Heroes of new India: When they rose above personal loss to uphold humanity
Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, Yashpal Saxena, Mariam Khatoonand others stand out as a silver lining amid dark clouds of communal hatred and sectarian violence
Heart-warming tales of humanity, compassion and love getting the better of communal hatred, violence and temptation to retaliate have been resonating across the country during the past few days.
While Imam Rashidi in Asansol (West Bengal) recently told the funeral congregation of his slain son that he didn’t want any revenge for his brutal killing, similar instances have come to the fore recently when aggrieved family members chose to rise above their painful personal tragedies and chose to forgive the killers for peace and communal harmony.
Communal violence under the National Democratic Alliance government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of home ministry data, has increased 28 per cent over the past three years till 2017.
Maulana Imdadul Rashidi: Addressing the funeral-congregation of his 16-year-old son, who was killed in communal violence triggered during Ram Navami processions in West Bengal, Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, Imam of a mosque in Asansol asserted that he would leave the mosque and the town if there was any retaliation for his son’s death. “My son is gone... But If you love me, then keep calm. Don't cause trouble for anyone.”
His son Sibtulla Rashidi, who appeared for his Class X board exams this year, reportedly went missing after communal clashes on Tuesday afternoon. Sibtulla’s elder brother in his police statement said that he was dragged away by the rioters when he stepped out upon hearing an uproar as the procession was passing by. His lifeless body was recovered late on Wednesday night and identified on Thursday.
Yashpal Saxena: In another incident, Yashpal Saxena—whose only 23-year-old son Ankit was brutally murdered by four members of a Muslim family in Delhi—appealed that the killing of his son should not be linked with religion and giving a communal colour.
Ankit was a budding photographer. Allegedly, he was murdered for having a love affair with the daughter of the Muslim family. Yashpal’s statement came at a time when communal tensions were running high in Raghubir Nagar as the crowds started swelling outside his house after the murder.
Mariam Khatoon: The widow of Alimuddin Ansari—who was killed by a cow-vigilante group on June 29 last year, Mariam Khatoon maintained that she did not want her husband’s convicted killers to hang, before the court had pronounced punishment.
“Though they murdered my husband, I don’t want them to lose their lives. I would prefer the court gave them life imprisonment,” she was quoted by Sabrang, shortly after a court found the 11 accused guilty of killing her husband.
Muslims in Kasganj: Earlier in February, a report released by United Against Hate in Delhi on Monday claimed that Muslims in Kasganj protected temples and property during the sectarian clashes—which ended up in the death of Chandan Gupta on January 26.
Besides two mosques, the report by fact-finding team highlighted that all 27 business establishments that were set on fire amid communal flare-up belonged to Muslims.