Killed… Because He Loved a Hindu

Candle Light VigilCalcutta is going to see a different Durga Puja this year. Rizwanur Rahman’s unnatural death has changed the entire scenario. On your way to a restaurant in Park Street, amidst all the lights and colours around, your heart is bound to feel a low when you come across the candle-light vigil on the pavement outside St. Xavier’s College.

Just steal a few minutes from your busy schedule of fun and frolic to halt before that flickering flame that have been kept burning since 29th of September, with a promise that no gusty wind or rain can blow them off…till justice is won. This Puja, Calcutta will silently fight against the death of an innocent Muslim boy who committed ‘crime’ after ‘crime’ — met a Marwari Hindu girl, fell in love, married, suffered threats from the girl’s family who was vehemently opposed to the match, yet didn’t let his love surrender.

The girl’s family, the Todis, who own a business of Rs.200 crore turnover, couldn’t let their daughter go with a ‘poor’ graphics designer trainer who earns Rs.10,000 per month. The cops intervened and the girl was sent back to her family and ten day’s later — 21st September morning, Rizwanur Rahman was found dead near the railway tracks.

The tragic end to the Rizwanur-Priyanka affair has once again highlighted the insurmountable barriers that often come to the surface in the case of inter-religious marriages. If the administration joins hands with the coercive individuals to suppress the emotion of a couple, the situation gets worse.

This is what has happened in the case of Rizwanur-Priyanka. But the way Calcutta is roaring with the demand for justice for a youth, is commendable. As a result of which, Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu festival, has become brighter with a unique colour of harmony this year. Some Puja committees have cancelled their inaugural ceremonies as a gesture of sacrifice for Riz. Many others have cut down the expenses to give the money away as a financial help to Rizwanur’s family at this moment of crisis.

Calcutta has even witnessed a huge number of Hindus walking down the road in the Eid rally, as the bond of fraternity has been tightened in the perspective of the recent tragedy. This festive season in Calcutta is marked with a very special melody of communal harmony, conveying the message of eternal love.

Aryani Banerjee