Saraswati Puja message against forces of division
Students of a girls’ hostel in Burdwan University spread the message of peace and harmony on Saraswati Puja, with boarders cutting across religions joining the festivities.
For this year’s puja, inmates of Sarojini Hostel had chosen the theme of “Soundarjo Surer Sandhane (in search of tune of beauty)”. To reflect the theme of peace, the puja pandal was decorated with motifs of various flowers and animals.
“We thought we should send across the message of harmony when the country is in the grip of violence and divisiveness. The students set aside their religious identities to take part in Saraswati Puja to show how united we are,” said Jayashree Palsai, a masters’ degree student of education and a boarder of Sarojini Hostel.
Several students and teachers at the varsity said Saraswati Puja was organised on the campus and in its 13 hostels, where a large number of students from the Muslim community took part in the festivity.
Suhana Khatun, a student of Mirabai Hostel, saw it as a festival where all boarders irrespective of their religion joined.
“We enjoy the festival. Religion never comes in the way of the festivity. Hindus, Muslims and students from all other religions take part in various cultural programmes,” said Suhana.
The unit president of the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad, Julfa Khatun, said Saraswati Puja on the university campus had traditionally celebrated the spirit of communal harmony. “When divisive politics is being played out in the name of religion, Saraswati Puja helps send out the message that Bengal is different and knows how to stay united,” Julfa said.
“The spirit was the same when I was a student here. During my student days, I used to take part in organising Saraswati Puja,” said Tofajal Hossain, who teaches philosophy at the university.