Practice humanity above religion, says Mamata
Kolkata: The world's first museum dedicated to the life and times of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 16th-century proponent of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu museum at Bagbazar, without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP, Banerjee said despite their futile attempts to tag her as anti-Hindu, there have been vast developmental works carried out in pilgrimage sites in Bengal.
"Some people lecture me on my religion and raise questions. I urge them to accept my challenge and conduct development works in Hindu pilgrimages. They try to attach an anti-Hindu tag against me. We are setting up a skywalk at Kalighat temple similar to Dakshineswar. The Dudhpukur at Tarapith has been renovated. Major development works have been undertaken in other pilgrimage spots like Bakreshwar, Kankalitala, Durgeshnandini temple and Ganga Sagar."
Banerjee further added: "Roads have been constructed in Ganga Sagar and the temple has been given a major facelift. So many development works have taken place but some people are unable to see them. Those who cannot see them must stop trying to malign me and start looking at themselves."
She also maintained: "Some people in Delhi say that I do not allow Durga Puja to take place in the state. I would like to say that lakhs of Durga Pujas are organised here. It has been turned into a big carnival by our government. What have you done? If someone asks me about my religion, I would say that I believe in humanism what Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has preached us. He taught us to love mankind. Humanity knows no religion. There are many who try to malign me at the slightest opportunity. I challenge them to chant Sanskrit hymns as I do. Do I have to prove my religion at Jagannath temple in Puri? I do not need a certificate on my religion from anybody."
During the programme, the Chief Minister also said that the museum set up by the Gaudiya Mission will be included in the tourism map of the state. The Bengal government would also consider the proposal to make it a heritage site.
"The state government has already provided Rs 1.37 crore for the setting up of the museum. North Kolkata MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay will provide Rs 50 lakh from his MPLAD fund for further development. Our government will provide another Rs 50 lakh. I would ask the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to help the Gaudiya Mission with Rs 70-80 lakh to buy another building where the museum has come up," Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that the KMC will set up a gate at the entrance and convert it into a tourist hub. She further added that her government has cleared 700 acre of land to ISKCON for setting up a world-class temple.
"We have learnt to move forward with people belonging to different religions. Bengal is the land of Sri Chaitanya, Swami Vivekananda, Maa Sarada. They all have preached us humanity and love for mankind. They always stood for unity and preached the same," she maintained.