A Muslim artisan has been trying to propagate religious harmony through his sculptures. Iqbal Qureshi, a resident of Surat, started sculpting at a very young age and has been making idols of Hindu Gods as a profession for the last two decades.
“I always had an interest in sculpting so I made a career out of it,” says Qureshi. According to him, he does not find much of a difference between the various faiths practised in India and respects them. “I want people to bridge the Hindu-Muslim divide and maintain religious harmony. Just as we make idols of Hindu Gods despite being Muslims, you can also come together in the spirit of brotherhood,” he added.
Similarly, even his customers, who line-up to get their hands on one of Qureshi’s idols, do not see the religious differences as a barrier. Speaking about why he chooses to buy idols from Qureshi, a customer said, “We’ve been coming here for 2-3 years. The idols made by Iqbal have a great finish, so we come here to purchase them.”
Lately, Qureshi has been keeping busy making idols of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, ahead of the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi, which is celebrated with great fervour in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
(With inputs from ANI)