Kolkata: Refuting the charge that she “appeases Muslims”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her principle is to “appease humanity”.
In her address at a function celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Bharat Sevashram Sangha founder Swami Pranavananda at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Banerjee said: “Some people say I appease Muslims. No, I don’t. I would like to say today that I appease humanity.”
Without naming the BJP, Banerjee made a veiled attack at the saffron outfit, saying: “It pains me when I see there are those trying to spread a strange idea of a new (Hindu) dharma (religion).
“This peculiar concept about Hinduism not only tries to foist its views on people but also tries to underscore who will stay or who won’t stay (in the country). They want to impose what we should believe and what we shouldn’t.
“I think we should only believe in love and humanity. A dharma (religion) is incomplete if it does not teach us humanity, tolerance and guidance to walk on the right path.”
Banerjee said Hindu religion is universal, for all, inclusive. “It teaches us to open our door for all unconditionally and sans any discrimination. It is not about any divide and rule, but it is about helping the poor and needy. This is what we learnt from Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.”
The Chief Minister said she was prevented from going to Chicago in 2018 to attend a celebration on the 125th anniversary of the speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions. “The organisers withdrew the invite. I didn’t tell them anything as I knew they were under pressure and forced to take that decision.
“But those who did that can they stop me from visiting Ram Krishna Mission or any other missions?” she asked.