of Lord Ganesha.
Incidents like these make us believe that despite all the differences, whether it is lingual, religious, cultural, we Indians always find a way to celebrate them and yet spread peace and love.