In such turbulent times for the nation, there was a true moment of humanity in Malda district in West Bengal when the last rituals of a 90-year-old Hindu man were aided by his Muslim neighbors. This can easily stand as an example of unorchestrated harmony between the communities.
The body of Binay Saha, who passed away in the evening time on Tuesday, 8 April, was kept on a platform made of bamboo. The face mask-wearing, Muslim pall-bearers recited “Balo Hari, Hari bol” and “Ram Naam Satya Hai”, as they delivered the mortal remains for 90-year-old Saha. Clearly, the religion of humanity has a capacity of serving other beliefs.
They lifted the platform and went by walking along the town streets of the Malda region around evening time for the cremation ghat which was around 15 km away. They included companions and neighbors of Kamal and Shyamal, children of Saha, who live in Loyaitola town under Kaliachak II square. Actions like these keep the picture of a world with humanity and togetherness in front of us.
“Our father died of old-age ailments. We were anxious about how to cremate him during the lockdown. None of our relatives would be able to come. Actually, we should not have worried. Our neighbors came forward and everything was carried out smoothly,” said Shyamal.
The village has been home to the Sahas for as far back as 20 years, said Saddam Sheik who is their quick neighbor.
“I was the first to know about his death on Tuesday. We (Muslims of the village) are neighbors and carried out our duty. No religion is greater than humanity,” Saddam said.
Display of humanity instance like this is not the first time for this region. This also happened 3 years ago when a couple of Muslim men contributed to the last rites of another Hindu man Biswajit Rajak.
Panchayat Pradhan Razia Bibi stated, “Irrespective of our faith, we stay together.”