Noorul Hasan, a 75-year-old Muslim businessman who believes that religious intolerance would be a thing of the past if people learnt to respect diverse ideologies. Hasan, whose house shares its boundary wall with a 200-year-old Shiva temple at Sadar Lucknow does all he can for the temple — providing space for the preparation of the ‘bhog’ (temple food), ensuring water supply from his house for the ‘abhishek’ (tilak), monitoring its day-to-day activities and playing an important role in the trust’s decisions.
Hasan has been closely associated with the religious establishment of the temple for so many years. People nearby temple say that the temple restoration would not have been possible without Hasan’s help. “Chacha, as we affectionately call him, closely monitored the construction of the temple and ensured that construction material wasn’t wasted or stolen. He provided water from his house to ensure that the construction work was carried out smoothly” they added. The temple, which has replicas of all the 12 Jyotirlingas (divine objects representing Lord Shiva), is frequented by many devotees. Hasan has played a role of true ‘Nandi’ (an ardent follower of Lord Shiva).
“I have been associated with this temple for a long time. My family believes that every religion should be respected. People should not be restricted from doing their bit for other religions. We do as much as we can for the temple”, Hasan says smilingly.