Here is a short video clip featuring the 'ASHRU' exhibition and inauguration programme at the Thakurnagar Matua Mahamela.
Hindu Samhati has successfully organised at Thakurnagar, 24 Parganas (N), West Bengal (WB) the Bengali version of FACT's (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) exhibition 'Ashru' (tears) on the persecution of minorities in Bangladesh.
The exhibition has been put up in the fair ground of the annual gathering of the members of the Matua community who converge from all over India in festivities at Thakurnagar to honour the cherished memory of their Leader and Guru the great social reformer Sri Sri Harichand Thakur. The exhibition was inaugurated on 1st April 2008 by Shri Keshav Rao Dikshit senior Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Shri Tathagata Roy – Member BJP National Executive, Shri Ratneshwar Sarkar – General Secretary, All India Refugee Front and Shri Tapan Kumar Ghosh – Convenor, Hindu Samhati and the chief organizer of the exhibition spoke on the occasion. Shri P.Veeru Chaudhary, national coordinator of FACT was also present on the occasion.
The exhibition 'pandal' was tastefully decorated with panels depicting graphically the atrocities committed on the Hindus/Buddhists and others by Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists in Bangladesh. With striking captions the selected photographs bring out the condition of extreme insecurity that Hindu women/children/places of worship etc suffer from in Bangladesh, especially after the radicalization of its polity. Over-fifty thousand people have visited the exhibition already, the members of the Matua community who gather for this annual fair could well-relate to the exhibition because they have themselves been victims of displacement and these very atrocities (especially in the massive Hindu exodus of the years 1947-48, 1951, 1964, 1971 and 1992 from the erstwhile East Pakistan and later Bangladesh, due to unspeakable Islamic atrocities). As a matter of fact, in the anti Hindu pogrom in Bangladesh in 2001 (upon which theme this exhibition is based), many of the victims were actually across-the-border relatives and extended family members of the Matua's of West Bengal.
The response has been overwhelming – in six days about 50000 viewers visited the exhibition, with hundreds seeking to establish contact with the organizers. A stall of Nationalist/Hindu literature has also been put up containing informative booklets on the condition of Hindus in WB/India, on the dubiousness of secularism, duplicity of intellectuals, betrayal of Hindus by politicians. Its to be noted that the district where the exhibition is being held is one of those heavily affected by Islamic infiltration from across the border.
The uniqueness of this show is that for the first time an exhibition of international standing, highlighting the plight of persecuted Hindus, has been successfully organised in a district of West Bengal and has received massive and unstinted support from the local people. It is a timely reminder to all those who have been afflicted with the complacent secular malady of co-existence, that when Islamic fundamentalists get in power, they ring the death-knell of that very co-existence, tolerance and harmony. A legendary western historian had commented on societies dying not so much by aggression but by suicide – Hindu Samhati's exhibition starkly raises this question before the Hindus of India in general and of West Bengal in particular – whether they would prefer looking away and thus follow the suicidal path to extermination or would they turn around, consolidate, resist and survive?
That the Hindu Samhati and its disciplined and committed volunteers have indefatigably and single-handedly worked towards organizing this exhibition, raising with great difficulty resources on their own, mobilizing people, laying the exhibition speaks volume of their single-minded dedication to the cause.
Since most of our 'secular' Hindu-baiting media is purposely ignoring the event and 'secular' minority-appeasing politicians are taking umbrage at it being organised successfully, this is an appeal to all like-minded individuals/organizations/groups to give wide publicity to the event & support the issue and the efforts of the Hindu Samhati. It is imperative that a consolidated action be initiated towards protecting the eastern region of Bharat from further disintegration/division and onslaught of 'islamofacsism'. Hindu Samhati's efforts in organising this exhibition is definitely a major step towards that consolidation.
Here are the pix of our Exhibition and the Matua festival:
This is the location (follow the place mark within the red circle) and the yellow line to the right is the Bangladesh border.
