Chamarajnagar, Sept 14: When majority of Hindus in the region are celebrating Gauri-Ganesha festival, an elderly Muslim man on the outskirts of Chamarajnagar is busy making arrangements for the installation of an idol of Ganesha in a newly built temple.
61-year-old T Rahman, a retired employee of the irrigation department, decided to construct a temple for Ganesha after an the elephant headed ‘god’ was stolen from Chikkahole reservoir area by unidentified people.
"Last year, a few unidentified thieves stole the idol of Ganesha from the Chikkahole project area park. I was upset and felt a strong need to build a new temple for the idol. When the same thoughts continued in my dream, I decided to build a new temple," he said.
Rahman, after his retirement, has begun working as the gate officer for both the Suvarnavathi and the Chikkahole reservoirs, which are located in 3-kilometre radius.
Local residents see a true champion of communal harmony in Rahman. "It's a positive trend that we are willing to even build a place of worship for another community. We do not mind even visiting each other's shrine. This is the true spirit of Indian culture," says Raghu Gowda, a resident of Chikkahole dam area, where the temple is coming up.
Ritualistic necessities, however, delayed Rahman’s plans to open the temple during the Gauri-Ganesha festival itself. "All of us were eager to open the temple at the time of upcoming Gauri-Ganesha festival. The idol, which was sculpted in Tamil Nadu, was also ready. But the priests informed me that before the installation of any idol, it must be kept immersed in water for six days, and in paddy for another six days. We won't be able to open the temple during this Ganesha Chaturthi. But it will be done at the earliest," he said.
After miscreants steal ‘Ganesha’, Muslim man builds a new temple for him