Several Hindu organisations in the West Bengal have decided to celebrate the festival of Sri Ram Navami (birth of Lord Sri Rama) in a big way in the state with an intention to show Hindu solidarity and strengthen in the face of growing attacks on Hindus in the stat.
Obviously, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have taken an initiative to organise this show of strength and unity which will also help them to spread their influence in the state.
The event will be celebrated on April 4, 2017, on the occasion of Sri Ram Navami, sources said. “Though Ram Navami is a religious festival, we plan to organise the Hindus and unite them against the fundamentalist forces”, the sources said.
News agency PTI quoted Bidyut Mukherjee, RSS Organising Secretary of West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands as saying that the fundamentalist forces have increased their influence in many parts of the state in the recent past. A number of bordering districts are currently witnessing huge demographic imbalance due to infiltration from across the border.
The RSS had passed a resolution at its Coimbatore Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha expressing concern over the ‘growing Jehadi activities’ and the ‘declining’ Hindu population in West Bengal.
Expressing support to the RSS programme, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We fully support such a programme to celebrate Ram Navami. It will help people to unite against the anti-national forces and vote bank politics”.
There will be more than 200 camps with yatras, public meetings and processions held across West Bengal, including in the city.
Big processions and meetings will be held in North Dinajpur, Burdwan, Birbhum, Nadia, West Midnapore districts among others, he said.
The selection of the locations is significant as North Dinajpur borders Bihar and Bangladesh and has a high Muslim population, while various parts of Burdwan and Birbhum are communally sensitive.
The programmes are being organised under the banner of Rama Navami Utjapan Samity (Organisation for the celebration of Rama Navami).
However, West Bengal Additional Director General (Law and order) Anuj Sharma said, “I do not have any information about such programmes as of now. I will have to check”.
Each of the processions and meetings will have the participation of around 15,000 people, Mukherjee said claiming that festivals like Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja were not allowed in some parts of Bengal and time has come for the Hindus to assert themselves.
“The RSS and the BJP for last few years have been trying to polarise the state communally, but they have failed. Everybody has the right to organise religious programmes. But our government will not tolerate any attempt to create division among communities,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad is, on the other hand, taking up programmes on the issue of construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
It will organise processions and ‘special puja’ in the districts on Ram Navami and after and has also planned a Hindu Dharma Sabha in Kolkata on April 11, VHP spokesperson Sourish Mukherjee said.
“We are launching a state-wide awareness programme about the historical importance of Ram Mandir and Ram Janmabhoomi movement,” he said.
Sounding a caution, CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra accused the RSS of “masterminding communal riots in the state and said the Left parties would protect communal harmony at any cost”.