'Religion is individual, festival is for all'
Kolkata: On the eve of Mahalaya, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee kick-started her Durga Puja inauguration schedule with Hatibagan Sarbojonin Durgotsav at around 4.30 pm followed by Chaltabagan and Gariahat's Hindusthan Club.
At a time when the country is reeling under larger-than-life issues, the Chief Minister touched upon a number of subjects that hold immense importance in the given political perspective of not only Bengal but India as a whole.
"Religion is individual. Festival is for all. I'll not light the lamp and do Chandi Paath as it's still Pitri Paksha today. May Durga Puja bring in peace and prosperity for all. Any attempt to politicise this festival, foment trouble should be thwarted. Every household, every locality take part in the Durga Puja celebrations. However, there may be some elements who might try to use the occasion to spread rumours and misinformation. Please be on guard against them."
She also expressed her concern over the jewellery workers whose business has come to a standstill because of the mishap involving the East-West Metro construction work. Banerjee informed that talks are on to rehabilitate them.
This year Chaltabagan Lohapatty's theme is 'Panchajanya' sailboat or 'Sonar Tori'. Lord Krishna blew his conch 'Panchajanya' to mark the conclusion of the Kurukshetra war and announce peace.
The Chief Minister did not light the lamp but placed flowers on it, marking the inauguration.
Later, she went to inaugurate the Hindusthan Club Durgotsav and said: "Be careful about possible rumours and do not indulge in them." She also expressed her concern regarding the weather forecast. While talking about flood problems in Malda, Murshidabad and West Midnapore, the Chief Minister added that there are thousands of government employees who cannot take leaves during Durga Puja and have to be on their toes in case of any emergency. "Several officers seek leaves but we cannot grant them. There are a number of departments which are related to the emergency services, and they have to remain active especially during the festive season," said Banerjee.
On Saturday, Banerjee is scheduled to inaugurate Pujas of Naktala Udayan Sangha, Babubagan Sarbojonin, Jodhpur Park, 95 Pally and Chetla Agrani. She will also unveil the Durga Puja special edition of Jago Bangla at Nazrul Mancha.
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