Millennium Post

Muslim neighbours cremate Hindu youth, chant 'Hari Bol'

Humanity scored over religion as a nondescript village in the border district of Malda went about projecting the true face of India and the values that this great nation has always stood for. People belonging to the Muslim faith cremated a 33-year-old Hindu man and performed all the prescribed rituals connected to cremation as per Hindu religion.

The border district of Malda is usually in the news for all the wrong reasons ranging from counterfeit currency to large scale violence. However, Sheikhpura village of Manikchak block proved otherwise. Sheikhpura has a population of around 6,000, all belonging to the Muslim faith except for a Hindu family.

35-year-old Biswajit Rajak had been suffering from liver cancer. Hailing from an economically backward family, it was impossible for his family to pay for his treatment. It is the villagers who came forward and pitched in to take him to Kolkata for treatment.

He was admitted at the SSKM hospital for a month. With his deteriorating condition, the doctors referred him to the Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. However, with severe cash crunch, there was not much option left than to bring him back home. "On Monday Biswajit breathed his last," stated Muhammad Yasin, a local panchayat member.

This was not the end of the woes for the Rajak family. The cash-strapped family consisting of his parent, his wife and three daughters, did not have money to cremate Biswajit. Once again the Muslim villagers came forward to help. "We had no money to cremate him. The villagers were God sent to deliver us from these difficult times," stated Nagen Rajak, father of the deceased.

They arranged for everything and carried the dead body on their shoulders chanting Bolo Hori, Hori Bol (as per Hindu custom) to the banks of the Ganges in Manikchak, a near 5 km walk. The maulvi of the local mosque was there in the funeral procession along with the Hajis of Sheikhpura.

"Biswajit was like a brother to us. No religion in this world teaches hatred. Instead, religion teaches humanity," stated Haji Malek, a resident of Sheikhpura.

Nagen's elder brother Ranjit lit the funeral pyre. After the cremation, his ashes were immersed in the Ganges. "This is the true face of Bengal. Malda has set an example for the rest of the country to follow," remarked Gaur Chandra Mondal, Saha-Sabhadipati of the Malda zilla parishad, who was also present.
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