Kolkata: Four Muslim doctors, staying at a rented house in Kolkata’s Kudghat area who made it to the news for facing racial discrimination, have been assured by the locals that they would not have to shift elsewhere. The positive change took place, when the Durga Puja committee and a local NGO, came to their rescue.
The Muslim doctors, are currently doing their staff ship in various government hospitals across the city were in for a shock when one of the neighbours heckled and misbehaved with them, as a friend of them came visiting.
“We had already been turned down by many landlords, just because of our Muslim identity. So, we were very much relieved when our current landlord agreed to rent out his flat to us. We were glad that we finally managed to get accommodation. However, that was just the beginning of our ordeal, for one of the neighbours had a strong reservation to the house being rent out to us,” narrated Dr Mohammad Aftab Alam, among the four Muslim doctors who had to vacate the flat to eNewsroom. Dr Aftab is doing his staff ship with Beliaghata Infectious Diseases Hospital.
However, the neighbour never got a chance to make his reservations heard until their friend came to visit them at their residence. “This friend was supposed to stay overnight with us. But he was accosted by this neighbour and asked for his identity card. When we raised an alarm, saying that we were ready to show all the necessary documents but to our landlord and not him, then he loudly declared that how he had warned everyone to not rent out their flats to ‘bachelors and Muslims’,” recounted Dr Aftab.
Following which, he posted his ordeal on social media. “Someone alerted an NGO called Sangati Abijaan came to our rescue. The members of this NGO along with a number of local residents of this area came forward to help us,” said he.
Talking to eNewsroom, Dwaipayan Banerjee, a research scholar and Founder Member of the NGO said, “This is not the first time that we have come across such a situation. In Kolkata too, many deny renting out houses to Muslims. But, this time around, when we talked to the locals regarding this issue, they were more than willing to support these young boys.”
What was more encouraging was the fact the even the local Durga Puja Committee members lent their support to the boys. “It would have been a matter of shame if the boys had to vacate their flat,” said Bhaskar Majumdar, a school teacher and resident of Kudghat area. He further added, “The neighbour, who had raised an objection, had never anticipated such a reaction and has now maintained that he had no objection to the four staying in the flat. The locals have pledged their support to the boys and have maintained that no tenant would be targeted simply because of the religion.”
On being asked why such an incident took place, in the heart of the city, he explained, “When – Hindu-Muslim is all that we can hear throughout the day, what else one can expect to transpire. The politicians of today are banking on the politics of hate. So, definitely, such cases will be on the rise. He further added, “When we went over to clear the differences, I categorically told him, I would have been overjoyed, if I had four doctors as my neighbours. We did our best to clear the prejudice that existed, following which this particular neighbour has maintained that he has no objection to the boys staying put.”
Meanwhile the boys too overjoyed with not having to vacate the flat. “We will never have enough word to thank Dwaipayan da’s timely intervention, the local residents of Kudghat including the Puja committee, for having stood by us and making sure that we didn’t have to vacate our residence has further strengthened our hope in our democracy and spirit of Kolkata. I am sure if such interventions are made in time to iron out the differences or prejudice that exists in the society, the rise graph of hate in India will be curbed for sure.”