Uphold Bengal’s tradition of communal amity: Mamata

Kolkata, Nov 2 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the people to continue upholding the state’s tradition of secularism and communal harmony during the coming festivities.

Addressing a public meeting in Jhargram in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, Banerjee thanked the people for maintaining communal harmony throughout the state during the festive season.

“I thank the people of all the religions living in Bengal to celebrate the festivities with peace, love and togetherness. Bengal has always been a pinnacle of secularism and we shall keep it that way,” Banerjee said.

Referring to the clash of dates this year between Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu festival in Bengal and Muharram, the occasion of mourning for the Muslims, she said it is only Bengal that can celebrate both the occasions with such poise and grace.

“Nowhere else in India such religious occasions of two different communities are observed with so much harmony. Bengalis always enjoy the occasions of festivity without caring about its religious origin,” she said.

Banerjee referred to some sporadic incidents of violence in the state as ‘exceptions’ and cautioned people of the ill effects of communal violence.

“People don’t want riots. Anyone who tries to spark communal tension, would be given stern punishment,” she said.

“I thank the people of Bengal for showing religious tolerance and maintaining an environment of peace and harmony in the state. I hope we will celebrate Chath-Puja, Christmas and other coming festivals too in the same mood,” the Chief Minister said.