VHP to organise monks, priests to enforce ban on cow sale for slaughter in Bengal

Among the agitation programmes planned is a gherao of the state secretariat by the monks and priests.

kolkata Updated: Jul 15, 2017 09:02 IST
VHP,Mahajati Sadan,Monks
A section of the audience at the VHP-sponsored meeting at Mahajati Sadan on Thursday.(Samir Jana)

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) will organise Hindu monks, heads of temples and religious organisations in Bengal to mount pressure on the Mamata Banerjee government so that the Centre’s ban on cow sale for slaughter can be enforced in the state.

As part of the agitation, the monks and heads of these organisations will take out a procession to the state secretariat in Howrah and gherao it.

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Incidentally, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the cattle trade rules, which several states refused to implement, would not come into effect. The Centre would revise the rules by end August after considering the objections.

Mahajati Sadan that was built soon after Independence did not witness such a gathering in recent decades. (Samir Jana)

The announcement was made by Sachindra Nath Sinha, organising secretary of the VHP in Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and the Andaman islands at a well-attended meeting of the monks in Kolkata on Thursday. About 50 monks, priests of various temples and officials of outfits such as Bharat Sevashram Sangha, an international organisation, attended the ‘Sant Sammelan’ held at the historic Mahajati Sadan auditorium in central Kolkata.

All the monks criticised the state government for the recent communal violence at Baduria and Basirhat. Many even accused the government of not being able to protect Hindus in Bengal. The graphic backdrop on the stage depicted a map of Bengal with most parts on fire.

“This Sant Sammelan has not been organised only because of the Basirhat violence. There will be more such meetings. Many monks from the districts wanted to come today but were scared of the repercussions. We expected that after 34 years of Left rule the situation would change. But it didn’t. This regime is more keen on securing minority votes,” alleged Sinha.

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Parmatmananda Giri, head of the famous Noapara Kali temple, said Hindus should defend themselves and learn to use weapons. “Saffron is the symbol of sacrifice. But sacrifice doesn’t mean giving away your life,” he said.

A Hindu organisation took out a rally in Bhawanipore, Kolkata on April 5, 2017 on the occasion of Ram Navami. Never were such scenes witnessed in Kolkata in the past several decades. (Samir Jana)

“I was present in Deganga during the riots (2010). Local Muslims told me that those who attacked Hindu homes came from outside. The inspector-in-charge of a police station told me that he and his men were asked not to carry firearms. The violence wouldn’t have spread had the police cracked down the moment it started,” said Swami Sharadatmananda, secretary of the Ramkrishna Satyananda Math at Alambazar.

Jishnu Basu, south Bengal secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also attended the meeting. “My parents came to West Bengal as refugees during the Bangladesh War. I fear that someday we all will have migrate to another state as refugees. The communal violence we have witnessed in several districts are part of a bigger plan,” said Basu.

An integral part of the Indian freedom movement, Mahajati Sadan possibly witnessed a meeting of this nature for the first time in decades.

During his tenure as Mayor of Calcutta, Subhas Chandra Bose planned the auditorium on Central Avenue and requested Rabindranath Tagore to lay the foundation stone in 1939. The project got stalled after Bose escaped from India to lead the Indian National Army. After Independence, Bengal’s first chief minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy completed the construction. He had to pass a special Act in the Bengal Assembly in view of the expenditure.

First Published: Jul 14, 2017 14:48 IST