In a show of harmony, members of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Basirhat on Monday tied rakhis on each other, a month after the area was hit by communal violence. Violence had erupted between the two communities in Basirhat and Baduria areas of North-24 Parganas over a controversial Facebook post. In an effort to revive cordial ties, the Bangla Sanskriti Manch and Rights to Life Foundation jointly organised a Raksha Bandhan celebration at Basirhat Town Hall. Residents of Basirhat took part in the event, and lauded the effort to strengthen peace.
“It was totally an apolitical event here in which local people participated. Children danced on stage and tied rakhis on the wrists of people. They sang songs written by Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam on communal harmony. Later, they took out a rally in Basirhat and tied rakhis on local people,” Mizanur Rahaman, a participant in the event, told The Indian Express.
Another participant, retired banker Nirmal Ghosh, said the show of unity should be replicated in parts of the state which have witnessed communal tension in recent times. “The message was loud and clear. People are united here. Members of both communities delivered speeches on communal harmony and vowed to stand united. We all know the tension was intentionally created by some people. But people here want to rise above that, and want to continue this show of unity against all odds,” he said.
Local residents also said no political party had tried to organise such an event, and that they were happy to see an apolitical organisation organising it. “Bengal is land of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, where Muslims and Hindus lived together. We appeal to the people of Bengal to be united against all kinds of communal forces, and we are sending a peace massage that is need the need of the hour. Raksha Bandhan programme has been organised in Basirhat to convey this message to the people,” said Samirul Islam, president of Bangla Sanskriti Manch.