Artist's impression of Sri Sri Harichand Thakur (1811-1877)
The Exhibition venue at Thakurnagar
From right: Sri Tapan Kumar Ghosh, Sri Keshav Rao Dikshit and others before the venue.
Sri Keshav Rao Dikshit inaugurating the exhibition by lighting the lamp before the picture of Sri Sri Harichand Thakur.
From left: Shri Jagdish Sarkar (Standing), noted Social Activist, (seated) Shri Mihir Nag, Jt. Convenor, Hindu Samhati, a local lady organiser and Shri Tapan Kumar Ghosh, with local volunteers.
Inaugeration programme of the Ashru exhibition - seated from the left are Shri Keshav R. Dikshit, Shri Tathagata Roy - noted Political Activist (centre) and Shri Tapan Kumar Ghosh (far right).
Shri Popuri Veeru Chaudhary, National Coordinator-FACT and Shri Tapan Kumar Ghosh, Convenor-Hindu Samhati, before the exhibition venue.
Crowds at the exhibiton
Does it rekindle some unpleasant memories? [About 90% of the Matua's in West Bengal are refugees from East Pakistan/Bangladesh, victims of successive waves of expulsion through the last six decades.]
Local Sadhus at the Exhibition
Young and old, at the exhibition.
Now the festival - The Sri Sri Harichand Thakur Janmatithi (Birthday) & the Mahabaruni Snan (holy bath):
The main gateway to the festival grounds.
And they came on foot...
Thronging the streets...
And praising 'HIS' name.
The multitude before the Temple.
The Mahabaruni Snan (Holy bath) at the 'Kamna Sagar' lake.
Pilgrims returning from the Holy bath.
The 'Langar' or the communal dining place.
The main Temple at Thakurnagar.
Hindu Samhati and FACT (New Delhi) heartily thanks all their organisers, members, volunteers and the local people and pilgrims at Thakurnagar, whose ceaseless efforts and enthusiastic participation made this exhibition a resounding success. We also extend our heartiest regards to the online community of our readers - may you receive as much satisfaction in viewing this exhibition report as we got in organising it.
If you want to view the full photo gallery of the festival and exhibition, click the link below:
Kolkata, April 02
Widespread violence — bordering on the communal — shook parts of North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday after a mysterious fire in a madrasa in Naupara, Barasat sparked allegations of arson.
Demonstrators choked roads, attacked police vehicles and also manhandled senior police officers who were at the spot to rein in the mob. Till reports last came in, a strong contingent, including columns of the Rapid Action force, was manning areas which were still smarting from tension.
The fire took place in the Kharezi madrasa in ward 22 of the Barasat municipality. Locals said the mosque is over 100 years old. Just before the early morning prayers, dissenters said, certain miscreants entered the madrasa and set it on fire. Local residents doused it, but by then several manuscripts and religious material had been burnt, they alleged.
Superintendent of Police, North 24 Parganas, Supratim Sarkar said: "It is difficult to say who is responsible for the fire but we have begun an inquiry. We must first keep the areas calm."
However, the news spread and so did the anger. Long stretches of Jessore Road and Taki Road were blocked in the morning. Later, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind leader Siddiqullah Chowdhury visited the spot, asking people to restrain themselves and at the same time demanding strict punishment for the guilty.
But by afternoon, the agitation had spilled over on the streets of Naupara, Amdanga, Madhyamgram, Basirhat, Beliaghata and Kahraibari. Protesters also tried to set fire to three police jeeps in Kadambachi. Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Barasat Mrinal Bhattacharya was also attacked.
Sources said the district administration might have got wind of the trouble in the morning, but reacted late. The agitators had become impatient by evening. The first police team reached Kadambachi More on Taki Road a little after 4 pm. It was the also the first to bear the brunt.
Agitators lobbed bricks and stones at the uniformed men, and the police, in turn, resorted to lathhicharge. They also fired two rounds in the air.
By evening, the force had swelled with RAF taking charge at several sensitive areas. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee also toured the affected areas and asked people to maintain harmony.