The past few weeks saw a surge in communal tensions in India. Ram Navami was marred with violence perpetrated by the religious communities, spreading hatred against each other and spewing venom all around. From Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh, spine-chilling instances of miscreants disrupting lives as a mark of their religious devotion has taken India back centuries.
However, not all hope is left. While violence has been the order of the day, small but heartwarming stories of communal harmony are the silver lining in the otherwise grey cloud. An example of this comes from Rajasthan's Karauli, that witnessed violence between Hindus and Muslims on the occasion of Ram Navami.
Giving Shelter To Muslim Shopkeepers
A 48-year-old woman named Madhulika Rajput came to the rescue of a few Muslim shopkeepers and gave them shelter during the violence. She owns a few shops in the town-based complex. On the fateful day, she stood up to the mob that emerged in front of her chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. They wanted to burn down the shops 'owned by Muslims.' Little did they know that she was hiding many of them in the complex's first floor.
One of them was a man named Danish Khan. He narrated the ordeal to Scroll, "After we heard about the violence escalating, we thought we should head home. We packed up everything and we were leaving. As soon as we took a few steps outside, we saw a mob holding the saffron flag and destroying shops. My eyes one of the men in the mob. Along with the others, I ran back into the complex."
Soon after, they came across Rajput who asked them to come with her as it was not safe. Along with Khan, there were many others who were huddled together for shelter. Along with Madhulika Rajput, her relative named Sanjay also made sure that they had water and tea to drink.
'No One Can Force Me To Do Anything'
Just when the mob appeared at the entrance, Rajput stood bravely in front of them. "I told them I would not let anyone inside. They asked if anyone was hiding, but I said no one was here. I did not want the riots to spread further. No one can say anything to me here. No one can force me to do anything I do not want," she told the news publication.
Madhulika Rajput was a stranger to many of the shopkeepers present in the room for all intents and purposes. However, her kindness brought them all together during a time of crisis. Another man named Mohammaddin Khan said, "I had never even met them before. It meant a lot to me for them to take me in and keep me safe there. I cannot deny that such acts of kindness are rare. These are very good people."
The Karauli riots left 35 people injured in its wake. Now, it has turned into a political issue as BJP and Congress play the age-old blame game instead of working towards promoting communal harmony. BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and BJP Rajasthan's president, Satish Poonia, were detained by the police as they were on their way to visit the victims in Karauli. Also, 23 people have been arrested so far.
Also Read: 'Doing My Duty': Rajasthan Cop Hailed For Rescuing Child During Karauli Violence