BJP flaunts armed kids & DJs at Ram Navami rallies
Kolkata: When BJP tried to make its presence felt through rallies by brandishing arms on the occasion of Ram Navami on Sunday, Trinamool Congress chose it as a platform to spread a message of peace and harmony. The state witnessed dozens of rallies taken out by BJP and its affiliated organisations in various parts, where party activists marched down the streets brandishing weapons on Ram Navami, thereby defying the state government's ban on the open display of weapons.
Five police personnel were injured in the Arsha police station area of Purulia district on Sunday after clashes broke out between two groups over a Ram Navami rally. Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee reacted sharply to the open display of weapons by the BJP leaders and said that they were misinterpreting the concept of Lord Rama. "In the name of observing Ram Navami, BJP leaders are using DJs to play loud music and showing weapons. They are bringing a culture which was never seen in the state earlier. Organising rallies with arms in the name of Ram Navami does not show respect to Lord Ram, whom we always worship," Chatterjee maintained.
What was more shocking in the rallies of BJP and its affiliated organisations, was that they engaged minor boys in districts like Hooghly and Purulia and they were given weapons in their hands. The incident triggered sharp criticism from Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who condemned the incident. She said that this is strictly against the law. "Those who have engaged these children in the rallies and gave them arms, have flouted the constitution of our country," she said.
Following the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, leaders, including MLAs, took part in rallies held mainly with an aim to spread a message of peace and harmony among people, instead of brandishing arms that according to psychologists, "leaves an adverse effect" on people, mainly the children. Starting from Howrah to Birbhum, Trinamool Congress leaders were found heading the peaceful rallies, in which people were found singing religious songs while walking in the procession.
The party workers and common people who took part in the rallies, were found throwing flower petals on people standing on both sides of the road, to mark the auspicious moment of Ram Navami, instead of brandishing swords. Asish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister and MLA from Rampurhat in Birbhum district, headed the procession that was organised on the eve of Ram Navami in his constituency. He performed arati in front of an idol of Ram.
Chandranath Sinha, the state Fisheries minister, MLA from Bolpur and Birbhum district president of Trinamool Congress, also took part in processions on Ram Navami. Similarly, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the minister of state for the Youth Services and Sports department, was found taking part in a procession that was organised in North Howrah. Many of the frontline leaders of BJP, including state president Dilip Ghosh and president of the women wing Locket Chatterjee, were seen taking part in rallies with weapons.