August 15 is the most important day: Mamata
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said Independence Day is the most historic, revered and important day which cannot be compared with any other ordinary day.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi equated August 15 with August 5 during the 'bhumi pujan' ceremony in Ayodhya on Wednesday, Banerjee, without making any direct reference, said so in the context of August 15 Independence Day celebrations this year, that is expected to be subdued due to the ongoing pandemic which makes social distancing mandatory.
The Chief Minister said: "Independence Day to us is the most important day. It's historic, memorable and democratic, no other day can be compared with August 15."
"Who wants to live without freedom? This day (August 15) to us is most revered and unforgettable. Its significance cannot be compared with any other day. In all aspects, Independence Day is the most important day in our lives," she said while addressing a Press conference at Nabanna Sabhaghar after holding the Cabinet meeting.
On the day when the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the Ram Mandir on Wednesday, the Chief Minister had appealed for preserving the country's age-old legacy of unity in diversity.
In a tweet, she had stated: "Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan. Our country has always upheld the age-old legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!"
Banerjee urged people to hoist flags at their respective houses as major gatherings were restricted in the wake of COVID-19. She further added that this year, the Independence Day programme at Red Road will be organised in a small way. Besides hoisting the national flag, there will be felicitation of COVID-19 warriors following the norms of physical distancing. In connection with the statewide twice-a-week complete lockdown, she said it is being imposed keeping the dates of certain festivals in mind including Janmasthami and the Parsi New Year in August.
Banerjee has further stated that district authorities are now empowered to impose lockdown locally. She said it has to be imposed wherever necessary but the attempt should be to bring small areas under containment zones so that residents of a particular area do not face any inconvenience. At the same time, local lockdown should be of two days instead of seven days at a stretch.