Vishnu temple in Malappuram organizes Iftar party for Muslims in Vettichira on temple’s deity renovation

Vishnu temple in Malappuram organizes Iftar party for Muslims in Vettichira on temple's deity renovation

Malappuram, June2:In a gesture symbolizing religious harmony, a temple in Kerala organised an Iftar party for Muslims on Thursday.

Lekshmi Narasimha Murthy Vishnu Temple in Malappuram held the Iftar party for Muslims breaking their fast in the holy month of Ramzan. The temple has been doing renovation works and has been conducting Punaprethishta (restoration) rituals from May 29, which will go on till July 4. 

The Iftar party was conducted as a part of these rituals. As many as 400 Muslim people participated in the function along with 100 people belonging to other communities.

Nearly 300 Muslim families also have funded the restoration of the temple. The temple is located at Vettichira, which is also Muslim dominated region.

“We have grown up in an atmosphere of religious harmony. What matters for us is humanity, not religion. Everybody has the right to follow their religion or caste, but it does not mean that we should not be friendly to people of other religion. We should not close our heart from welcoming people of other religion” Temple Committee Secretary PT Mohanan told the news media

The Iftar party was held in the house of Mammu Master as the temple could not accommodate so many people.

The dishes were vegetarian including the traditional Kerala meal, sadhya. Muslim families in the area were informed in advance of the party and they turned up in large numbers.

Punnathala in Malappuram district hosted an Iftar party for around 500 men and women on Tuesday evening during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan. The exemplary event was organised as part of the ongoing deity restoration celebration at the Shree Lakshminarasimhamurthy Vishnu Temple here. Over 200 Muslim families in the vicinity of the temple turned up to be a part of the spectacular show of harmony.

“We take each and every family in the locality into consideration irrespective of religious affiliations to plan our programmes and celebrations. Earlier, we had planned a mass banquet as part of the temple celebrations. However, as it is the month of Ramzan, we changed our plan and decided to organise a mass iftar so that our Muslim brothers and sisters too could participate,” says Cherusseri Unnikrishnan Nair, president of the temple committee. The Iftar and the cultural conference are the highlights of the week long Punaprathishta (restoration) and Naveekarana Kalasham (renovation) at the temple. The dilapidated idol of the deity at the temple, which is centuries old, will be restored on Sunday. The Muslim families in the locality too have given funds for the restoration of the once neglected temple.

“There is no religious divide here. Nobody turned their face when asked for donations for the temple restoration, Instead they promoted the drive. We help each other for our family functions too. This is the tradition handed over to us by our ancestors. We want to impart this culture to our next generation as well to show that cohesion is important when the younger generation are increasingly exposed to hatred and religious enmity,” says Nair. “The event was a great success with overwhelming support from the youngsters,” he said.