Sending a message of communal amity to the people of the state, a Muslim has been elected as a panch of Hindu-dominated Bhelan-Kharothi village of the Hanga panchayat in Bhaderwah town.
The family of cattle-rearer Mohammed Hussain, 54, who was elected as a panch, is the only Muslim family in the the village. He is living with his wife, five sons and a daughter-in-law.
Hussain said, “Mine is the only Muslim family in the entire village and I have been living here for the past 15 years. Earlier, I was staying at the Joda-Kahra area of Thathri. I was elected as a panch unanimously by the villagers.”
“There are only three Muslim voters in my family out of the total 262 voters in the village, but we have been living in complete harmony. The villagers have never let us feel that we are the only Muslim family in their village. They treat me as brother and by making me a panch they shown their love and faith in me,” Hussain said, adding that he would try his best to live up to their expectations.
“Our village faces problems of electricity and roads. I would try my best to resolve all these issues by highlighting these at an appropriate level,” Hussain said.
A local resident said, “Mohammed Hussain is good human being and has good reputation in the village. We unanimously elected him as a panch with a hope that he would continue with his good work.”
The youths of the village are also happy over the decision and are proud of being the native of Bhelan.
“I am feeling fortunate to be born in a village, where my elders have taken a bold decision given the prevailing situation. I hope the society as a whole will take a lesson from the decision of our elders and isolate the elements bent upon to disturb the mutual trust and faith to save the country,” said Harsh Singh (24), a postgraduate student, said.
The unanimous decision of the villagers has not only made Hussain emotional but upbeat to work round-the-clock for the welfare of the villagers.