Anita (62, Delhi) and Saroj (57, Meerut) are Hindu sisters who donated 2.1 acres of land (worth Rs. 1.2 crores) to an Eidgah in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, a few days before Eid, fulfilling their father’s last request, Lala Brajnandan Rastogi, a farmer who died in 2003.
According to the Times of India, some relatives told the two sisters years after Rastogi’s death that their father had planned to gift his land to his “Muslim brethren.”
Anita and Saroj completed all the legalities to surrender their land to the Eidgah on Sunday, two days before Eid. According to the Times of India, they sought assistance from their brother Rakesh, who still resides in Kashipur.
Rakesh was quoted by TOI as saying, “My father was a strong believer in communal harmony. He wished to donate the land to the Eidgah so that it could accommodate more people for namaz on festivals such as Eid. My sisters honoured his wish.”
Haseen Khan, President of Kashipur’s Eidgah committee, said, “When he was alive, the committee would always take the first donation from him on all important occasions. Not only did he always give money generously, but he also offered fruits and sweets to Muslim devotees. After his death, his son took after Lala and is now the first one to donate for such events. Lala and my father Mohammad Raza Khan were close friends for about 50 years. The two are no more but their belief in brotherhood has taught us a lot.”
Rastogi was revered by Muslims throughout Kashipur, who sought Eid blessings for him. Khan went on to say that there is a strong sense of communal peace and fraternity throughout the city, with each religion demonstrating tolerance for the other.
“Lala Brajnandan and his family’s act was discussed in all the Muslim families in the vicinity,” a local counsellor, Naushad Hussain, told TOI. We commend such charity and sincere secularism in the current communally inflamed society. The country would never be in danger with such people among us.”
Aryan Jakhar works as an Editor-in-Chief at The Shining Media. Also, he is an editor at YouthPolitician (digital media situated in Taiwan). He writes his opinions on social issues at YouthKiAwaaz and also on his blogger website.