Kolkata’s Presidency University did not allow Iftar as well as Saraswati Puja


Secularism of Kolkata’s Presidency University: Allows grand Iftar party but never gives permission for Saraswati Puja

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Images of Iftar hosted during this Ramzan in Kolkata’s Presidency University are widely shared to claim that the university did not permit Saraswati Puja but allowed a grand Iftar party. The secularism of Kolkata’s Presidency University is mentioned in the viral posts. Some of the posts with such a claim can be seen here and here. Multiple Right Wing supporting media also published this claim.

What is the truth?

When searching with relevant keywords, we found that Kolkata’s Presidency University is not allowing any religious events and the images are from Eden Hindu Hostel.

Times of India reported on 6, April 2023 that the Hindu hostel boarders host iftar for 700 students in the hostel campus on 5, April 2023. The event was not only restricted to boarders but students from the Presidency University and other universities also took part in it. This article is found carrying one of the viral images that shows food being served to the students assembled on the lawn of the hostel campus.

The Eden Hindu Hostel Facebook page posted a set of images from the Iftar event and from the Saraswati puja that was celebrated in the Hindu Hostel this year. The post is translated as “5th April. Iftar Majlis was celebrated in the Hindu hostel today. The presidency has always claimed itself to be a “Derozian institution” and formally refrain from celebrating any religious event inside the campus. But the presidency’s Eden Hindu hostel had different events before. As Saraswati Puja was held in the Hindu hostel on 26 January, similarly iftar majlis was celebrated today. Common students and common people regardless of religion-caste-gender participated in this celebration of joy today.

On this day, the way religious intolerance and communal riots are overflowing in different places of the state and the country, the Hindu hostel again celebrated Iftar Majlis to send the message of harmony. Not religious violence or political propaganda, our aim is to enjoy together. Here on Saraswati Puja like Shahidul, Ashraf, Javid arranges puja staying awake at night, similarly on Iftar day food from Govinda, Rabinder or Rajarshiera market – they touch it. We are bearing witness of 200 years of tradition, that tradition has taught that there is no bigger politics than love, there is no greater religion than humanity. Heartiest greetings and love to all those who were beside us in this event today. We hope that you will be with us in our problems and in the festival of joy in the future.”

On 26, January 2023, a Facebook user named Shuvajit Sarkar posted a video of Saraswati puja celebrations with the caption “Saraswati Puja organized by residents at Eden Hindu Hostel of Presidency. Congrats to them for organizing it this year like every time”. Similarly, an image from Saraswati Puja is found posted by Sandip Biswas on his Facebook page on 26, January.

The news articles by TV9 Bangla and ETV Bharat mentioned that Saraswati Puja or any religious event is not allowed inside the Presidency university campus and are being celebrated in the Hindu hostel campus for all these years. The authorities of the university said that it is a secular educational institution and hence no religious events can be held inside the campus. So, on 26, January the Saraswati idol was placed outside the main gate of the university as a result of the tussle between the authorities and the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP). And the recent Iftar event was also not hosted inside the university campus but in the Hindu hostel campus. Similarly, the Saraswati puja celebration was also held in the Hindu hostel campus.


It is found that the claim that Kolkata’s Presidency University allowed the Iftar event but did not give permission for Saraswati Puja is false. The university did not allow any religious events including the Saraswati puja and Iftar event to be held inside the campus.

The viral image is from the Iftar event hosted at Kolkata’s Eden Hindu hostel and it is to be noted that Saraswati Puja was also celebrated in the same hostel campus.

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