BJP has sparked phobia among people of Kashmir, says Mamata
Kolkata: The BJP has created phobia among the people of Kashmir and anyone asking anything about the valley has been threatened, while the media has been forced to give a rosy picture of the area, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
She was addressing a gathering at Behala on Wednesday evening, on the eve of Independence Day.
Banerjee said: "I reiterate that the procedure which was followed to do away with Article 370 of the Indian Constitution giving special status to Kashmir, was wrong. The decision was implemented by using brute force. Instead, the Centre should have talked to the people and won their confidence."
"It is a major tragedy that on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day we do not know what has happened to the former Chief Ministers or how the people of the area are spending their days. This is not democracy," she maintained.
Stating that Bengal has taught people unity and integration, Banerjee added: "Bengal has produced the highest number of freedom fighters who had sacrificed their lives for future generations."
She said Bengal will be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the bicentenary of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. "When the entire country was rejoicing on August 15, 1947, Gandhiji was in Kolkata spreading the message of national integrity and peace and to ensure that no communal riot took place," she added.
Acknowledging the contribution of Raja Rammohan Roy and Vidyasagar, she said: "Raja Rammohan had fought to stop the evil practice of sati and Vidyasagar had introduced widow remarriage. Swami Vivekananda's speech at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 and Rabindranath's role to oppose the decision to partition Bengal in 1905 are remembered by the people of our country. Bengal has taught us to be responsible and uphold the message of love."
The Trinamool supremo mentioned that in the past eight years, remarkable development has taken place in Bengal, saying: "Anyone coming to the city from other cities or abroad appreciates the way both sides of VIP Road have been beautified."
Banerjee will hoist the National Flag at Red Road and take the guard of honour on Thursday morning on the 73rd Independence Day of India. She will also hand over police medals to awardees. Independence Day will be observed in all 341 blocks throughout the state.