Kolkata: Never ever had the state of West Bengal seen such widespread pomp over Ram Navami. In what has been a bid to unite the Hindus of the state by Rashtriya Sayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other wings of the Sangh Parivar, about 50 processions of different sizes were organised on the occasion of Ram Navami on Wednesday in Kolkata.
Activists, bike borne and on foot, brandishing swords and chanting ‘Jay Shree Ram’ were seen in all the cases with giant size pictures of Lord Ram leading all the processions.
Interestingly processions were taken out even at the Muslim-majority pockets such as Kidderpore where they also shouted slogans like ‘Hindu Raj Banayenge’ (will build Hindu rule).
While RSS-backed organisations took out rallies at Burrabazar and other areas of north Kolkata, at Bhawanipore in central Kolkata and Garia in south Kolkata armed activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) participated in the rally.
Among the districts, rallies at Suri in Birbhum district which had been a TMC-stronghold had been a surprise element. To counter them, TMC organised Hanuman Puja at several areas and TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal himself participated in some Hanuman worship.
At Durgapur in Burdwan district, women and school children walked the rallies, sword in hand along with members of the saffron brigade.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after an administrative meeting at Bankura district lashed out at the RSS and the BJP a public meeting and said that the celebration was aimed at dividing the state on the basis of religions. “Don’t try to tag Ram Navami as a programme of the BJP and use it for communal polarisation. It had been celebrated for thousands of years. It has nothing to do with the BJP. Today they are taking out processions with party flags with ‘Om’ written on it. Who has given them the right to insult ‘Om’?” Mamata said.
She alleged that these party members switched themselves from CPI(M) to BJP of and on and were trying to divide the country on the basis of religion. “They are CPI(M) by the day and BJP at night,” Mamata added. Sending out a note of warning to the BJP he said that the politics of polarisation would not be tolerated. “They are saying ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ in UP and creating discrimination in Bengal,” she said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said Hindus rallied with sword which is a weapon of Lord Ram and retorted at Mamata saying, “She is afraid of the growing strength of the BJP in Bengal.”
RK Pathak, vice president, state BJP, too said that it was the growing strength of BJP in Bengal which was disturbing the TMC. “If religious feelings in Hindus is growing, what is the harm in it? The CM is afraid because at present the BJP is effectively the main Opposition force in Bengal,” he said at a press conference today.
On the other hand, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati, at another press conference said that RSS should be banned in India. “RSS is a threat to India and just as the US banned Taliban, RSS should be banned in the country. I will talk to the CM and request her to ban RSS in Bengal, because it is spreading communal tension everywhere,” Barkati said on the sidelines of the press conference.