Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday expressed love for all languages while strongly voicing dissent against the attacks on Kashmiris and against all divisive voices.
"We love all languages, religion, culture as we don't believe in divisive politics. We don't have such mindset," Banerjee said during a celebration of International Mother Language Day.
She said that one cannot ask a Rajasthani or a Punjabi residing in the state, not to speak in their own mother tongue. The entire nation will be at "peace" if all the citizens spanning from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and all corners of the country will be at ease.
Referring to a case of assault on a Kashmiri shawl seller in Nadia district after the Pulwama attack, she said: "Can we ask a Kashmiri shawl seller not to come? I believe that action should be taken if such incidents happen. I don't believe in the theory that a section of people can take law in their stride by deciding who will stay and who will not."
Banerjee expressed shock regarding a group of people 'daring to approach a Kashmiri doctor's house who had spent 20 years in the city and ask him to leave'.
The incident happened in Kolkata's Tiljala area.
Indirectly hitting out at the BJP-led Central government she said: "Who are these people and how much power do they have? I will tell the people of this political party, who wants to divide the nation, that my mother tongue does not teach us hatred."
Also, if someone speaks up they are being labelled as 'in favour of India' or 'in favour of Pakistan'. Now everything starting from language, religion, food etc. is being dictated, she alleged.
"We want united India. I do not hate these people who are spreading communal violence but it burns my heart as these things are unacceptable. I did not speak these things to hurt anybody's sentiments," Banerjee said.
The Chief Minister proudly said that West Bengal is the land that teaches respect for all languages as people grow up learning that one should not spread hatred.
She pointed out that her government had given official status to Rajbanshi, Ol Chiki, Urdu and other languages so that everyone can work freely.