Put an end to communal polarisation


Whenever the holy festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr is on the horizon, my mind promptly goes into a flashback mode to when I was studying in college.

Two of our close friends used to invite us to their village to celebrate Eid: a remarkable journey on the roof of the bus through the green fields of rural Bengal to reach the village amid coconut trees and bamboo groves. A small, simple white mosque, surrounding which villagers used to be in their cheerful best. Not to forget the unfathomable warmth, love and hospitality of the parents, family members and neighbors of Younas and Basir.

In this context, I feel proud to recollect how our seniors of Islamic vintage used to lead or guide us during the celebration of Saraswati Puja in our hostel.

Yes, this was my Bengal, enriched in the secular humanitarian legacy of our illustrious greats. However, rogue elements are pathetically increasing and have started dominating in Bengal also, tarnishing the secular humane ambience of the state and threatening it’s long-nourished tradition of Bangaliana transcending all petty barriers of religious divide.

A couple of days ago, during pre-Eid celebration in Howrah district, food was arranged by Hindu women. Fruits for the iftar spread were chopped with bnotis (iron blades) which are used by the ladies during preparation of Lakshmi Puja bhog at their homes.

Very rightly, one of the leading ladies asserted: “When the forces of division and communal bigotry are coming at you with full force, you have to resist them with the full might of communal amity.”

Let this shared living be the only antidote to the marauding juggernaut of communal polarisation. Let the merchants of hatred, going all-out to divide humanity in terms of manmade religion be exterminated from the soil of Bengal and India for ever.

Kajal Chatterjee,


Peerless Nagar, Kolkata