Modi vs Mamata over Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Bharat Sevashram: Explained | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Modi vs Mamata over Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Bharat Sevashram: Explained

May 19, 2024 07:27 PM IST

Mamata Banerjee alleged that many monks in Bengal have been working for the BJP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of abusing organisations like ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha and said Mamata abused them under pressure from the Muslim vote bank.

Narendra Modi slammed Mamata Banerjee for insulting Hindu organisations like ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram.
Narendra Modi slammed Mamata Banerjee for insulting Hindu organisations like ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram.

"The TMC, which has intimidated and threatened the people of Bengal during elections, has crossed all limits this time. Today, in the country and the world, ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are known for service and morality, but the chief minister of Bengal is openly threatening them from an open platform...They are threatening them just to appease their vote bank," Modi said.

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What is the row? What did Mamata say about ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram?

At an election campaign on Saturday, Mamata Banerjee accused ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram of acting under instructions coming from New Delhi. Mamata said there is a WhatsApp group of the followers of the Ramakrishna Mission. "Why will monks get involved in this? Everyone respects Ramakrishna Mission. I know that the monks of Ramakrishna Mission do not vote. Then why do you tell others to vote for the BJP? Not everyone but some people (monks) are violating," Mamata said.

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"I used to respect Bharat Sevashram Sangha. But I have been hearing the name of one Kartik Maharaj who said he will not allow Trinamool agent at the booth. I don't consider him as a monk because he is directly in politics...I have identified people who are doing this," Mamata said.

 

Mamata said her government helped Ramakrishna Mission, and ISKCON and gave them land.

While Narendra Modi took up the issue on Sunday, BJP's Amit Malviya said Bharat Sevashram Sangh would approach the high court against Mamata's statement for maligning Hindu saints. Kartik Maharaj who was named by Mamata said he never said anything on Trinamool agents.

Bharat Sevashram Sangha is a Hindu religious and spiritual organisation founded in 1917 by Swami Pranavananda Maharaj.

ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is a Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation.

Ramakrishna Mission is a spiritual organisation founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1897 named after his spiritual guru Ramakrishna.

Ramakrishna Mission, Bharat Sevashram Sangha react

A senior monk at Ramakrishna Mission's headquarters at Belur told PTI, "We are pained and anguished at the insinuations... we do not wish to be implicated in any controversy... thousands of visitors from all walks of life come to our premises to pray and meditate, including the PM and the CM... everyone is same for us."

A spokesperson of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha said, "From cyclones to COVID, we have always rushed to the aid of the affected in far flung areas. We are a 107-year-old organisation and our monks run charitable health clinics, hospitals and educational institutions across the country. Neither had we ever been involved in politics nor we will be in the future."

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