In the wake of the coronavirus crisis in the country, several Muslim youths in the Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh came together to set a beautiful example of communal harmony.
They performed the last rites of their Hindu neighbour Ravishankar, who succumbed to cancer on Friday, 27 March. The relatives of the deceased were unable to reach his home owing to the nationwide lockdown that began on 24 March.
The Hindustan Times quoted Zahid Ali, son of village chief Afroji Begum, as saying,
“Ravishankar was suffering from cancer and died on Friday. His family members telephoned their relatives and friends for last rites but they expressed their helplessness due to the lockdown,”Zahid Ali, Village chief’s son
The Muslim men of the area carried Ravishankar’s bier, following all Hindu rituals. Ali explained,
“Seeing their problem, we gathered at his (the deceased) home and called a local seer to perform the rituals at home and thereafter carried the bier, chanting what the Hindus do. We also arranged for pyre and other requirements for his last rites at the cremation ground on the banks of Kali River,”
News18 quoted Ravishankar's son Pramod as saying,
“All our Muslim neighbours helped us with the last rites; everyone was very supportive. We are four siblings; our two sisters have been married while me and my brother are left to take care of the family.”Pramod, Ravishankar’s son
The incident was lauded by many after a video of the funeral procession was shared on Twitter.
The deceased’s neighbours have also assured his family of all possible help during the lockdown period.