Amid communal tensions, Muslim man in Karnataka builds Lord Ganesha temple from his pension money

Chamarajanagar (Karnataka): At a time when Karnataka is witnessing communal flare up, the story of a Muslim man building the Lord Ganesha temple near Chikkahole reservoir in Chamarajanagar district has won hearts.

P. Rahman, who continues to work as the gatekeeper at the Chikkahole reservoir, is being appreciated for his noble gesture across the state.

Speaking to IANS, Rahman said that he got some “instruction from the divine forces to build the temple” and he just carried out the instructions. “That was a lifetime experience. Even today I get tears in my eyes remembering the experience,” he said.

Rahman not only built the temple but has appointed a priest and pays him Rs 4,000 per month. He also arranges for the flowers and all worshipping materials on every Monday and Friday, the two days when the deity is worshipped.

Rahman also distributes ‘prasadam’ to all and takes part in the worshipping. When asked about the recent developments leading to communal discord in the state, Rahman said he fails to understand why people do such things.

If at all there is any difference, it is male and female among the human beings, apart from this there is no difference among the people. “We share the same blood, there is no differentiation,” he says.

“It has been four years since I have built this temple. Though I had spent the pension money that I got at retirement, my family did not say a word. My community members do not have any problem with me worshipping a Hindu God and building the temple,” he said.

There was an idol on a boulder near Chikkahole dam which was stolen. After divine force instruction, Rahman said he consulted local sages and went to Tamil Nadu to bring the idol of Ganesha.

“There were different idols for everyday worship and weekly twice worshipping. I chose the latter one. After installation of the idol, I am experiencing divinity and fulfillment,” he says.

“There is only one God, devotees do not differentiate for the fact that the temple is being built by a Muslim, I don’t understand why all of a sudden the discord has seeped in,” he says.


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