Communal harmony to the fore in Jaipur area which is under COVID-19 curfew
In a display of communal harmony, Muslim neighbours of a 37-year-old Hindu man, who died of throat cancer, carried his bier and performed the funeral rites here on Monday when his relatives could not come to the city because of the nationwide lockdown enforced to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The area where the man resided is under an indefinite curfew.
Rajendra Bagri, who died on Sunday night after suffering from cancer for a long time, is survived by his younger brother and an aunt, who ekes out a living by collecting scrap. While the family did not have enough money for funeral, there were no other relatives or family members living nearby who could come to help them.
The locality, Bajrang Nagar in Bhatta Basti, where the family resides, is dominated by Muslims, most of whom are drivers, factory workers and daily wage earners. Rajendra Bagri’s Muslim neighbours collected contributions and made arrangements for taking the body to the crematorium on Monday.
The Muslim neighbours chanted ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’ and carried the bier on their shoulders from Bagri’s house to the main road of Bhatta Basti from where a pickup truck took them to the Chandpole cremation ground. Only eight persons were allowed to go for funeral because of the curfew. Bagri’s brother lit the pyre and the cremation was done as per the Hindu rituals.
Those who attended the funeral included Hamid Kayamkhani, Fahim Qureshi, Hanif Shah, Irfan Qureshi and Abdul Waheed. They also bought food and grocery items for the bereaved family.
Pappu Qureshi, a neighbour who helped organise the funeral, told media personals that Muslims in the locality had come forward to help the Hindu family as a humanitarian gesture. “It was our duty as neighbours, as they had no relatives here… We have got immense satisfaction by helping them out.”
Rajasthan Nagrik Manch general secretary Basant Hariyana said the gesture of Muslim neighbours was a befitting reply to those who were targeting the community after the spread of novel coronavirus among some Tablighi Jamaat members. “This is a perfect example of our composite culture, in which the bonds uniting us are so strong despite the attempts to create divisions and hatred.”