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13 Muslim Students Among 286, Who Won Gita Chanting Contest in Bengal

Nearly, 4,000 students from 65 schools in Howrah, Hooghly, North and South-24 Parganas participated in the competition. A total of 286 children bagged the first, second and third prize.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:August 21, 2017, 12:39 PM IST
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13 Muslim Students Among 286, Who Won Gita Chanting Contest in Bengal
One of the students who won the Gita chanting competition.

Kolkata: 13 Muslim students came out on top with 286 others in winning the Gita chanting competition, organised by Kolkata’s Shankhnad Samrasata Mission at Lok Sanskriti Bhawan in Sodepur.

Governor of Tripura Tathagata Roy, who inaugurated the event on Monday, expressed his pleasure in being part of the unique competition.

“I am happy to attend a function of 'Shankhnad' which spreads education of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita among school children,” Roy said.

Nearly, 4,000 students from 65 schools in Howrah, Hooghly, North and South-24 Parganas participated in the competition. A total of 286 children bagged the first, second and third prize.

There were two categories of participants including the junior group from Class 1-7 and senior group from Class 8-12. This for the first time that many Muslim students showed keen interest in the Gita chanting competition.

The Muslim students who managed to secure top three slots are: Kamrun Nesa (Class VIII, First position), Nafisa Khatun (Class VII, second position), Alisha Parveen (Class XII, first position), Osmania Parveen (Class XII, second position), Yasmin Khatun (Class X, third position), Maskura Khatun (Class VII, third position), Akicha Khatun (Class VI, third position), Arshida Khatun (Class IX, first position), Tajmira Khatun (Class X, second position), Muskan Khatun (Class X, third position), Nurzahan Khatun (Class VIII, third position), Farhan Akhtar (Class VIII, first position) and Nazreen Khatun (Class IX, third position).

Speaking to News18, Secretary of Shankhnad Samrasata Mission, Balkrishna Lundia said, “We never expected that nearly 4,000 students from different communities will be so excited to participate in this competition. We have gave the task to chant 18 Gita Sholkas in Sanskrit to these young students and we were amazed to see that 286 managed to pass it effortlessly.”

He said, “Such event is not going to create any controversy because Bengal is a cultural capital of India. Here, people from all communities lives in harmony. Unlike other states Bengal is different for its rich culture.”

President of the Mission, Gopal Gupta said, “Gita is all about Knowledge, Work and Worship. Such event will help all of us to understand the meaning of universal peace and harmony better.”

“One of the Muslim students from Ramkrishna Mission did very well. He stood first. We are planning to start a weekly Gita class in various places of Bengal to connect masses with Gita and its ethos,” he added.

The event, however, drew mixed reaction, as Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri – a well-known Indologist and a specialist of Indian epics and Puranas – said, “There is no doubt that the knowledge of Gita is must. But knowledge in the name of competition is something which I think is questionable. Such events used to happen a long time ago - once a year in Varanasi. But I don’t know why we need such competitions to understand Gita.”

Former Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Calcutta University, Sitanath Goswami said, “One should not see any controversy behind such event. Gita is very important to all of us and specially school students. I don’t think anyone is doing politics in the name of Gita – which teaches us brotherhood. I appreciate that such events are happening in India and lots of students are participating in it.”

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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