West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday lashed against the Central goverment for rejecting the tableau proposed by her government for the Republic Day parade in Delhi, wondering fi the decision was prompted by its theme of “unity is harmony”.
“Over the last three years, our tableaux won the first prize at Republic Day parade in two years. In 2015, our tableaux on Kanyashree was not allowed. This year our theme was ‘Ekotai Sampriti’ (unity is harmony). Was that the reason why our tableaux was rejected?” she said.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Kolkata Christmas Festival on Park Street, Banerjee stressed on the importance of unity, harmony and humanism.
“Festivals cannot be categorised into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Prophet Mohammed, Jesus Christ – everyone preached about humanism. They believed in spirit of brotherhood. Religion stands for humanism. Equality and harmony are our guiding motto,” she said.
Banerjee said while everybody had the right to follow their own religion, festivals are for everybody.
“Be it Christmas, Eid or Durga Pujo – we celebrate all festivals with equal fervour.
“We believe in Sarva Dharma Samannaya. We believe in universal humanism. I attend the festivals of all religions. Human body is composed of multiple organs, working in harmony. Society cannot function without all,” she said.
Archbishop Thomas D’Souza, Bishop Ashok Biswas, representatives from various Christian organisations and schools were present at the inauguration of the festival, which would continue till December 30 at Allen Park.
Christmas carols, live music, theme lighting, special choir performances and arrangements of delectable food are part of the festivities.