The official Twitter handle of Bharatiya Janata Party's Bengal unit has shared a 12-second-long footage of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reciting an Islamic verse to claim that while Banerjee was fine with reciting Islamic prayers for Muslim appeasement, she was opposed to Hindu slogans like Jai Shri Ram (Hail Lord Ram).
BOOM found that the claim is misleading as the clip shared by BJP Bengal has been culled from a longer video of Banerjee speaking at the Mati Utsav 2018, a West Bengal government-organised annual event. In the original video, the West Bengal CM can be heard reciting prayers of four different faiths - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism.
The video has been shared in the backdrop of a recent incident when Banerjee cut short her speech at an event organised to honour freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose on his 124th birth anniversary.
Banerjee abruptly ended her speech at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on January 23, 2021 after a section of the crowd started chanting Jai Shri Ram moments before she spoke. She was sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
BJP Bengal shared the clip on Twitter with a caption reading, "If CM Mamata Banerjee can recite an Islamic prayer at a West Bengal government event, why does she have a problem being greeted with Jai Shree Ram? Appeasement? She disgraced Bengal and insulted Netaji's legacy by her conduct at the event to commemorate Netaji's anniversary."
An archived version of the tweet can be seen here.
The clipped video shows Banerjee addressing a crowd and saying in Bangla, "Let us pray to Allah. Insha Allah. May Allah keep everyone healthy and happy," after which she moves on to recite what constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam – "La Illaha Illallah, Mohammed ur Rasul Allah".
BOOM analysed the video and found that it is a part of a longer speech that Banerjee had delivered at the Mati Utsav in East Bardhaman in January 2018. The festival had been started by the West Bengal government in 2013, and is held across several districts of the state. It commemorates the work done by farmers and peasants by awarding them.
The following video shows a footage of Banerjee addressing the audience during the festival in 2018.
At the timestamp of 21:30, she concludes her speech by reciting prayers - first to Hindu Goddess Kali, then to Hindu Goddess Durga. She then recites the Islamic verses while praying for everyone's good health and prosperity to Allah, which shows cropped part of the video shared by BJP Bengal (at 22:50 mark).
Following this, she recites a prayer to 'God' (presumably to the Christian god) seeking 'blessing for all'. She concludes with the Sikh salutation - Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh. She ends her speech by saying, "Saare jahan se accha, Hindustan humara."
On January 23, 2021 at an event held on the occasion of 124th birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose, Banerjee had abruptly cut short her speech and walked off the stage in the presence of PM Modi. Moments before she had begun speaking, a section of the crowd had chanted the slogans of Jai Shri Ram. "There should be some dignity of a government programme. It must not be a political event. I won't say anything else," Banerjee had said before walking off.
With only months left for the upcoming elections in Bengal, BJP and Banerjee's Trinamool Congress are expected to lock horns in one of the most uncertain and anticipated assembly elections of the year.
Claim Review : If CM Mamata Banerjee can recite an Islamic prayer at a West Bengal government event, why does she have a problem being greeted with Jai Shree Ram? Appeasement?
Claimed By : BJP Bengal
Fact Check : False