West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that no force could divide the country, emphasising that people of all religions, castes, and creeds would remain united as a collective expression of love for the motherland.
Banerjee made these remarks during the inaugural session of the 29th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), asserting the enduring unity of the nation.
Responding to a statement by Trinamool Congress MP and actor Shatrughan Sinha, who urged good people to enter politics, Banerjee echoed the sentiment.
"Shatrughan Sinha Ji was saying that we should not be afraid of anyone. Yes, we should be afraid of none; no power can divide us. All the religions, castes, and creeds will stay united, as all of us love the country," the chief minister said.
Banerjee, without naming anyone, emphasised the importance of continuing the ideological struggle.
The inaugural session featured prominent figures such as superstar Salman Khan, actors Anil Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, and West Bengal's newly appointed brand ambassador Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian cricket captain.
During the programme, Sinha stressed the need for "good people" to engage in politics, highlighting the importance of preventing individuals with ill intentions from holding power.
He remarked: "We want good people to join politics. Because if good people don’t join politics, then we should be ready to be governed by the bad people." Bhatt lauded Banerjee and said she has been gambling on togetherness and humanity.
"Mamata Ji, you are gambling on humanity, togetherness and love all the time. More power to you. Love is the only revenge. And for us, we filmmakers, our camera, our stories, our actors are only tools to break the chains of division," the veteran filmmaker said.
Banerjee was seen shaking a leg alongside Bollywood celebrities Khan, Sinha, Bhatt, and Kapoor as they enthusiastically grooved to the rhythm of the KIFF theme song.
The KIFF, scheduled from December 5 to 12 across 23 venues in the city, will showcase a total of 219 movies from 39 countries.
Spain will be the festival's focus country and the festival will feature six contemporary works from the Spanish cinema.
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