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Hindu organisations under attack in West Bengal: Sanyasis peacefully walked the streets against sacrilegious remarks


Crossing all limits of decency and decorum, the ‘honourable’ Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee, demeaned various Hindu charitable and social organisations based in West Bengal during a campaign in Arambagh on May 18.

Banerjee equated revered institutions like the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram with rioters allegedly working on behalf of the primary opposition party in West Bengal. The state administration remained a mute witness when unidentified assailants stormed into the premises of the Ramakrishna Mission in Jalpaiguri, threatening monks at gunpoint in a bid to usurp the institution’s land. Kartik Maharaj, a monk who has tirelessly worked for the upliftment of the Hindu community in minority-dominated Beldanga, Murshidabad, was named and shamed by the chief minister. He has since sent a legal notice to the chief minister, asking her to prove the allegations levelled against him.

Political point-scoring is an intrinsic aspect of electioneering, yet the unspoken rules of campaigning dictate that certain revered institutions, such as the office of the president or governor, should remain above the fray. Mamata Banerjee, who began her political career as a street fighter against communist elements in South Kolkata, has frequently fallen short of the decency and decorum expected of the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Banerjee has previously mocked Hindu sentiments to appease her vote bank, which includes a significant number of infiltrators. However, her latest statement has rightfully caused anger and anxiety within the Bengali and Hindu communities.

While aggression may not be justified, the anger is understandable. The saffron brotherhood, comprising monks from various Hindu charitable organisations, registered their protest across West Bengal in a dignified manner by taking to the streets to voice their concerns against the silent Islamic aggression and blatant Hindu phobia perpetuated by the ruling party and its leaders. On May 24, the Virat Sant Swabhimaan Yatra saw thousands of saffron-clad monks peacefully marching through Kolkata to protest Banerjee’s sacrilegious remarks. The march was organised by the Bangiya Sanyasi Samaj and equally supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, ISKCON, Bharat Sevashram, and the Ramakrishna Mission.

The march began at Sister Nivedita Park, named after Swami Vivekananda’s most ardent disciple, and culminated at her master’s ancestral home on Shimla Street. Banerjee has predictably refused to comment further, knowing fully well that her administration and party must bow down to the collective sentiments of the Bengali Hindu community awakened by the monks demanding justice. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in November 1966, had the audacity to fire on the Sant Samaj led by Swami Karpatri Ji Maharaj, who were demanding cow protection in accordance with the directive principles enshrined in our constitution. The blood of the Sant Samaj on the hands of the powerful prime minister eventually led to her downfall.