In the times where everything is black or white, right or wrong, the Muslims of Malda village proved that some things are beyond the realms of absolutism.
The incident took place in Sheikhpura village of Manikchak block in Malda district, about 350 km away from Kolkata. A young Hindu lad, Biswak Rajak,35, lost the battle of life on Monday. He was reportedly suffering from liver cancer and had died in his home.
The Rajaks are so poor that they could not even afford to hold a proper cremation for their son. That’s when the local residents of the place gathered outside his house and requested Biswajit’s father Nagen Rajak to allow them to cremate his son.
They carried him on their shoulder for close to 3 km and also chanted the Hindu last riot chant of Hari Bolo. They performed all the traditional Hindu rituals including consigning the ashes to the nearby river and taking a dip in the river after the cremation.
“I had neither the money nor the manpower to take my son to the crematorium. I don’t know what would have happened if the villagers didn’t come forward for the last rites of my son,” said Biswajit’s father, Nagen Rajak, with tears streaming down his eyes.
Haji Abdul Khalek, who took the lead in arranging the last rites told HT, “No religion preaches hatred towards others. Biswajit was like our brother. Allah wouldn’t have forgiven us if we looked the other way thinking that the family follows some other religion.”
“Moulavi, Haji and hundreds of people from Muslim community arranged the last rites of Biswajit and they carried the body the entire way. This proves the exemplary brotherhood between the Hindus and Muslims in our country,” remarked the saha-sabhadhipati of the Malda Zilla Parishad Gour Chandra Mondal, who went to the crematorium.
“The common people are not really bothered. Helping a family in distress and chanting some Hindu names can’t take away my religion,” said Ayesh Ali, a villager who participated in the last rites.
It is such a breath of fresh air to read stories of fraternity and harmony between the two communities especially when the rest of the country is adamant to put a rift between them.