A video of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reciting Islamic verses during a speech is being shared on WhatsApp. In the 12 second clip, Banerjee can be seen saying verses which include the word ‘Allah’, from a dias.
Addressing the audience, the chief minister says, “Let us pray to Allah. Insha Allah. May Allah keep everyone healthy and happy,” and then moves on to recite what constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam – “La illaha illallah, Mohammed ur Rasul Allah.” The video has been posted on several Facebook pages.
BOOM analysed the video and found out that it is a part of a longer speech that Banerjee had delivered at the Maati Utsav in East Burdwan during the first week of January last year.
Banerjee concluded her 25 minute-long speech by offering prayers to the major religions of Bengal.
At the 21.35 minute mark, Banerjee can be heard reciting the Ma Chandi mantra and the Durga Stotra – Sarba Mangala Mangalyay. She then moves on to Islam while praying for everyone’s good health and prosperity to Allah. The part of the video which has been culled out and is being spread online is from 22.5 minutes mark. Banerjee then prays to god and asks him to ‘bless all’ and then chants the Khalsa prayer, Wahe Guru Ji Da Khalsa, Wahe Guru Di Fateh. At the end of the video, Banerjee says, “Saare jahan se accha, Hindustan humara.”
Watch the original video here:
The Maati Utsav festival was started by the West Bengal government in 2013. Peasants and farmers are primarily awarded in this festival, which is held across several districts of the state.
This is not the first time that Banerjee’s speech has been culled out of context to give it a communal narrative. During the United India Brigade Rally in January, a part of Banerjee’s speech was highlighted from a TV grab, where she was seen praising Islam, and made viral. She spoke about other religions in that speech as well. Read about it here.