Muslim man goes extra mile for Hindu neighbours


    Memon has ensured Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in his neighbourhood

    Jyoti Bihola @jyoti88


    Ahmedabad: People around the city bid farewell to Lord Ganesha on Thursday, but for 39-year-old Mayyuddin Memon, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is about bringing communities closer in his neighbourhood at Relief Road.

    Memon has been installing Ganesha idols at the Illora shopping centre chowk in Relief Road for the last two years. This despite the fact that his community is against his decision to reach out to Hindus in a Muslim majority area.

    Explaining the reason for taking this initiative, Memon said his decision was influenced by the fact that some of his Hindu neighbours started getting wary of installing Ganesha idols at the chowk two years back. He added a true Muslim doesn’t talk about differences between religions, but instead speaks of unity between them.

    “There was a time when all my neighbours were Hindus. Later several of them left. The few who remained were wary of installing a Ganesha idol at the chowk as it was a Muslim dominated area. Then two years ago, I myself took the initiative to promote the concept of community celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi,” he said.

    Solely because of Memon’s initiative, Muslims and Hindus now celebrate the festival and participate in the aarti regularly for the duration of the 10 days.

    Memon admitted he faced opposition from his own community members when he first installed the Ganesha idol.

    “Many from my community objected to installing the Ganesha idol but I managed to overcome their opposition. Allah does not teach us to ignore any religion. Allah also teaches us that everyone should be treated equally,” Memon said.

    Memon said he didn’t perform Ganesha Puja on Tuesday as it was Eid al-Adha, and he wanted to maintain the purity of both festivals.

    It was only fitting that Memon immersed the Ganesha idol from his chowk on Thursday. Memon, who owns Maa Group of Companies is married to Trupti Adenwala (now Muskan Memon). He says he has been celebrating all Hindu festivals since his marriage.