Ganga - A True Untold Story
In today’s scenario, there is this uncanny tendency to carry a generalised perception based on prejudices related to certain individual’s religion or faith. Jumping the guns vis-a-vis someone’s religious inclination without giving a second thought has become disturbingly commonplace.
I, for one, believe that all religions form the foundation for morals and beliefs, and it helps us to shape and determine what we term as ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’.
I, raised as a Hindu and educated to respect everyone’s beliefs, even if I do not agree with them in certain milieu.
To me, there is no religion other than good work and humanity. You may choose to disagree, but to me that is what we call the universal truth. To lead a toxin-free disciplined life, religion is paramount.
Nevertheless, to validate my statement, let me narrate a true untold story of an ill-fated Hindu girl ‘Ganga.’ Ganga led her life as a proud unblemished teacher, mother and subsequently a grandmother with the aid of a few true followers of Islam.
The story dates back to 1939. Danigaon, a village situated on the bank of mighty Brahmaputra River near Mohanaghat in Dibrugarh, was considered to be an epitome of communal harmony and peaceful coexistence.
People belonging to different races, cultures, communities and religions were in confluence.
Ganga, a very charming teenage girl and one of the many flood victims of Nimatighat, was forced to shift her base along with her family members to Danigaon, Mohanaghat due to the terrific wave of flood.
The flood-induced erosion virtually swept her village out of existence.
It was heartening to see a class seven pass out have a fanatical interest to foster literacy into her new village. In spite her hand to-mouth existence, she set up a school to provide free education for non-school going children and willing adults.
Rohit, a young and intelligent boy from the same village, who was then pursuing his studies in Kolkata, during one of his vacations, got introduced to Ganga. Attracted by her beauty, personality and selfless-service, he soon fell in love with her.
Everything was going fine until a dreadful situation sucked out life from the place. Ganga, the unmarried girl of Danigaon, was diagnosed as pregnant.
The blooming love story was doomed by a situation that was considered taboo then and even now. Like every normal parent, Ganga’s parents too opted for abortion in order to avoid social disgrace. However, destiny had some other plans.
The news spread throughout the village like wild fire. The then Muslim inhabitants of Danigaon unexpectedly came out in support of the helpless Ganga. They, instead of disgracing her for being pregnant out of wedlock, embraced her and her foetus. They vehemently opposed the abortion reasoning that it was as per the desire of God and no human being had the right to go against the desire of God. They debated, faced the social heat and finally vowed that no matter what, they will take up all the responsibilities as per Hindu rituals in the upbringing of the baby. They fought unconditionally to safeguard Ganga and her unborn child.
In due course, Ganga gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Namrata. She grew up following all rituals of Hinduism under the firm care of the Muslim community of her village.
Namrata, whose only identity was politeness – was a fruit borne out of a bond created by love and not religion. Namrata, later on, led a normal life, got married and had kids.
After retirement, Ganga shifted into Namrata’s residence. It so happened that once, on hearing her grandson’s unflattering opinion towards Muslims, she narrated her and his mother’s story. She described how Muslims were the unconditional saviours in their lives.
Never in her life, had Ganga blamed Rohit for the ordeal that she had to go through in life.
In June 2008, Ganga took her last breath at her daughter’s residence somewhere in Golaghat District.
Ganga in her lifetime was the witness to an act that goes beyond our social conscience and belief.