Ahead Of 2021 Polls, Mamata Announces Houses And Monthly Stipend For Poor Hindu Priests
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced various measures for poor Hindu priests, Hindi speaking populace, Dalits and other backward classes and tribal populace in the state.
As the West Bengal elections draw closer, the government that has else been vocally hailing its exclusive Bangla identity, and its reign been characterised majorly by Muslim appeasement is all set to woo Hindu and tribal voters.
Banerjee announced a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000 and houses for poor Hindu priests. “Many of them (priests) are very poor. They met me several times to seek help. We have given the priests a plot of land at Kolaghat for setting up a place for pilgrims. Priests who do not have houses will be given the same under the state’s rural housing scheme,” Banerjee said at a press conference in the state secretariat, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“The government will prepare a map of places of worship of all religions. The places of worship in poor state will be renovated and preserved," she added.
Clarifying that this help was not exclusively being provided for Hindu priests, Banerjee added that clerics from other religions would be helped as well. According to her own statement, the state Wakf board already gives a stipend to Imams of the mosques.
She also announced that the state will take over all the places of worship that have no definite owner or trustee.
A Hindi academy run by 'prominent Hindi speaking people' of the state and headed by former TMC Rajya Sabha member, newspaper editor Vivek Gupta was announced by Banerjee. Even as various non-Hindi speaking states saw 'protests' and claimed Hindi Diwas celebrations as linguistic chauvinism, the Trinamool Congress in Bengal announced its all new Hindi Cell.
In an expression of new found fondness for the cultural heritage of the tribal pockets of the state that Banerjee needs to reclaim from the BJP, she announced the setting up of academies for members of the tribal community and Dalits "to help them preserve and spread their culture and heritage.” This when the state has seen murders of numerous Dalits and Tribals for supporting the BJP in recent times.
The rise of the national party as a natural choice of the backward, tribal and indigenous communities, and the subalterns in Bengal that dented the TMC's seat count in a significant manner bringing its seats down to 22 from 34, all seem to have stirred this new wave of cultural appeasement.
Mention was also made of Bishnupur and the Matua community - both of which have slanted towards the BJP last election. “Bishnupur was a seat of learning centuries ago and the local museum has an archive of more than 3000 handwritten scrolls on various subjects including Vaishnav literature. The state government will digitize these for preservation and research,” she said, as quoted.
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