MALDA: A group of Muslim youths took the body of Biswajit Rajak, 35, a Hindu who died on Monday, to the crematorium and even chanted the name of Hari (equivalent of Ram Naam Satya Hai) following the Hindu tradition. They carried his body on their shoulders for a distance of 3 kms to the crematorium, and performed all the traditional Hindu rituals including consigning the ashes to the nearby river and taking a dip in the river after the cremation.
Rajak’s family is are so poor that they could not pay the crematorium and associated charges. When his family could not arrange his cremation on Tuesday, villagers gathered at his house and requested Biswajit’s father Nagen Rajak to allow them to cremate his son. Even the moulavi of the local mosque also went to the crematorium. The Muslim neighbors paid the money necessary for his last rites. The Rajaks are one of the two Hindu families in the village of about 6,000 residents.
“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. The Muslim neighbours of Rajak also paid for his treatment and arranged to send him to a hospital in Kolkata.
Read more: Communal Harmony