An image of a Durga Puja pandal from Bangladesh displaying a hoarding which mentions the Islamic prayer timings is doing rounds on social media with a claim that it is from a pandal in West Bengal during the recently held Durga Puja festivities.
BOOM found that the photograph is from Bangladesh's Dhaka. We reached out to the Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee general secretary Nani Gopal Ghosh who confirmed us that the photo belongs to their Durga Puja pandal.
Several netizens have given the photo a communal twist and accused Bengal Durga Puja organisers of appeasing the minority. One such post reads, "This is a Durga pandal in Bengal. There is a board displayed inside it, few timings are written on the board which mention when you can recite mantras, sing bhajans and perform puja rituals...because there are some timings for namaz.. this is brotherhood, this is secularism..now they are only 30%, worship will be over when they become 40 and Hindus will be over when it will reach 50...Bengali Hindus.. Aren't you enjoying seeing the broken leg and listening to Durga Chalisa from the stage.. cowards..."
(Original caption in Hindi: ये है बंगाल का एक दुर्गा पंडाल । इसमें एक बोर्ड लगा है, इस बोर्ड पर समय लिखा है..की इतने बजे आप न मंत्र पढ़ सकते है, न भजन गया सकते है, न पूजा कर सकते है...क्यो की उस समय नमाज का समय होता..... यही है भाई चारा यही सेक्युलरिज्म...अभी सिर्फ 30% है 40 होने पर पूजा खत्म ओर 50 होने पर हिन्दू खत्म.... बंगाली हिन्दुओ ....टूटी टांग देख ओर मंच से दुर्गा चालीसा सुन कर मजा आरहा है न...डरपोक फट्टूओ....)
Click here to view the post.
The image is viral also in Bangla with the caption, "As I said before, I am saying it again, yes, this is the harmony of my Bengal".
(Original Text in Bengali: আগেই বলেছি, আবারো বলছি, হ্যাঁ এটাই আমার সম্প্রীতির বাংলা)
Click here to see the post.
The same photo is being shared on Facebook with similar claims.
Click here to view one such posts.
BOOM found a logo and text in Bangla - 'Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee' written below the hoarding in the image. We then did a keyword search in Bangla related to Namaz timetable in Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee and found a report from a local Bangladeshi news outlet Daily Frontier News published on October 14, 2021.
The news report carried the same image and stated that the photograph was taken at a puja pandal in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The article stated that the members of the Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee took the initiative of displaying Islamic prayer times to aware devotees at the pandal about the daily Muslim rituals and avoid interruption during the Islamic prayers. Uttara Sarbojonin Puja is located at Dhaka in Bangladesh.
Taking a cue from this, BOOM Bangladesh contacted Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee general secretary Nani Gopal Ghosh. He confirmed to us that the image belongs to the Uttara Sarbojonin Puja Committee and they indeed displayed the namaz timetable.
Ghosh told BOOM Bangladesh, "Different types of musical instruments are played during the Puja festivities. We decided to switch off the music for 20 -30 minutes so that the music does not hinder the Islamic worship times as there are several mosques around the puja pandal. We displayed the hoarding as it helped us in playing and turning off the musical instruments in the stipulated times."
(With Inputs from Ameer Shakir, BOOM Bangladesh)
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