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Mamata Banerjee’s subtle incitement on Ram Navami as Hindus get set to hold over 5000 rallies in Bengal: How the CM has a history of blaming Hindus for violence against them by Islamists

Mamata Banerjee said, “I want to caution my minority brothers and sisters that if you hear any provocative slogan on April 17, (just remember) it is the day when they try to trigger riots.”

On Wednesday (17th September), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee extended ‘wishes’ to the Hindu community on the occasion of Ram Navami. However, she asked the community to maintain peace and avoid violence in the state as the Hindu Jagaran Manch is scheduled to take out 5,000 religious processions at the ward/panchayat level in all districts of the state.

“Greetings to all on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami. I appeal to maintain peace, prosperity, and development for all,” Banerjee said blatantly holding Hindus responsible for the violence in the state like every time.

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She also asked her supporters, TMC workers, and the ‘minority’ community members to “stay calm even if the religious ceremony was used to provoke and trigger riots.” She alleged that the BJP might “try to trigger riots during the Ram Navami celebrations”, also ahead of the elections. She blamed the Hindus for the violence and urged all citizens not to get provoked and fall into the trap.

“I want to caution my minority brothers and sisters that if you hear any provocative slogan on April 17, (just remember) it is the day when they try to trigger riots. I want it to be a day of respect for people, a day of unity. Even if they abuse you, stay calm and pray to Allah,” Banerjee was quoted as saying in a rally in Jalpaiguri.

The celebration of Ramnavami in the state of West Bengal has always been in the discussions, given the state CM Mamata Banerjee’s hatred towards Hindus and her favouritism towards the ‘minority community’. While wishing on the occasion of Eid on 10th April, Banerjee called it a joyous occasion and displayed her love towards the community.

However, while extending ‘wishes’ on the occasion of Ramnavami on 17th April, Banerjee showcased her hatred towards the community and indicated that the Hindus were the ones who have always been responsible for the violence in the state.

It is important to note that the permission for Ram Navami procession in the state of West Bengal was almost denied by the state authorities. PM Modi also yesterday in a rally at Raiganj stated that Ram Navami processions in the state never get permission from the state. He said that the state not only opposes the Hindu procession but also allows the miscreants to pelt stones at the participants of the procession.

Notably, on Monday (15th April), the Calcutta High Court permitted the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Anjani Putra Sena to hold Ram Navami processions in West Bengal’s Howrah district. While the VHP plans a religious parade on Wednesday, the Anjani Putra Sena will host one on the 21st of April. Meanwhile, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee accused the BJP of attempting to “use religion” for “political benefits”.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will be holding nearly 5000 Ram Navami celebrations in villages and cities across West Bengal on Wednesday, just two days before three of the state’s 42 parliamentary constituencies vote in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

The TMC, concerned about the BJP’s potential use of Ram Navami to ‘incite’ Hindutva, urged the Election Commission to prevent any attempt to ‘utilize religious rituals’ to polarise voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The TMC and the state CM of West Bengal have always been criticizing the BJP and the Hindu community people, blatantly blaming them to be the reasons for violence in the state. Notably, it is a recorded fact that the people from the Islamist community have been the troublemakers when it comes to the Hindu processions in the state.

In several incidents in the past from the state, the Hindu processions have been deliberately attacked, the Hindu religion has been insulted by the Islamists who have always gotten a free pass by the state. In the violence that happened last year in the Howrah region, several Hindu devotees were attacked, shops, and vehicles were forced and several of them were reported injured.

However, later it came to the fore that the violence was ‘pre-planned, orchestrated and instigated’ and that the West Bengal Police allowed the violence to take a huge face. Meanwhile, the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee very smartly gave a free pass to the Islamists and blamed the ‘outsiders’ for the violence. “You bring goons-on-hire from outside of Bengal, carry out arson, and orchestrate riots here…We have never stopped you from conducting rallies. Who permitted you to hold rallies with swords and bulldozers?,” she was quoted as saying.

Further, fake cases against the Hindu participants were also administered.

It was also revealed that the Hindus had sought additional security because of apprehensions of communal violence since even in the previous years, Hindus had come under attack in Howrah in the 100-metre stretch. The state police, however, had failed to provide such security in advance and also had failed to secure the life and property of procession takers knowing fully well the sensitive nature of the area.

Also, in the year 2022, it was the Muslim mob who pelted stones at the Hindu participants in Howrah on the occasion of the Ram Navami procession. And at that time also the police had hardly done anything to stop the attack.

The procession was organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, and Durga Bahini, and it was started at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur. However, the procession was attacked in the midway near Fazir Bazar at PM Basti on GT Road in Shibpur, Howrah.

