“Allah and Ram are one”: Muslim youth who cleans mosques and temples

Saddam goes to the Ram Mandir where he cleans the Gopura and temple premises
Saddam Hussein maintains the Rama Mandir at Rajajinagar | Image: Shriram BN 

2019, India – Dystopia has crept in. ‘Othering’ is on the rise and caste and communal violence is at an all-time high. Hindutva hardliners are claiming ownership of India, playing games in the name of the Lord. But all hope is not lost. Defying popular narrative, especially in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict, that Ram and Allah cannot reside next to each other, there is one man who is slowly working his way peacefully in both, a temple and a mosque.

Saddam Hussein, who cleans both the mandir and masjid in Rajajinagar, Bengaluru, wasn’t even aware of the Ayodhya land dispute verdict coming out last Saturday. Saddam, who works nights, starts his day late, after which he goes for namaaz, subsequently heading towards work at the ‘Gandige’ shop (which sells puja materials).

Speaking to The New Indian Express he said, “I did not know that the judgment would be out today. I do not watch TV or news. My brother told me about it,” he said. On the verdict, he said, “It’s God’s wish. I do not find any difference between Allah and Ram.” He said, “I go to the masjid to pray and clean it, and to the Rama Mandira to clean it. I get peace and happiness at both the places. It’s all in the heart and mind.”

In the month of Ramzan, you will find Saddam always on call at the masjid. He cleans the minar, paints the gates and serves fresh cut fruits to people who break their fasts at the mosque after a prayer.

At the Ram mandir, he cleans the gopura and the temple premises. During Ram Navami, he does the chariot servicing and painting jobs.

Saddam who also works as a driver in his extra time, says his actions of serving at both, the mosque and the temple with equal faith, are just God’s way of saying that Hindus and Muslims are brothers.

Venkatesh Babu who owns the Gandige shop where Saddam works, said, “Saddam doubles as a driver for us. My son’s wedding is fast approaching and he drives me around to distribute the invites. But he stops the car near the masjid for namaaz. I wait outside till he comes. This is how we are — this is how our country is — social harmony.’’

Babri-Ayodhya verdict: Will appeal for peace apply to Hindutva hardliners in future?
Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb: Muslims help with Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations
Ludhiana is where the heart still beats, simple tales of humanity and brotherhood



Related Articles