Shakib is a victim of political motive, Trinamool Congress leader says
Trinamool Congress MLA Paresh Paul, the main initiator to a Kali Puja stage in Kolkata has said star cricketer Shakib Al Hasan did not inaugurate any puja at all.
Paresh said Shakib did not inaugurate their puja, he just got up on the stage, addressed the audience, and lit candles, reports Bangla Tribune.
Kolkata’s “Amra Sobai Club” has been hosting the Kali Puja for the past seven years. A controversy started with Shakib's visit there last weekend.
After Shakib returned to Bangladesh, a young man from Sylhet came on Facebook Live and threatened to kill him for “inaugurating the Kali Puja.” After that, Shakib himself came on social media and explained the whole incident.
Meanwhile, police in Bangladesh have already arrested Mohsin Talukder, the person who threatened to kill Shakib.
Against this backdrop, Paresh Pal told the Bangla Tribune “this controversy is completely unexpected because Shakib did not inaugurate the puja.”
The following is a summary of a conversation with Paresh:
Perhaps you have heard that Shakib had to face controversy in Bangladesh after he visited the puja in Kolkata?
Paresh: Yes, I heard. Shakib is a very good boy, we also feel very bad knowing that he had to fall into such an unfortunate situation. But our century old Kali Puja is a wonderful example of communal harmony.
Numerous Muslim families from our Beleghata and outside come ot enjoy this festivity. By visiting there, a star like Shakib Al Hasan has to face controversy- this is totally unacceptable.
I am sure he is being attacked unnecessarily for political motives.
But did he inaugurate your Kali Puja this time?
Paresh: See, I want to make this clear. Shakib did not inaugurate our puja at all. We did not even invite him to inaugurate the puja. When we heard that he was coming to visit Kolkata, we wanted him to visit our puja stage once as a guest.
So what has Shakib done here? After the puja was inaugurated, he simply got up on our stage and gave a short speech to the audience. Earlier, we brought him to the Puja premises in a horse-drawn carriage with due respect of a guest.
He also lit candles on stage and did the whole thing wearing a mask, maintaining the conditions of social distancing, that is it. Why is the unnecessary debate going on about it? This is not getting into my head.
Would you at all consider inviting a Muslim celebrity to a puja celebration, after this debate?
Paresh: Why not? I am not afraid of such threats. You see, we are one hundred percent secular people, due to being in politics for so many years, we know very well how to cool the attempt to do politics with religion.
Yesterday, we fed thousands of people at our Rakhi (Bhaifota ceremony) on our puja premises. You cannot even imagine how many of them were Muslims.
Last year too, I went to Dhaka with my Muslim friends to buy cows during Eid-ul-Azha. As a result, I have respect for all religions.
In our puja, there will always be open doors for Muslims, whether he is a star or a common man!