The attack and the subsequent action by police completely disrupted the religious procession. But the mob was not satisfied with it, and the procession was abandoned and the Hindus had left the place, the Islamists started attacking houses and shops belonging to the Hindus.

Mamata’s favoritism to Islam, hatred towards Hindus

In the year 2022, Mamata Banerjee had called Hindus cowards for chanting the slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ while she also favored Islam saying that Hindus were ‘kafirs’ and hence cowards. “Let them do what they want. We are not scared. We are not cowards. We are not ‘Kafir’ [possibly]. We fight. We know how to fight. We will fight against them. We will finish them,” Banerjee was quoted as saying on the occasion of Eid that year.

Mamata Banerjee’s intolerance towards Hindus and the chant of Jai Shri Ram is a longstanding issue. In May 2019, soon after the BJP had secured a massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections with 18 seats in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal police arrested 10 people from Barrackpore for chanting slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ in North 24 Parganas at Mamata Banerjee’s convoy.

Accusing the BJP of pitting non-Bengalis against Bengalis, Mamata had asked the police to immediately take down the names of those chanting the slogans so that stern action could be initiated against them. This was not only an aggressive use of power, but it also highlights cowardice because in this case someone as powerful as a chief minister of a state is seen getting disturbed by a simple nonviolent protest by innocent Hindus just chanting Jai Shri Ram.

Even before that, while in the middle of the Lok Sabha elections, Mamata Banerjee had stepped down from her vehicle to yell at those who were registering their protest by chanting Jai Shri Ram.

In January 2021, she was seen walking out of the stage refusing to address the public gathered at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial for Netaji birth anniversary celebrations, because the crowd was chanting Jai Shri Ram.

It must be noted that the genocide of Hindus has been a phenomenon West Bengal under the rule of Mamata Banerjee has become infamous in recent years. After the state assembly elections of 2021, the Hindu genocide and rapes of Hindu girls in Bengal were not only paced up but also being normalized by the state machinery. Any attempt to oppose this violence or assert the rights of the oppressed Hindus was casually termed as bigotry.

Efforts were made by the state police to silence the media voices reporting the pains and sufferings of these Hindus and exposing the involvement of the state machinery and TMC goons in those heinous crimes. These malicious efforts by the West Bengal government were later slammed by the Supreme Court.

Recently, the Sandeshkhali incident also was reported in which several Hindu women were reported raped, harassed, and tortured at the hands of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his two aides Shiba Prasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar. The women had accused the trio of making their lives miserable for quite some time. 

Mamata blamed Hindus also in 2019 amid post-poll violence

In the year 2019, massive violence erupted in the state post-elections between the BJP and the TMC resulting in the deaths of several Hindu persons. Mamata Banerjee at that time also played the blame game and alleged that the Centre and the BJP were organizing violence in a bid to topple her government. “we will not let Bengal turn into another Gujarat,” she had said.

Amid all this, Shiv Sena UBT leader Uddhav Thackeray who was a Hindu leader then and who happened to be a close associate of Mamata Banerjee only for power, had slammed Banerjee for making the Gujarat remarks. Shiv Sena in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna had said that the “sleeping Hindus of Bengal” had been “awakened by her excesses” and that Banerjee was responsible “for her own downfall.”

Responding to Mamata Banerjee’s declaration that she would not allow BJP to turn “Bengal into Gujarat”, Shiv Sena had attacked the Trinamool Congress chief saying that the state would turn into Gujarat and could even turn into ‘Ayodhya or Varanasi’.

“What does she mean by won’t let Bengal become Gujarat? Bengal has become Gujarat; tomorrow it may become Ayodhya or Varanasi,” the party had said in its mouthpiece, saying that the state of Bengal could undergo the transformation to Varanasi or Ayodhya if “Lord Ram was angry.”

Ram Navami 2024

In the current scenario, the Hindu Jagaran Manch plans to conduct 5,000 religious processions at the ward/panchayat level in all districts of the state. The group stated that it intends to stage large processions in Barasat, Siliguri, and Kolkata’s Burrabazar.

The state police has been put on high alert and they have also been told to monitor social media to avert any communal tension ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. “No public display of weapons during processions will be allowed. Some traditional groups and akharas have been given permission (to take out processions). Every procession will be videographed. If anyone is found breaking rules or trying to create law and order problems, they will not be spared,” a senior police official confirmed.

According to sources, the district administrations in Hooghly, Howrah, Uttar Dakshin Dinajpur, Asansol, and Barrackpore, districts that have previously seen communal disturbances during Ram Navami had also been notified. According to sources, numerous political leaders will participate in the processions and are also expected to hold rallies on Ram Navami. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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