Bengal is one of the several regions where Saraswati Puja or Basant Panchami is celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigour. On this day, people pray to the goddess of knowledge, wisdom and art.
Nearly every household and community clubs observe the festival and the demand of priests run high. So high that sometimes, one might need to highjack a priest from the road.
Sadly, such incidents are not unheard of in West Bengal. A video from this year’s Saraswati Puja went viral on social media, where a woman and some young boys can be seen dragging a priest from the roads.
When the irate pandit finally gives in, the woman can be heard saying in Bengali, “gate bondho” or “gate closed” in a triumphant voice as if to say the deal was done.
Here is the video.
The video was widely shared after it was posted on Facebook by one of the organisers of Saraswati Puja. The clip was captured from Kolkata’s Behala region, where the members of a local club were eager to pray to the goddess but devoid of a priest.
So they did what was handy, grabbed a priest from the streets and dragged him in.
The unnamed priest can be seen saying ‘no’ to their proposition repeatedly, to which one from the crowd says that all preparations were done, so he need not worry.
Later, the organisers also shared pictures of the puja going smooth on social media.
The ‘docile’ priest can be seen completing all rituals, while kids sit behind with their hands together in prayer.