West Bengal CM claims that Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote ‘The Mahabharata’
The viral video is edited. West Bengal CM was quoting a poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam at the Trinamool Congress Party’s foundation day and she never said poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote The Mahabharata.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been making headlines with her controversial remarks in recent times. Recently, during the success of Chandrayaan 3, the Chief Minister of West Bengal was heavily criticized for naming Rakesh Roshan instead of Rakesh Sharma as the first Indian astronaut. After this, once again a video clip of Mamata Banerjee has gone viral on social media, along with the claim that Mamata Banerjee can be heard apparently saying Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote ‘The Mahabharata’. Several verified accounts along with many prominent media outlets have shared and covered this clip.
Zee News, wrote in this regard with the headline – After ‘Rakesh Roshan’ Blooper, Mamata Banerjee Now Says ‘Mahabharata Was Written By Nazrul Islam’. Report says, “In a stunning new video, the Trinamool Congress supremo has declared that the timeless epic ‘Mahabharata’ was actually penned not by revered sage Veda Vyasa but by the rebel poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam.”
Another media outlet The Free Press Journal also has published a story with the title, “Mahabharata Written By Kazi Nazrul Islam’: Mamata Banerjee Does It Again West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Goofs Up Again, Says Mahabharata Written By Kazi Nazrul Islam”. The report inserted “West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently mistakenly attributed authorship of the epic ‘Mahabharata’ to Kazi Nazrul Islam.”
Popular media outlet Republic World also published an article on the same as, “Mamata Banerjee’s Slip Of Tongue Streak Continues; After Chandrayaan 3, Now Mahabharata”.
Suvendu Adhikari, a prominent BJP leader from West Bengal, shared the viral video clip on Twitter with an assertion that Banerjee was intentionally distorting “facts related to Hindu religion”.
Suvendu Adhikari wrote, “Yesterday, on 28th August, 2023 while addressing a TMCP rally on the occasion of their Foundation Day, she said that the greatest epic Mahabharata was penned by Kazi Nazrul Islam”.
On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla also tweeted the viral clip and wrote, “From opposing Shiv Shakti point to abusing Hindu Astha to now denying Ved Vyas his due on Mahabharat to questioning existence of Prabhu Shri Ram – This is the true face of I.N.D.I.A. alliance”.
Several Twitter handles also have tweeted the same claim alongside the viral clip.
Fact Check / Verification
Newschecker, at first, did a keyword search on Google to verify the authenticity of this viral video. This is where we found some news reports. From this we come to know that this viral video is from August 28, 2023’s, when the foundation day of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad was held at Kolkata. Here, we got the video of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s speech on the occasion on the official YouTube page of All India Trinamool Congress.
It is evident that the viral video is clipped and forked out from a longer clip. After listening to the longer version of Mamata Banerjee’s speech which can be heard on the YouTube channel from the time stamp 2:51:43, we get an exact idea of what actually Mamata Bannerjee said about The Mahabharata.
Mamata Banerjee said in Bengali, “ রবীন্দ্রনাথ পড়ুন ও জানুন, বিবেকানন্দ পড়ুন ও জানুন, নজরুল পড়ুন ও জানুন, বিরসা মুন্ডা পড়ুন ও জানুন, রঘুনাথ মুর্মু পড়ুন ও জানুন, মতুয়া ঠাকুর পড়ুন ও জানুন, রাজবংশীদের পঞ্চানন বর্মা পড়ুন ও জানুন, মহাভারত (পড়ুন ও জানুন)…. নজরুল ইসলাম লিখেছিলেন “কোরান, পুরাণ, বেদ, বেদান্ত, বাইবেল, ত্রিপিটক, জেন্দাবেস্তা, গ্রন্থসাহেব প’ড়ে যাও, যত সম্ভৱ”…
The English Translation of her statement- “Read and learn Rabindranath’s works, read and learn Vivekananda’s works, read and learn Nazrul’s works, read and learn Birsa Munda’s works, read and learn Raghunath Murmu’s work, read and learn Matua Thakur’s work, read and learn Panchanan Barma of Rajbanshi, read and learn about Mahabharata……Nazrul Islam wrote, ‘Embrace the Quran, Puranas, Vedas, Vedanta, Bible, Tripitaka, Zendawesta, and the sacred scriptures, read as much as you can….”
But in the viral video, it can be heard apparently that Mamata is saying, “ Mahabharata…kazi Nazrul islam wrote…” The transcription and complete video make it clear that Mamata Banerjee did not assert that the poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was the author of ‘The Mahabharata’. During her speech, she referenced the renowned Indian epic while encouraging the audience to engage with the literary works crafted by esteemed writers, drawing wisdom from the timeless classics of Indian literature. In her extensive list, ‘The Mahabharata’ was the final piece she mentioned.
A truncated video from the TMCP foundation day event featuring West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s speech is circulating online. The video is accompanied by a misleading assertion that Banerjee mistakenly attributed the authorship of ‘The Mahabharata’ to Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
In reality, Banerjee was referencing a poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam during her speech, and there is no evidence of her claiming that the poet wrote ‘The Mahabharata’. Fact-checking conducted by Newschecker has confirmed the claim to be deceptive.
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