Over 200 Ram Navami processions were taken out in all over West Bengal as claimed by RSS on Wednesday, using the festival ‘to unite the Hindus’ against what they called the “growing Jehadi activities” in the state.
The unprecedented scale of Ram Navami celebrations this year in the state appears to have rattled even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who accused the RSS-BJP combine of trying to ‘appropriate’ the festival and asked them not to mix religion with politics.
Virtually seeking to paint the state saffron, right wing activists marched through the streets of various cities across the state, waving saffron flags, carrying posters pledging to build Sri Ram temple at Ayodhya and shouting ‘Jai Sri Ram.’
At some places like Birbhum and Purulia, women and men were seen brandishing even swords and knives in colourful rallies and renting the air with slogans of ‘Jai Siya Ram.’
Amid the unprecedented Ram Navami celebrations, held under the banner of Rama Navami Udjapan Samity across the state, police said there were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere.
In Kolkata and its adjoining areas alone, more than 22 rallies were taken out.
In the state, a total 200 rallies and processions with participants varying from 2,000 to 20,000 were held, Bidyut Mukherjee, RSS organizational secretary for West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands told PTI.
“The response of the common people was very good. We have been able to unite the Hindus to a large extent through these rallies”, he said.
The RSS-backed Ram Navami rallies were held on such a scale close on the heels of RSS’ Coimbatore resolution last month in which it had expressed concern over the “growing Jehadi activities and declining Hindu population in West Bengal.”
“If you have to unite a community then religious festivals are the best way to send out a message for uniting the society under one umbrella”, said a VHP functionary.
Expressing support to the RSS programme, WB BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We fully support such programmes to celebrate Ram Navami. It will help people unite against the anti-national forces and vote-bank politics. If a rally can be taken out on Nabi Diwas, why can’t one be taken out on Ram Navami? What’s the harm in it?”
Facing heat from the right wing parties, ruling TMC had asked its leaders to organize Ram Navami rallies and special prayers for Lord Hanuman in their areas.
Apparently rattled by the scale of RSS-backed Ram Navmi celebrations in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused BJP of trying to “appropriate” the festival and asked it not to mix religion with politics.