Thousands of Sadhus and Sannyasis March Through Kolkata in "Virat Sant Swabhimaan Yatra" Protest Against Mamata Govt
Thousands of Sadhus and Sannyasis March Through Kolkata in

Kolkata: A massive protest rally, named the "Virat Sant Swabhimaan Yatra," swept through the streets of Kolkata, drawing thousands of sadhus and sannyasis. The demonstration was a response to remarks made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which were perceived as derogatory towards Hindu religious leaders and institutions. Organized by the Bangiya Sanyasi Samaj, with support from the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), the rally saw participation from various Hindu organizations, including ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission, and Bharat Sevashram Sangh.

Beginning at Bagbazar Nivedita Park and culminating at Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral home on Simla Street, the rally featured a procession of barefoot sadhus, accompanied by conch shell-blowing women and kirtan groups, symbolizing unity and determination. Among the participants were senior saints and monks such as Mahamandaleshwar Paramatmananda of Brahmamoyee Kalibari, Nirgunananda Brahmachari of Rishra Prem Mandir, and Jagadartihar Prabhu of ISKCON.

The protest was sparked by Mamata Banerjee's speech at an Arambagh rally, where she accused certain monks of being influenced by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders. This led to a defamation notice being issued by Kartik Maharaj (Swami Pradiptananda) of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha against Banerjee. Banerjee's comments also angered monks from Ramakrishna Mission and ISKCON, resulting in resentment among the Hindu community. Tensions further escalated when individuals purportedly linked to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) attacked a Ramakrishna Mission building in Siliguri.

The "Virat Sant Swabhimaan Yatra" witnessed a strong turnout of saffron-clad sadhus, devotees, and activists. As the procession wound through Kolkata's streets, including Girish Avenue and Shyambazar Five Point, participants chanted kirtans and blew conch shells, emphasizing spiritual and cultural solidarity. Leading saints condemned the TMC Government’s policies of alleged Muslim appeasement and expressed concerns about the safety of Bengali Hindus amidst perceived threats from Jihadi elements.

The rally reflects a growing discontent among Hindu communities in West Bengal towards Mamata Banerjee's administration. It is expected to influence the Hindu vote bank and challenge the TMC's stance on minority appeasement politics. The Kolkata rally is part of a series of protests across Southern Bengal, indicating widespread backlash against the TMC government's treatment of Hindu religious leaders and organizations. Overall, the "Virat Sant Swabhimaan Yatra" signifies a significant event, underscoring deep-seated discontent among Hindu communities in West Bengal.

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