Expressing anguish after being called names by a BJP leader, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she “feels ashamed of being born in India.”
The Chief Minister said only West Bengal can fight and save the country from the prevailing "intolerance" and "divisive" politics and cannot be silenced by "threat and intimidation" by the BJP.
“I feel ashamed of being born in India….all states can be silenced but Bengal will not be silenced, no matter how much fear you create Delhi,” Mamata said in reference to the BJP-ruled Centre.
"The tactics of threat and intimidation cannot silence me. Other states like Bihar, Maharashtra may be silent but Bengal will not stop its fight and protest, whatever be the situation. Only West Bengal can fight against this communal politics and intolerance and save the country," she said while speaking at a meeting here on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.
Reacting to untoward remarks made against her by a BJP leader last month, she said "I have been even called an eunuch. I want justice. This is a shame. I may be a very bad person, but I still have the right to lead a respectable life. I want justice from the
West Bengal BJP committee member Shyamapada Mondal had on April 30 described Banerjee a eunuch while addressing a party meeting at Chandrakona in West Midnapore district, accusing her of practising the politics of appeasement.
"Mamata Banerjee is practising the politics of appeasement and indulging in theatrics. We cannot understand whether Mamata Banerjee is a man or a woman. I'd say she has become a 'hijra' (eunuch)," Mondal had said at a gathering of Bhartiya Janata Party workers.
Referring to Mondal’s comment, Banerjee said, “Looking at the country it seems like a snake is spitting venom. There are fake accounts on social media that are asking the religion. I was called a hijra (eunuch). Where has this courage come from. There is hooliganism in the name of religion.”
Challenging the BJP to put her in jail, Banerjee said that she will continue her fight against them (the BJP) and even go to jail. She will not leave the fight and will protest till the end.
In a veiled reference to 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat, she said "Butchers are born in slaughter houses, not the eunuch philosophers."
"I am in politics but it does not give me the right to dictate what others will eat or not. This is not the real religion. Religion does not teach us to do politics over it or kill people. Religion means faith, peace, love and brotherhood," she said.
Criticising the politics over beef and cow slaughter, she said threat and intimidation cannot silence her against intolerance.