Over the past few days, the communal tension in Bengal has spread to new regions thanks to the devastatingly polarising politics of the BJP and its sister organisations, who have been hell bent on spreading false news, images and stories of Hindu lives being in danger of attacks from Muslims of the state.
However, amid the despair, there are also stories of courage, peace and harmony that goes beyond politics and religion. The story of Fazlul Ghosh, Prabhashish Ghosh, Kartik Ghosh, Anisur Rahman and many others.
“It is my duty to protect and save the life of my uncle Fazlul as we have lived in the same village since I can remember.” This was Prabhashish’s reply when asked to explain how during the height of communal tension, he, the son of the local BJP worker Kartik Ghosh of Basirhat who was attacked by the mob at time of collision with Muslims and later died in hospital, carried Fazlul in the same ambulance with his father and admitted both his father and Fazlul in the same hospital.
Later, when doctors advised him to take Fazlul to SSKM Hospital, he left his father in that situation momentarily and carried Fazlul to SSKM and got him admitted there.
What was even more encouraging, was that numerous other Hindus and Muslims are helping to rescue each other caused by the tension. Anisur Rahaman, a local 28-year-old Muslim from Narayanpur village of Baduria block, was beaten by his fellow Muslim brothers when he was rescuing the shop of Souvik’s elder uncle at the Rudrapur market.
“I was beaten by bamboo when I tried to protect Bablu uncle(Souvik’s elder uncle) from the mob and they also abused me with slang languages”, said Rahaman. He added that they are living here for many years, so how they can allow this kind of heinous deeds take place.
A woman, who refused to disclose her name from a village in Basirhat said, “we are in the Muslim belt area for many years. Even in such a situation, we are told by our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters that they will protect us till they have blood in their veins”.
A hotel owner from Narayanpur, Fazlur Rahaman, said, “ we tried to protect our Hindu brothers whom the outsiders were about to hit with arms, bamboos.”
He also said that police and administration should ensure peace and safety of each and every Hindu Muslims in the locality.
On July 2, a Hindu teenager from Magurkhali village of Baduria block at North 24 Parganas posted an obscene photo on Facebook that enraged Muslim sentiments. It caused a communal tension between Hindus and Muslims in the locality. Its impact also reached to the Basirhat town which is one of the sub-division of the district.
The police arrested the accused and he is now in police custody. Now the situation of the two localities is calm and quiet. The administration has issued Section 144 in the two localities and internet connection will remain cut until July 10.
Even as the situation in Bengal remains tense but under control, these stories of people looking beyond their politics and religion to help each other no doubt offer hope that even as some make the most sinister plans to destroy the cultural and religious fabric of India, there are many who will fight against it tooth and nail.