Seeing devotees struggle to pray to their favourite deity, a Muslim businessman has donated a 1,650 sq feet plot valued around Rs 1 crore to Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy temple in Hosakote, on the outskirts of the Bengaluru.
The temple is situated about 40 kms from Bengaluru, in this once sleepy town which now has become a real estate magnet due to its proximity to IT hub Whitefield. Prior to the IT boom in the 2000s, Hosakote was a dusty town like any other town in Karnataka but now it is a most sought after real estate destination in East Bengaluru and this area largely attracts the IT crowd of the city.
It is also connected to the well established industrial area Oragadam, in Chennai, hence, it has also become a most sought after destination for warehouses and industries. The Hosakote-Whitefield belt is home to over 400 Japanese companies.
After the government ordered that Sri Veeranjaneyaswami Temple in Valagerepura has to make way for the expansion of the national highway (NH-75, Old Madras Road), the temple trust requested H.M.G. Basha, who runs a business in the cargo transport sector, if he could part with some land from his property from his three acre (1,20,000 sq. ft.) land which lies just behind the temple that was built nearly three decades ago.
'He was generous enough to donate us 1.5 gunta citing'
Sri Veeranjaneyaswami Temple in Valagerepura Trust chairman, M.D. Byregowda Mylapura hailing Basha's act as a classic example of communal harmony told IANS that "we actually needed only a 'gunta' of land (about 1,089 sq feet) but he was generous enough to donate us 1.5 gunta citing that the additional space would help devotees move around the temple more freely."
On his part, Basha said that he believed in the philosophy of living in peace and harmony. "Almighty has blessed us and when villagers sought land for such good cause, I did not want to say no to them. And their demand too wasn't big, hence, my family members happily and readily donated land to them," he said.
He added that it is the political leaders and some on social media who try to "create differences" and distort things for their own selfish interests but common people don't see any distinction between Hindus and Muslims from their heart.
"Whenever I used to pass through, I observed many of devotees who also happen to be my friends, used to struggle as the temple was very small and when the Temple trust decided to move the existing structure, they asked me to part with a gunta of plot, but I decided to offer them 1.5 gunta," he said.
'Latest example of communal harmony'
Byregowda said the foundation stone of the temple has been laid and the construction, estimated to cost around Rs 1 crore, is expected to begin in full swing in January 2021. "Basha's generosity does not end at just giving land freely to us he has also assured that he would contribute for construction of temple as well, besides assuring another half gunta of land if the temple requires once the construction as over," he claimed.
Jubilant over Basha's decision, residents of Valagerapura village erected a poster hailing Basha and his family as the "latest example of communal harmony" from Karnataka, and are circulating its photographs widely.