Islamists in West Bengal’s Murshidabad issue fatwa on TV, carrom board, music

It seems like some people in a village of West Bengal’s Murshidabad are all set to go back to the stone age. With fatwas on everything ranging from an innocent carrom board to television, stone age doesn’t appear too far away in Murshidabad.

Recently, heads of a Muslim dominated village in Murshidabad announced fatwas on a number of recreational activities including watching television and playing carrom board.

The fatwa, under the banner of a social reforms committee, also prescribed monetary penalty ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 7,000 and sit-up by holding ears if anyone is found violating the dictate. The bizarre incident took place at Adwaita Nagar village, with a population of around 12000, located along the West Bengal-Jharkhand border area in Raghunathganj sub-division.

“We decided to impose ban on a series of activities to stop the young generation from adopting methods which will lead to their moral and cultural degradation. We cannot allow them to listen music and watch movies and serials which do not fit to our religious culture,” said Azharul Sheikh, the secretary of Adwaita Nagar Social Reforms Committee.

“If anyone is caught playing carom, he will have to pay Rs 500 and in case of purchasing lottery, the penalty amount will be Rs 2,000. There are provisions of rewarding the informers. If anyone’s information helps us to catch an offender, he will be given Rs 1,000 to Rs 200 as reward, depending on the nature of offence mentioned in the instructions,” he added.

The local Trinamool Congress panchayat pradhan Abdur Rauf found nothing wrong in the fatwa. “Banning liquor is a good decision. Besides, I welcome the decision to ban carom and songs using mobile phones because the youths are getting addicted to it,” he explained.

The block development officer of Shamsherganj block, Joydeep Chakrabarty, said if anyone takes law in his hand, lawful action will be taken against him.