“It requires sacrifice, dedication, devotion, discipline, control”
Displaying placards and taking photographs do not constitute a movement, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the West Bengal Assembly on Wednesday, in an obvious reference to recent instances of Left Front and Congress MLAs holding placards in the House, protesting against the Trinamool Congress government’s handling of various issues.
Ms. Banerjee’s remark was directed at these two Opposition groups who chose to stay away from the closing ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the State Assembly that she was addressing.
“I have participated in many movements in my life. No one has organised more movements than I [have]. I have been [participating] in movements for 35 years and have even been beaten up in the process. A movement is a continuous process...it requires sacrifice, dedication, devotion, discipline, control,” the Chief Minister told the Assembly.
Referring to the police firing at Youth Congress supporters on July 21, 1993 in the city, Ms. Banerjee said: “Thirteen youths were killed and 100 were injured before me.”
Referring to her 26- day hunger strike in the city during the movement against land acquisition in Singur, Ms. Banerjee said she recalled that not too many had come to support her then, but former Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi visited her twice.
“After a long time, the change which was brought about after the Maa Mati Manush government (Trinamool Congress’ government) came to power has resulted in a change in the democratic process in the State Assembly,” Ms. Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister said change in democracy is always “colourful” as it is brought about by the people. The Assembly is the place where members can raise issues relating to the people, she added, while calling for “the awakening of democracy”.