Saturday, July 24, 2010
The Ghuman family of Sarwarpur, near Ludhiana, cannot understand what the fuss is about. Ever since Sajjan Singh Ghuman, an NRI Sikh living in England, rebuilt a mosque in his native village, the shrine, as well as his family back home, have attracted the curiosity of outsiders. “We never imagined we would be on a Punjabi TV channel just because my elder brother rebuilt this small mosque for the poor Muslim families of our village. For him, it was just a gesture towards restoring the collective heritage of our village,” says Sajjan’s brother, Joga Singh.
Much of the present effort to revive mosques is coming from a young generation. Kesar, a Jat Sikh farmer from Ratia, and Kamal, a Hindu whose family migrated from Sialkot in Pakistan, have slogged shoulder to shoulder for days to rebuild Dhuri’s lone mosque. Many people from the Hindu community helped dig the foundations. Hindus and Sikhs from nearby villages, too, contributed with hefty donations.