An image of students gathered and partaking in a meal has been circulating on social media, claiming to depict a recent Dawat-e-Iftar event at Kolkata’s Presidency University. The post alleges that while the University permitted this event, it did not allow Saraswati Puja to be celebrated on campus. Let’s examine the veracity of this claim.
Claim: Kolkata’s Presidency University allowed a Dawat-e-Iftar event to be held on campus, while earlier denying permission for a Saraswati Puja celebration.
Fact: The viral image depicts an Iftar event organized by the hostel boarders at Eden Hindu Hostel on 05 April 2023. This event was not conducted at the Presidency University campus, nor was it organized by the University administration. Additionally, earlier this year, Saraswati Puja was also held at the same Hindu Hostel. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Upon conducting an internet search with relevant keywords, we found a news report by The Times of India dated 06 April 2023, concerning this event. The report states that the Iftar gathering took place at the Eden Hindu Hostel on 05 April 2023, and was attended by students from various universities. Funds for the event were collected from hostel boarders and their friends, indicating that it was not associated with the University administration. The organizers emphasized that such events foster communal harmony and promote unity among students, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
Upon analysing the information from Google Maps, it is evident that Eden Hindu Hostel and the Presidency University campus are two distinct entities, located over 500 meters apart. They do not share the same campus grounds, and their premises are divided by various structures, such as the Baker Building and Hare School.
According to media reports, earlier in January 2023, the student body associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress requested permission from the Dean of Presidency University to conduct Saraswati Puja on campus. The University, however, denied permission in order to maintain its secular stance. As a result, the students proceeded to organize the Puja outside the main gate of the University.
In conclusion, the viral image depicts an Iftar event held at Eden Hindu Hostel, not at Presidency University Campus. Furthermore, the same venue was used to conduct a Saraswati Puja earlier this year.