Mumbai: Even during his pandemic period where communal rhetoric is prominent, India is still witnessing with several people distributing food, ration and also taking part in the burials of other communities. Throughout the nation, such instances show that humanity is still alive.
Gandhi, the father of the nation, said that Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and all others to whom India is home — to recognize a common flag to live and die.” Mahatma Gandhi’s words still hold true at a time where togetherness, love, humanity and brotherhood are shining amidst the lockdown and the deadly coronavirus.
There have almost been five burials done by one Muslims for other religious groups because these hard times made it even dreadful for the dead ones as many could not conduct funerals by their own families and community members.
68-year-old Premchandra Buddhalal Mahavir was given a proper Hindu traditional funeral by his Muslim neighbour in suburban Bandra after the latter’s relatives could not make it to his place due to the lockdown.” My neighbours helped with the death-related documentation and carried my father’s body to the cremation ground. I am thankful to them for helping me in this situation,” he said. Yusuf Siddique Sheikh, who attended the funeral, said, “We knew Premchandra quite well. At such times, we should show humanity by transcending religious barriers.”
Draupadi Bai (65), a poor woman who was suffering from paralysis and living with her elder son, died at her residence in South Toda area of Indore. Due to the lockdown, the deceased’s relatives could not reach the place for her funeral and no vehicle was available to carry the body to the cremation ground. When some Muslim community members residing in the neighbourhood came to know about it, they came forward to help the grief-stricken family.
Shanti Choudhary (75) wife of Doodhnath Choudhary, a local resident of Panbari Village died. The Muslim men in the area carried Shanti’s bier, following all Hindu ritual and cremated her mortal remains. “Her family members informed their relatives for last rites but they expressed their helplessness due the nationwide lockdown,” said Dilower Hussain alias Dilbar, Organising Secretary of the local AAMSU (All Assam Minority Students Union).
37-year old Rajendra Bagri, who died of throat cancer, had his funeral arranged by his Muslim neighbours in the unfortunate absence of his relatives. Bagri’s area was under an indefinite curfew.
West Bengal’s Malda district has proved that communal harmony still exists in India. A group of Muslim men in village Sheikhpura, Manikchak, saw to it that every single Hindu ritual was followed during the last rites of 33-year-old Biswajit Rajak.
Biswajit had been suffering from chronic liver cancer for the past two months but failed to seek proper treatment due to the lack of money.
While his own brother refused to step up, Biswajit’s neighbours came forward to help him, pooled in money for treatment in Kolkata.