The organizers of a Durga Pandal in Kolkata are being attacked for promoting religious harmony.
A complaint has been registered against the Beliaghata 33 Pally Durga Puja pandal committee for playing a recording od Azaan (Islamic call to prayer) at the pandal. A local lawyer, Santanu Singha has named around 10 people to allegedly disrupting the “peace and tranquillity in the West Bengal" and "hit(ting) the sentiments of the Hindu religion".
The lawyer mentions in the report that a video of the Azaaan being played at a Durga pandal was forwarded to him by a member of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
The pandal committee has fought back saying they only wanted to promote secularism. According to the organizers, the theme for the pandal was 'amra ek, eka noye (We are together, not alone)', and therefore the Azaan was played.
"To demonstrate the theme, we have used models of church, temple and mosque and also used their symbols. Our purpose is to show that humanity is above all religion," the club secretary said. He said the event is being "politicised unnecessarily".
Arup Sinha, chairperson Beliaghata 33 pally puja Committee also explained, "We believe that we are all one. There is no separation from birth and there is no difference in the colour of blood. We believe that we have a spine and we will ensure that forever...because all religions form a part of our strong country. We are playing Om mantra and also Azaan...this is a reflection of communal harmony. We stand united."
While the visitors appreciated the symbolic act by the Pandal organizers, not many were happy on social media.
Aayushi Chakrabarty, another visitor praised the pandal theme and said, "It is a very unique theme...unity in diversity... I am happy to see this. Everyone is the same in the eyes of God...so if the god does not have a weapon in hand then why are we taking weapons in our hands?"
Political leaders also chipped in their two cents on the event. BJP leader Mukul Roy said, "This is a ritual. We believe in our religion. We do not want anybody to harm our religion."
Vivek Singh, Prachar Pramukh of Hindu Jagran Manch in south Bengal said, "Have you ever heard Durga Saptastruti paath or Chandi paath being played at a mosque or during Eid? Have you ever heard Hanuman Chalisa being played at a church during Christmas? Does the onus of secularism lie only on Hindus?"
He added saying that the organization has already filed a complaint at the Fulbagan police station. The organization is ready to even take further legal action if the complaint is not taken seriously.
TMC leader Paresh Pal, who was also a part of the organizing committee, has refrained from answering queries.