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West Bengal: Muslim neighbours cremate Hindu youth following his rituals

As we witness a time when religious foul-play continues to create disharmony in a diverse country like ours, even seeping through the more civilized spaces; an incident which comes from a remote end of India gives us hope for the society.

In a recent heartwarming incident from Malda, one of the poorest districts in India, a group of Muslim youths took the body of Biswajit Rajak, 35, a Hindu who died on Monday, to the crematorium. What is more remarkable is the fact that they carried his body on their shoulders for 3KM chanting the name of Hari as per the Hindu traditions. Even the moulavi was present at the crematorium.

They performed all the traditional Hindu rituals including dispatching the ashes to the nearby river and taking a dip in the river after the cremation.

“The common people are not really bothered. Helping a family in distress and chanting some Hindu names can’t take away my religion,” said a villager.

This ceremony was necessitated out of empathy as Rajak’s family didn’t have enough funds to even pay for the crematorium and associated charges. The incident took place in Sheikhpura village of Manikchak block in Malda district, about 350 km away from Kolkata.

Rajak died of liver cancer at his home on Monday. Having failed to arrange for his cremation on Tuesday, villagers gathered at his house and requested Biswajit’s father Nagen Rajak to allow them to cremate his son. The Rajaks are one of the two Hindu families in the village of about 6,000 residents.

“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 Rajak’s father.

“Moulavi, Haji and hundreds of people from the 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 as per HT reports.

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