Mamata rues being stopped from attending Chicago event in memory of Swamiji's speech

Mamata rues being stopped from attending Chicago event in memory of Swamijis speech

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she had been prevented from attending a function in Chicago to commemorate the

125th year of Swami Vivekananda's address before the World Parliament of Religions by some "unholy conspirators".

"I felt bad and was hurt. I know that some unholy conspirators did not want me to attend the meeting. They had threatened Ramakrishna Mission as well," she said while addressing a gathering at Belur Math on Tuesday afternoon.

Banerjee was scheduled to address a meeting at Chicago in August on the invitation of the Vedanta Centre, a branch unit of Ramakrishna Mission.

The state government will create Vivekananda Chair at the Ramakrishna Mission Educational Research Institute, formerly known as Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University and gave Rs 10 crore for Vivek Tirtha, the value education centre that is coming up at New Town.

Banerjee said some forces are trying to interpret Hinduism by creating division.

"There are some who are trying to dictate what food habit we should follow or what dress we should put on. This is ridiculous. We have Swami Vivekananda and will not listen to the neo-interpretations," the Chief Minister said.

Quoting Swamiji's first speech at the Parliament of Religions where he said "We believe not only in universal tolerance but we accept all religions as true," she said this is Swamiji's philosophy and this is Bengal.

She said to become a leader one must learn to sacrifice for the people. She felt that more and more students should be brought under Swamiji's umbrella.

"Swamiji is our leader and he can show the path," she said, adding that steps should be taken to ensure that fanaticism and sectarianism do not affect the society. She urged people to follow the path of Swami Vivekananda.

The Chief Minister said tolerance is the biggest gift of Hindu religion. "This religion is humanism," she said.

She said Swamiji had wanted all boys and girls to be fearless. "If there is any weakness in the world, it is sin, it is death," she quoted the words of Swamiji, who had spread the message of love, hope and tolerance.

Many people blew conch shells on Tuesday afternoon, to mark the beginning of the Parliament of Religions in 1893. Swamiji had delivered six lectures at the Parliament. In state-run, sponsored and aided schools, functions were held to commemorate 125 years of Swamiji's speech.

The state government will also observe Harmony week from September 12 to 19.

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