Politics

'Hindu Dharma is for All': Why Mamata Banerjee's Address on Appeasement Politics May Have an AAP Link

'Hindu Dharma is for All': Why Mamata Banerjee's Address on Appeasement Politics May Have an AAP Link

Kolkata: Countering Opposition allegations of 'appeasement politics', West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday explained that her stand is to appease 'humanity'.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion of 125th Birth Anniversary of Swami Pranavananda 2020–Bharat Sevashram Sangha at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Mamata said, "There are people who allege that I appease Muslims. But today I would like to say that I appease humanity."

Hinting at divisive politics, she said, “Hindu dharma is for all. It is not restricted to one person. It’s ‘sarbojanin’. Our dharma teaches us to open door for all without any condition and discrimination. Our dharma is not to divide and rule. Our Dharma should be to help the poor and needy. Our dharma is humanity and there is no dharma above it. This is what we learnt from Swami Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.”

Hitting out at the BJP, she said, “I feel sad when I see there are people who are trying to spread a strange idea of a new dharma. This strange idea of new dharma is not only trying to dominate its view on people but also stressing that who will stay or who will not stay. This strange idea of new dharma is stressing that what should we believe and what should we not believe. I think only thing which we should believe is love and humanity. A dharma is incomplete if it does not teach us humanity, tolerance and guidance to walk on the right path.”

“I feel proud that organizations like Bharat Sevashram and Ram Krishna Mission working for the people on ground. I feel proud that they are spreading the message of humanity and brotherhood while working for the needy and poor from the ground,” she added.

While sharing why she could not make it to Chicago to join Swami Vivekananda’s event, Mamata said, “Though I don’t want to but I feel that I must share this today. I really wanted to visit Chicago on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech day but the organizer later withdrew the invite. I known they were under pressure to take that decision. But today I would like to tell those who did this – can they stop me from visiting Ram Krishna Mission or any other missions.”

In September 2018, Mamata wanted to go to Chicago but she could not make it because her invite was withdrawn by the organizer. “I wanted to go to Chicago but I could make it due unholy conspiracy hatched by certain people,” then Mamata had said.

Banerjee's talk on 'Hindu dharma for all' comes close on the heels of the Aam Aadmi Party announcing that they would be conducting monthly "Sundar Kand" events to commemorate Lord Hanuman.

Speaking to News18, Saurabh Bhardwaj, who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Greater Kailash constituency, said that the initiative was meant to reclaim the toxic idea of 'Hindutva' propagated by the Bharatiya Janata Party and instead celebrate the warmth of Hinduism.

"The BJP thinks that only they have the moral authority over Hinduism and that all other Hindus who believe in secularism are anti-national", Bhardwaj said in a telephonic interview. "We want to change this view of Hinduism in Delhi," he added.

On Tuesdays, followers of Hanuman and Hindus in general observe fasts or curtail non-vegetarian food and alcohol as a mark of their respect for the deity. The day also coincided with the day election results 2020 were announced, making Tuesday even more special for AAP.