Despite all efforts by local administration to foil the Sangh’s Makar Sankranti function in Kolkata, 4,000 people join the event from 314 places of the Metro city
Kolkata: Despite all efforts on the part of the local administration, allegedly on the instance of the state government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but timely intervention by the High Court, the RSS Makar Sankranti function was held at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on January 14. The Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat addressed the uniformed swayamsevaks as per the scheduled programme. Following High Court directives the gathering, however, was limited to 4,000 which included 1,848 swayamsevaks in uniforms and about 2,000 local people.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Mohan Bhagwat said the Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh continue to face difficulties because the Hindus in India are not united. “Such problems the world over would only be addressed if the Hindus in India are united,” he said appealing to the swayamsevaks to spare one third of their daily time for strengthening the Hindu society. “This organisation of Hindus is not opposed to anyone, it is for protection of the Hindutva and the life values of Bharat,” he said.
For about one week, the local administration kept on dilly dallying permission for the function citing security reasons, and forcing the local RSS unit to move the Kolkata High Court seeking intervention. The Court on January 13 granted permission for the function, turning down the police’s objections.
The preparations for the event were going on for several months. In fact, the tour of the Sarsanghachalak was fixed during March 2016. The local swayamsevaks decided to use the opportunity to expand the organisational base. Till the last year, the Sangh had work in 100 of the total 298 municipal wards of the Metro city. Hence, the swayamsevaks decided to expand the work in all the wards in the year 2016. This January 14 Makar Sankranti programme was basically aimed at boosting those organisational expansion efforts.
As part of the expansion drive, many activities were organised throughout the year. Apart from appointing Ward Pramukhs, the International Day of Yoga was observed in all the wards on June 21, 2016. On November 13, Shakha Diwas was observed and 212 Shakhas were held in the city on single day. These Shakhas were held on the grounds, temples, roofs of the houses, parking places or inside the houses. Besides these efforts, 111 workers of the city dedicated their full time from December 11 to 18 as Vistaraks for one week. They basically focussed in the wards where there was no Sangh work. This helped in starting the daily Shakhas at many places. Apart from daily Shakha, weekly Milans also began at some places. As a result, 249 Shakhas including 132 daily Shakhas and 117 weekly Milans, have been started in 212 wards.
For Makar Sankranti function, Bhukailash Ground in Khidiriapur area was finalised. The ground is owned by the local famous Shiv Mandir Trust. Application seeking permission for the event at the ground was moved timely before the administration. But the Kolkata Police, allegedly under pressure from the State government, did not take any action over the application. When the workers repeatedly met the officials, they said they would be informed at the “appropriate time”. When the matter was brought to the notice of the senior police officials, they stressed on changing the venue keeping in view the security reasons. When no permission was granted by the police, the local Sangh unit decided to knock the door of the High Court and sought permission for Brigade Parade Ground as alternative venue. The petition on the part of the Sangh was filed on January 9, which was heard on January 11 by the High Court. The Court directed the local police to reply to the Sangh within 24 hours. On January 12, the police refused permission for Khidirpur Ground citing security reasons and for Brigade Parade Ground also due to the arrangements of Gangasagar Mela. Since it was holiday on January 12, special hearing was held in the High Court on January 13 over the refusal of permission by the police. After hearing, the court granted permission for the event at Brigade Parade Ground fixing the number of
participants at 4,000.
The High court decision came at 3.00 pm on January 13 and the function was to be held at 2.00 pm next day. Within 22 hours the swayamsevaks made all arrangements including demarcations on the ground, dais as per the Z plus security, sound, light, etc. Finally, on January 14, the function began at right 2.00 pm and the Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat entered the ground at 3.00 pm. A total of 1,848 swayamsevaks in full uniform from 314 places and 2,000 local people participated in the function. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri V. Bhagaiah, Kshetra Sanghachalak Shri Ajay Kumar Nandi, Prant Sanghachalak Shri Atul Kumar and Mahanagar Sanghachalak Shri Sushil Kumar also shared the dais.
The Sangh Shakha in Kolkata was started in 1939 by Shri Guruji. Then Shri Balasaheb Deoras went there as Pracharak and strengthen the Sangh work. Since then the Sangh work is gradually growing in the city. n