The principle is always and everywhere the same: in Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to Muslim sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to Muslim sensibilities.
It’s been the fourth consecutive year when 300-odd households in a village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district are running from pillar to post seeking permission from the district administration just to organise a Durga puja in their village.
In the past three years, they were denied a go-ahead by the local administration following objections by a few Muslim families in the village.
The incident came to light at Kanglapahari village under Nalhati police station in the district, a Hindu-dominated village located near Bengal-Jharkhand border under Rampurhat sub-division.
The organisers knocked the doors of the district administration and submitted their plea to the office of the district magistrate, police superintendent, sub-divisional officer (SDO) and sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Rampurhat and Block Development Officer (BDO) of Nalhati-I on September 1. But no response have come so far.
REPEATEDLY DENIED PERMISSION TO PUJA COMMITTEE
All the district administrative machinery repeatedly denied permission to the puja committee, Kanglapahari Durga Mandir Committee, following objections by about 25 Muslim families in the village. In the past three years, the local administration, panchayat and Nalhati police jointly prevented puja organisers from hosting the puja on the grounds of law and order issues….
DURGA IDOLS LIE HALF DONE
“A piece of land has already been donated by a villager, Mohanlal Sau, to construct a mud temple in the village where the puja can be organised peacefully. We don’t have to erect any pandal (marquee) as we have put up a mud structure with whatever little amount we could manage. Like the last three years, this year too we started constructing the Durga idol, which is now lying half-done.
DONT WANT TO ANGER MUSLIMS
District officials are not responding as they don’t want to antagonise the Muslims,” Sau said. When quizzed, Birbhum DM P Mohangandhi tactfully sidestepped the question. He said: “The formal procedure is to submit the appeal to the SDO and he’s the person to issue the necessary permission depending on the law and order situation.
” Dhruba Saha, a local resident, who took up the matter with the local administration, said that a petition had also been filed in Calcutta High Court and there is a hearing on Monday. Sources in the district Trinamool Congress said that police and other district officials have already held meetings at all block levels and finalised on the number of pujas that will be held across Birbhum this year. Thus, there is no question of allowing any new puja anywhere in the district.