In an healthy democracy it is expected that people belonging to all the positions on the political spectrum will be allowed to speak freely, within the restrictions laid down by the Constitution. But it seems like the government of West Bengal don’t want the to have a platform for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This time the West Bengal Government has tried to stop a seminar on Sister Nivedita which the RSS supremo, Mohan Bhagwat was supposed to attend. The Governor of West Bengal, Keshari Nath Tripathi was also supposed to be present at the event. The event which is scheduled for a date in early October has been canceled by the State Government owned auditorium, Mahajati Sadan.
Rantideb Sengupta the General Secretary of the Sister Nivedita Mission trust said to a private media house “By July we completed all formalities and informed the police about the VIP movement. Suddenly, on August 31, the auditorium told us our booking could be cancelled and gave several vague reasons, finally asking us to obtain a no-objection certificate from the police. This NOC was never required before but we approached police anyway. The authorities called us on September 1st and said the booking was cancelled for maintenance.”
“We’ll go ahead with the event for sure. Once we finalize the new venue, it will be informed to the Governor and Bhagwat,” Sengupta further added.
According to some sources even though the content of the seminar is not communal, the State Administration is concerned over the timing of the event. As the event falls in early October just after Vijyadashami and Muhharam, which falls on 30th September and 1st October respectively, and the fact that communal clashes broke out around the state during the same period last year makes the administration a bit more careful.
A section of the Hindu community is angry with the Government’s decision for stopping Durga Idol immersion on the Vijyadashami. The saffron groups have already started preparations to celebrate the Shastra puja (weapon worship) on a huge scale on Vijyadashami in West Bengal this year. An administrative officer said “In case clashes break out again, Bhagwat’s presence in the state will only worsen the situation.”
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also expressed concerns over the scheduled events of the Saffron Camps during the Late September, early October period when she said “Weapons are best suited in the hands of Maa Durga. Just be careful so that there is no attempt to create tension on the Bijoya Dashami day in the name of sashtra puja, or procession with arms.”
This is not the first time the West Bengal Government has tried to stop an event being attended by the RSS Chief. Earlier this year in January the Government denied permission of an event being organized by the RSS. Back then the RSS later got the permission from the High Court.