Tens of thousands of people marched through Kolkata streets today, denouncing designs of communal forces. The massive rally, at the call of 17 Left parties, firmly asserted the secular democratic culture of West Bengal.
The rally, on the 22nd anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, gained particular importance on the backdrop of heightened activities of BJP and RSS in West Bengal. These forces are out to use the opportunity of anarchy and attack on democracy in the state for last three and half years. BJP president Amit Shah addressed a much trumpeted meeting in Kolkata recently, and tried to deepen the communal polarization. As a repercussion, minority fundamentalist forces are also trying to mobilize.
In this backdrop, 17 Left parties called upon the secular, democratic people of the state to come to streets to defend the long cherished legacy of communal unity in the state. The response was huge. The rally started from Mahajati Sadan, a place associated with memory of Subhash Chandra Bose and marched 6 km to reach Rabindra Sadan, the auditorium named after Rabindranath Tagore. Biman Bose, Chairman Left Front, and other senior Left leaders led the rally. It was a stream of humanity, adorned with red flags. Slogans were raised against communal forces. The most common refrains were: ‘ Beware Modi-Amit Shah/ Bengal does not tolerate divisive forces’ and ‘ Modi-Bhagawat Halla Bol’. Students and youth formed the largest part of the procession. Workers, large number of minority people including women , intellectuals participated in the rally.
In the concluding meeting, Left leaders vowed to continue the ideological-political battle against communal forces and build up class and mass struggle to effectively counter these forces.
Huge rallies were also organized in the districts.