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'Sangbad Pratidin Digital' flags off its ' Pushpanjali #ChantBangla' campaign

The campaign focuses on using our Mother tongue Bangla instead of Sanskrit across the globe during Pushpanjali of Ashtami.

A festival when West Bengal is engulfed in vibrant hues of festive fervours, sounds of the conch and wrapped in the aura of dhunuchi and the festival where Goddess Durga is believed to come home is celebrated with great zest across India but nothing like what one can witness in West Bengal. This year, Durga Pujo is much more special as it is recognised by UNESCO and is honoured with the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) tag. With this global recognition of Bengalis, Sangbad Pratidin has noticed that the Bengali language is not celebrated during Durga Pujo with the kind of focus it deserves, hence this initiative has been taken for Bengalis across the globe for them to offer their prayers in their mother language to the goddess whom they claim to be their daughter or mother.

Though the path was not easy, as this initiative was breaking a tradition and age-old habit. This Ashtami Sanskrit Mantra will now be chanted in Bangla keeping in mind the theme, meaning and most importantly the thought remained unchanged. Hence, Shri Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, renowned Sanskrit Scholar, Shri Pabitra Sarkar, renowned Linguist and Shri Kaliprasanna Bhattacharya, the veteran priest performing Durga Puja for over 60 years were approached to prepare a Bengali mantra transcripting from the Sanskrit origin and an overwhelming response from their side to create the mantra was received. They transcripted the Sanskrit Mantra to Bangla keeping the meaning and the thought untarnished.

Uncountable Puja committees across the world to be a part of this initiative. At present, over 250 puja committees in and out of Kolkata will chant all the Pushpanjali Mantras in Bengali on Ashtami day. Further to promote this initiative Sangbad Pratidin has created 'Poonthi' which consists of the Bengali Mantra. The book was prepared to distribute among the puja committees in Kolkata for their reference. The book has illustrations of the famous painter, Subrata Gangopadhyay, and introductions from Shri Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri and Shri Pabitra Sarkar. The Sanskrit Mantra has also been printed in the book for anyone to check if the transcription is flawless. Banners (8ft x 4ft) have been sent to the participating Kolkata puja committees to put up in a proper location near the pandal to catch eyeballs.

A website ( has been developed too, from where Bengalis can download the Bangla Mantra in PDF form as well as Audio format chanted by well-known elocutionist Shri Satinath Mukherjee. The audio has been created in two ways, one, where the mantra is being chanted in a way for people to hear and secondly, the mantra has been recorded in a way the priest says during the ritual. The latter way was recorded to help devotees abroad to chant the mantra in Bengali, where the priest might not be a Bengali, the audio will work as the voice of the priest.

There is another section on the website, where any individual can register and support this cause. This initiative is accepted not only by Puja committees but also 'Bonedi' households, old age homes and residential complexes. The puja organized by the association of sex workers in Kolkata, Durbar, will also perform the sacred ritual in Bengali.

On this initiative, Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said, "The devotion lies in the thought of the goddess in the mantra and not in the language in which it is chanted. It is always better to offer the prayers in a language which we know and understand rather than saying it in Sanskrit where half of the meaning is not understood by us."

Srimanta Chowdhury of Sangbad Pratidin has said, "Bengalis across the globe have been asked to upload the video of them performing Pushpanjali In Bangla while adding the hashtag #ChantBangla. We expect that #ChantBangla will be trending on social media during that time. This initiative has a 360-degree campaign consisting of Print, Outdoor, Radio, Television, Digital and Social Media. We have also created theme music and video which starred people related to Durga puja like theme artists such as Santan Dinda, Sushanta Pal, Partha Dasgupta and many others. The video also casts Kolkata Puja Committee members, idol makers and people from various walks of life."

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