“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?” tweeted BJP Bengal on January 24.

The party had uploaded a 12-second clip of Banerjee where she can be heard saying in Bengali, “We pray to Allah that he keeps everyone well,” followed by the Islamic verse, “La illaha illallah, Mohammed ur Rasul Allah.”

BJP’s allegation was reported at face value by Times Now.

A similarly perfunctory broadcast was also aired by Zee News Ghanta.

‘সরকারি মঞ্চে ইসলামিক প্রার্থনা’, মাটি উত্‍সবে Mamata এর ভাষণ পোস্ট BJP এর

‘সরকারি মঞ্চে ইসলামিক প্রার্থনা’, মাটি উত্‍সবে Mamata এর ভাষণ পোস্ট BJP এর, জয় শ্রী রাম বিতর্কে পাল্টা অভিযোগ

#MamataBanerjee #JaiSriRam #BJPBengal

Posted by Zee 24 Ghanta on Sunday, 24 January 2021

The same was amplified by BJP leaders Priti Gandhi, Manoj Kotak and Akshay Singh. Shefali Vaidya also shared the video.

Clipped video

While Mamata Banerjee did chant Islamic verses, the video tweeted by BJP Bengal was clipped out of a much longer broadcast where the West Bengal CM can also be heard reciting Hindu and Sikh prayers. Banerjee’s original speech was uploaded by AITC in January 2018 where the CM was inaugurating the Mati Utsav to mark the growth of the agricultural sector in the state.

At 21:28 minutes, she prays to Hindu deity Durga to bring prosperity in everybody’s lives and goes on to chant, “Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike Sharanye Tryambake Gauri Narayani Namostute…” This is followed by Islamic prayers (22:00 minutes) that could be heard in the clipped video. At 21:15 minutes, she says, “May God bless all,” which is followed by the Sikh chants of “Wahe Guru Ji Da Khalsa, Wahe Guru Di Fateh.” In the end, she can says, “Saare jahan se acha Hindustan humara.”

BJP Bengal, therefore, tweeted a clipped video of Mamata Banerjee to portray her as a ‘Muslim sympathiser’. The party had earlier used a photograph from the 2014 California wildfires to show political vandalism by the TMC after BJP minority leader Nur Islam Gazi’s house was burned down.

Viral since 2019

“Time for #JehadiMamta to move to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan,” tweeted Madhu Kishwar on May 19, 2019 while posting the same video. Kishwar has been found circulating misinformation several times in the past, including manufacturing a page in DMK manifesto to show the party favouring Muslims over Hindus. Kishwar was also pulled by the J&K police in 2018 for sharing fake news.

The video was also circulating on Facebook.

Jehadi Mamata time to shift to Saudi or Pakistan 🤔

Posted by Sheel Johri on Sunday, 19 May 2019

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.