In an expression of solidarity, people of various faiths in Raniganj and Asansol tied rakhis to each other on Friday, days after communal violence during Ram Navami celebrations left two dead and several injured.
The Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, an apolitical organisation, on Friday organised the event outside the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. People belonging to various religious faiths participated to condemn the division of people along religious lines.
“It is not Bengal’s culture to witness such violence between two communities. This is the land of Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam, who taught us lessons of communal harmony. Through this event, we want to send a strong message to people that we stand for unity between Hindus and Muslims. People belonging to these communities will tie rakhis on each other to send this message loud and clear,” said Samirul Islam, president of the Mancha.
The organisation will organise similar events in Raniganj and Asansol on April 14 (Bengali New Year). Mancha general secretary Tanmoy Ghosh appealed to people to maintain peace in the state.
“This is not the time to instigate further violence, but to maintain communal harmony,” he said.
Bhasha and Chetana Samiti general secretary and assistant professor at Bidhannagar College, Emanul Haque, who attended the event, said, “In West Bengal villages, Hindus rarely had lunch at their home on Eid. Similarly, during Hindu festivals, Muslims have lunch at pandals and Hindu households. This has been our tradition and we have to protect it. Even in Hindu marriage ceremonies, we find biryanis being served to guests. This is an example of how these two communities embraced east other…”
“Today, some people with cruel intentions are trying to destroy this harmony. We as citizens of the state will have to foil such attempts through peaceful activities.”