Ekramul Molla, TDN World Desk, Nadia: Muslims in Chakdah from Nadia District of Bengal makes an exemplary of interfaith harmony by opening up their community holy eid-prayer-ground for the Dalits-Adivasis to organise a conference.
On Saturday, the Dalits-Adivasis held up a day-long conference in Kashimpur’s eid-prayer-ground. In collaboration with Human Rights Law Network, Jai Bhim India Network organized the workshop. From this conference they cohortatively gave a call for a unified India.
Sradindu Uddipan, leader of Jai Bhim Network, heaped praise over the gesture of the Muslims. He said, ” By opening their holy eid-prayer-ground , the Muslims have set a historic example. Actually, we, the Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities, are all brothers. The past bears numerous testimony to it. That eid-prayer-ground could be offered for the conference of the Dalits and Adivasis, has stunned many. “
Nazim Biswas, addressing the hosts of the conference, said, ” For any good cause offering eid-prayer-ground is a good deed in Islam. We, the Muslims, have to work in building integrity and harmony and for the emancipation of the humanity. Besides Dalits and Adivasis are our brothers as we share bonds of blood. In weal or woe we have to stand by each other.”
Following the oath-taking ceremony the workshop commenced with paying tribute to the portraits of Rohit Vemula, Gauri Lankesh, Tabrez, Onkar Baridabad, Najeeb Ahmed, and Patel Tadvi, who have been victims of the caste and religious intolerance. Thereafter the members of Sarana Prarthana Sabha from Raji Para presented a song.
Mohamed Nuruddin, the former state president of JIH and a prominent social activist, addressed the opening speech.
He, with conspicuousness, said, ” Today enmity is created among the people. It is a cunning scheme by the Brahminical forces to control political power. The Brahmins know they are meagre in number. So in order to maintain their superiority they have created divisions and rifts within the Dalits and Bahujans by devising the narrative of touchables and untouchables. By creating animosity on caste-lines, with disputes among neighbouring inhabitants, clash over lands, killing the Dalits for entering into Temples, in the name of NRC they want to create a terrific situation and muzzle people into silence. And it is a pity that Muslims too have developed a sense of Brahminical mindset. While the Muslim women offer prayer at the great mosque, Masjid Al-Haram ( Kaaba), the women in our country are barred from entering the mosques. This is injustice of an extreme level. No where in the holy Quran such doctrine is attributed. The Muslims in Bengal are the integral part of Chandala society. I agree with Saradindu Uddipan. He wrote in various places that because of the social discrepancies, a great number of people from Chandala society converted to Islam. If Islam endorsed any such discrimination, the Chandala society would never have accepted it.”
” These bigotries can be wiped out only through education. Baba Saheb Ambedkar did perceive well that unless people are educated they would never understand their shrewd schemes. Only education will string people in harmony,” added he.
While addressing the gathering, Mokter Hossain Mondal, a poet and journalist stressed on raising awareness amongst the Dalits and Adivasis and minorities. He said, ” After Narendra Modi came to power an atmosphere of fear pervades. Instead of extending the means to their empowerment that Baba Saheb Ambedkar has entrusted with, they are being encapsulated inside the Chatur Varna. They are made to believe that they belong to the lower caste because they had sinned in previous life. The Dalits and Adivasis suffer for their wrong-doings commited in the past life. The designer of the caste system does not know what harmony is. They could well understand that by following the paths of Baba Saheb Ambedkar the Dalits and Adivasis are uniting. By lineage Dalits and Adivasis share the same root, movement begins to shape over that. As citizens of undivided India if the Namasudras from the East Bengal want citizenship, I don’t think the Muslims here would object over it.”
” We want to build up a Bengal where proportional community representation would be enforced. An SC would become the chief minister, a Muslim would be appointed as deputy chief minister. An Adivasi would be in-charge of home ministry. We want a country where, in the name of religion and caste, no Rohit Vemula would be killed, no Asifa would be raped. Irrespective of our caste, creed, religion and national identity, people across the world would become our relatives. They whole world would be integrated on the basis of humanity. We want a world where Pakistan, China, America, Bangladesh, Russia, Saudi Arabia all the countries would stand by in one another’s sorrow and happiness. We want a world where no one would starve to death. Government would ensure safety and provide basic needs to its every single citizen, ” Mondal added.
Social activist Tapas Kanti Biswas said, ” Before spreading the message of Baba Saheb Ambedkar we need to know who this great man was.”
He then spoke over the various contribution of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in building progressive modern India. Focusing on the main theme of the workshop Paresh Debnath, Krishnendu Mondal, Abhijit Sarkar, Rupa Khan Chakraborty, and Debanghsu Sarkar gave their speeches. Each of the speaker narrated stories, as to, how the Dalits and Adivasis were attacked by the Brahminical forces. They opined that the more this kind of workshop will be held, the more people would become aware.
Rupa Khan Chakraborty said, ” Baba Saheb has ensured our rights. Just crying out for rights will not do, we have to snatch it. Modi government is not abiding by the constitution. In the past five years, with every single step, vilolating laws they have been dragging the country to the verge of anarchy. The number of rape in the country has increased. The women are instilled with fear so that they keep themselves caged in their homes. The citizen of our country have to overcome all these fears.
If people are imparted with proper education, they will be able to make this lunatics understand that not by means of violence or riots, rather our future India will prosper through our mutual relation of co-existence.
Saradindu Uddipan, organising head of the conference and Bhim Network leader, said, ” Before the partition the fringe outfits who filled the air of undivided India with venom, the religious fanaticism that spread over the country and turned it into a grave-yeard and cemetery, that same outfits, are now gaining hold in the country with much more egregious force than it was before. With religion, casteist division is added now.”
The Dalits alleged that, after the Manuvadi assumed power in the centre this fanaticism has taken a terrible shape – a shape of state-sponsored-terror that takes away the lives of the young academic talents like Rohit, Najeeb, Muthukrishnan, Payel Tadvi, Onkar Baridabad. The ferocious bullets of intolerance stopped the asserting pens of resistance, killed dissidents like Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Pansare and Gauri Lankesh. In the name of religion and cow protection Akhlaq, Afrazul, Zunaid, Tabrez were killed. Incuding the Adivasi sister of Kushmandi, Asifa, Sultana and other religious minoritiy girls were brutally raped.
This religious fanaticism is now spreading in Bengal. Because of his caste identity Mohit Mondal had to leave Presidency University, Because of her religious background professor Saraswati Kerketta was harassed on campus. Because of their caste identities the people of Ruidas society had to face social boycott. Amid this religious fanaticism ordinary people from Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims are killed. Those who kill and who are killed both belong to Dalits and Bahujans community. And an ominous force abets them from behind to kill and get killed. This religious fanaticism is a terrific obstacle for the progress of the country. It is a soring pain for humanity. This sinister fanaticism is no good for any state. If not abated, our country will be parished. To spread this message among the Dalits an Adivasis by making them aware of their rights and responsibilities and to build an ideal India following the footsteps of Baba Saheb Ambedkar Bhim Network works tirelessly, arranges workshops.
In addition to offering eid-prayer-ground, the minority Muslims served foods in the conference and helped to meet other requirements as well. Raju Haldar, Asim Biswas, Nazim Biswas, Piyush Biswas, Pinku Biswas, Palash Barui, Bazu Oranu and others were in the management team.
Local activist Jane Alam and the eid-prayer-ground committee volunteered the responsibility of preparing and serving foods for the attendees in the Dalit-Adivasi conference. This day the Dalits and Adivasis were cordially welcomed by the local Muslims. The eid-prayer-ground witnessed a huge presence of the Dalits and Adivasis.