By Mirza Mosaraf Hossain
July 15, 2017
Taking a cue from ‘Not in My Name’ and various other protests meant to counter the growing communalisation in India, students of Aliah University, Kolkata, also took out a march on Friday, July 14 in an attempt to strengthen Hindu-Muslim relationship in the backdrop of recent Baduria- Basirhat communal tensions. Teachers, students and non-teaching staffs participated in this procession urging communal harmony throughout the state.
At around 2 pm, after the Jumma Namaz, the rally started at the Park Circus Campus and went to Moulali through Ramlila Maidan and turned back after a 5-6km march. There were more than 250 participants in this peaceful rally including 15-20 teachers and two non-teaching staffs. The local police escorted the rally all the way
Aliah University’s step also becomes important because it was the only University whose students took out a march against the recent communal tensions. After Kalyani University which took walking for peace and communal harmony in the last week, No other University in Bengal did something similar; although it must be pointed out that some of those students did participate in other rallies.
The procession did not comprise of any slogans or lectures except numerous posters that students carried along with them that read “Walk for Peace, walk for harmony” and banners like “the whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love, compassion, patience and humanity.” To mark a sort of bond of communal harmony, threads were tied on the hands of the passerby, shop owners on streets and to the pedestrians in course of the march.
Amzed Hossein, the Head of the Department of English, said, “Since our state has already a very great tradition of living in peaceful coexistence, this march has great effect and contribution ensuring mutual understanding among different communities and it will help in increasing the inter communal harmony in our state.” He added, “this march for peace and harmony will strengthen that already situation in the state.”
Sharmistha Chaterjee Shrivastava, associate professor and one of the conveners of this peaceful march, said, “We were planning this kind of harmonious procession for a long time and it came out today. Since this is a place of learning, a place of good thought, a place of brotherhood, we are trying to encourage our students to grip the message of love and fraternity by saying that they are first citizens of the country, human being, and then they are Muslims or Hindus and their resources are made for the positive contribution of the nation”. She also said that this university is no less than any other universities to stand with their resourceful contribution for the making of the nation.
Tajuddin Ahmed, another Assistant Professor of this University and also one of the conveners, said, “this(march) is the need of the hour for our state as well as our country. We know that this may not change the situation drastically or dramatically, but at least we should give a kind of attempt, we must have to contribution something little bit that we can do, that’s why Aliah University arranged something like this.”
Najmul Arefin, a final-year student from the Department of Arabic said that he joined this ‘walk for peace’ to calm down intolerance that’s going on throughout the country and draw attention of the government to ensure security, safety of the countrymen.