On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met members of the Matua community in Orakandi during his 2-day visit to Bangladesh. He was accompanied by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
PM Modi said that he felt the same emotions as the Matua community in India feels when they come to Orakandi. It must be mentioned that Orakandi is the birthplace of Harichand Thakur, the spiritual guru of the Matuas. He addressed a community reception programme by saying, “I got the opportunity to come here by the grace of Shri Shri Harichand Thakur.” PM Modi emphasised, “I was waiting for this opportunity for many years. When I visited Bangladesh in 2015, I had expressed my desire to visit Orakandi.”
PM Modi said that Harichand Thakur had worked among those who were considered ‘untouchable’ in the former Bengal Presidency. He formed the Matua sect of Hindus, the PM added.
The Indian Prime Minister announced that the government will set up a primary school in Orakandi and also upgrade one middle school. “I was speaking to some people here. They were saying who could have thought that India’s Prime Minister would visit Orakandi. I am feeling the same emotions my Matua brothers and sisters in India feel coming to Orakandi. I have always been very close to the family members of the Thakurbari,” he added. PM Modi also referred to late ‘Boro Ma’ Binapani Devi Thakur, former head of Matua community.
“The way India and Bangladesh governments are working towards strengthening their ties, Harichand Thakur and Thakurbari have been doing this for ages. This place symbolises the spiritual tryst of India and Bangladesh,” PM Modi reiterated. PM Modi also offered prayers at the Matua temple in Orakanda. The Matua community forms a sizeable vote bank in Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas and can prove to be a gamechanger in the ongoing West Bengal State Legislative elections.