Azaan at Durga Puja Pandal sparks outrage, lawyer files complaint
At a time when festivities have taken over West Bengal, a Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata has sparked massive outrage on social media. The reason, you wonder? Well, the organizers thought it would be "secular" to play Azaan at the Pandal. Their decision has now invited a complaint by lawyer Santanu Singha, but police are staying "silent" on the matter. Here's what went down.
Azaan at Pandal irked many, and rightly so!
The Pandal in question was erected at Beliaghata 33 Pally. A couple of days ago, concerning visuals from the spot found its way on social media, which showed Azaan, a call of prayer for Muslims, was being played there. Netizens slammed this and opined that by doing so, the organizers were disrespecting both Goddess Durga and Allah. Their arguments are valid!
This is what "newly-found secularism" looks like
Ever heard of Azaan being played in a Durga Puja pandal?— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) October 4, 2019
A newly found secularism of height of minority appeasement in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal?
Happy Durga Puja!#FridayThoughts #HappyDurgaPuja pic.twitter.com/ATx1y3nEMO
Subsequently, lawyer wrote an e-mail to police complaining about it
Notably, advocate Singha did something about the act and complained to Beliaghata police via e-mail. "These persons have categorically involved in disturbing the peace and tranquillity in the State of West Bengal by allowing to run Azaan in the Durga Puja Pandal which has come to my knowledge by the video forwarded to me by Vishwa Hindu Parishad," his complaint read.
They hurt religious sentiments, said Singha
"It has hit the sentiments of the Hindu religion and against the rules of the society. The said persons have intentionally played Azaan in the sacred Durga Puja Pandal and therefore with deliberate intent has wounded religious feelings," the complaint added.
A Trinamool leader has been named in complaint
Reports have it that Singha has named 10 people in his complaint. These include the Club Secretary Parimal Dey and Trinamool leader Paresh Paul. IPC Sections 295, 295A and 298 (all dealing with hurting religious sentiments), were evoked in the complaint. However, as per Indian Express, police haven't taken any action. "No FIR has been lodged," a cop told the daily, anonymously.
It's being politicized unnecessarily, said organizer
Despite the blatant insult to both religions, the organizers defended their actions. They said this year's theme was "Amra ek, eka noye (we are together not alone)", hence, symbols of Christianity and Islam dotted the Pandal. "It's being politicized unnecessarily. We all know that in Kolkata, Durga Puja Pandals are created in a way as to give a social message," Dey said.
Apparently, Azaan is not being played anymore
"Some people have conveniently ignored the Hinduism- and Christian-related messages and are creating controversy over a message in Urdu. Our purpose is to show that humanity is above all religion," Dey went on. Interestingly, Azaan is no longer being played at the Pandal, Singha wrote on his Facebook account. "Big column of police is posted. Only Sanai is being played," he said.