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Brothers break wall of politics

- Different affiliations, same place to display

Islampur (Murshidabad), April 14: Those who say politics creates walls of hatred haven’t met the Sheikh brothers yet.

Three siblings in Murshidabad, whose political allegiances differ, have divided a wall on a six-cottah plot they own into three parts for writing graffiti.

The brothers, all of whom are farmers in Karimpur, sat for a meeting one day and earmarked portions of the 50ft-long wall for writing graffiti for their respective party candidates.

The three picked up cans of paint and brushes, and painted the entire wall with slogans and cartoons criticising the other party.

“I have been a CPM sympathiser all my life. I always vote for the party. The wall on the plot we own near the Behrampore-Karimpur state highway is an ideal place for writing graffiti. Everybody passing the highway sees the graffiti,” said Rezaul Sheikh, the eldest of the three at 40.

Rezaul said he had written slogans in support of CPM candidate Badrudoja Khan. “Similarly, my younger brothers have written catchlines supporting Trinamul’s Mohammed Ali and the Congress’s Mannan Hossain. The names of all three candidates figure prominently on our wall,” the elder brother said.

Wahab Sheikh, the second of the three brothers, said he had been a Congress supporter but switched to Trinamul before the panchayat polls last year.

“I joined the Trinamul Congress before the last panchayat elections. So I am working for Mohammed Ali,” Wahab said.

His younger brother Babu Sheikh is a Congress supporter.

Ahasan Ali Bapi, the Raninagar block I president of the Trinamul Congress, described the lack of “animosity” between the three as a “healthy sign of democracy”.

Echoing Bapi, block Congress president Narayan Das said the brothers lived happily with each other in the same house where politics was rarely discussed.

“One has to learn how to maintain a family bond despite having different political affiliations,” said Ashok Das.

Murshidabad Congress general secretary Ashok Das was all praise for the three brothers.

“In politics, we sometimes see family members with different political leanings. But their relationship quite often ends in acrimony. Take for example the case of Babulal Sheikh and Nurul Huda, two brothers in Burwan (Murshidabad),” said Ashok Das.

Babulal had contested on a CPM ticket in last year’s panchayat elections while his elder brother Nurul had worked for Intehar Sheikh, the Congress candidate against Babulal.

Babulal was defeated, which led to a clash between two brothers.