Monday, 30th October 2017

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No reason for fear: Mamata

The chief minister’s message was delivered before an Id congregation on Red Road

By Meghdeep Bhattacharyya in Calcutta
  • Published 6.06.19, 6:40 AM
  • Updated 6.06.19, 6:40 AM
  • 2 mins read
Mamata on Red Road Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday thanked Muslims in Bengal for their support to the Trinamul Congress in the general election, promised to stand by them and repeatedly urged members of the community not to live in fear.

The chief minister’s message was delivered before an Id congregation on Red Road.

“Sometimes, once in a while, the sun shines too bright, but that inevitably goes…. Time being, time being,” she said to loud cheers from the audience.

“We are all united. There is no reason for fear…. Hindu means tyaag (renunciation), Muslim means imaan (faith), Christian means pyaar (love) and Sikh means balidaan (sacrifice). That is our beloved Hindustan. Together, we will protect it,” Mamata said in a brief address, delivered primarily in Hindi.

Jo humsey takraayega woh choor choor ho jayega (Those who dare clash with us will be shattered to pieces),” she added.

Mamata did not take names and sources said she didn’t wish to deliver an explicitly political speech because of the occasion.

But the sources added that she wanted to send out a message to Muslims in Bengal — who form nearly a third of the electorate in the state — that the BJP’s sweep in the recent Lok Sabha elections was only an aberration.

The Trinamul chief has been attending the Red Road event for years. She uses the dais for delivering important messages to the community.

Mamata’s attendance at such events is a trope the BJP-RSS parivar has been highlighting in its bid to polarise the Bengal electorate. But Mamata, with her presence at the event and the carefully crafted message, made it clear she was unwilling to change her political priorities.

The increase in Trinamul’s vote share by around 4 per cent, despite the BJP’s dramatic surge in Bengal, has largely been attributed to a further consolidation of minority votes in Mamata’s favour.

“Please understand that the help you have extended in Bengal, the blessings, the good wishes, the prayers you have extended, I am grateful to you on behalf of the whole family of Bengal,” she said.

“For togetherness, in every work of the society, for unity, for secularism, for the tradition of this nation, for the tradition of our state, for progress, you help out in every way…. If you are all with us, you will see how we fight every fight, and fight we shall…. Those who fear, perish, those who fight, taste success.”

Mamata, who has been alleging misuse of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and has accused the BJP of influencing the electoral outcome in the general election through “high technology programming” of the machines, brought up the subject again.

“Do not fear, the promptness with which they captured EVMs, with the same promptness they will have to exit,” she said.

Mamata interpreted the spells of rain during the event as a sign from above. “The rain that we see now is a blessing upon you…. This rain is of peace upon you, this rain brings the message that even the sky is with you…. This Id will bring a new dawn to your lives, nobody can stop it. If somebody tries to stop it, there will be grief for them. I am telling you this,” she said.

The chief minister promised “justice for humanity” and underscored the significance of the soil of Bengal, naming icons such as Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Nazrul Islam, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Raja Rammohun Roy.

“Victory to human beings, to humanity…. Jai Hind, Joy Bangla, Jay Bharat,” she concluded.