November 15, 2018
Bangla CM gifts a university to Thakurnagar on Boro Ma’s birth centenary
The Matua community has organised a grand function to observe the birth centenary of community’s matriarch Binapani Thakur, popularly known as Boro Ma, today.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended the function at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas, the traditional seat of the Matua community. The Matua Mahasangha is a social reformation movement which started in Bangladesh, and is now based in both Bangladesh and parts of Bangla.
Boro Ma and Mamata Banerjee have a lot of mutual respect for each other. Many members of the Matua community are among the Trinamool Congress MPs and MLAs.
Highlights of her speech:
I welcome everyone present here. People have assembled at Thakurnagar from Bangla, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh. I thank the Matua Maha Sangha for giving me the opportunity to participate in Boro Ma’s birth centenary celebrations. I wish her good health, happiness. Hope she keeps inspiring everyone.
The Matua Sangha is a movement, a voice for the poor, downtrodden, Namashudra, and those who are neglected. Guruchand Thakur, Pramod Thakur and Harichand Thakur had started this movement. PR Thakur had founded Thakurnagar, the first refugee colony. Boro Ma is now heading this Sangha.
We have already set up a college named after PR Thakur. We have set up Matua Sangha Bikash Parshad and Namashudra Development Parshad.
We have decided to set up a university named after Guruchand Thakur and Harichand Thakur. 9.8 acre land for this university has been identified already at Chandpara. This is our token of tribute towards Matua Sangha.
The tourism department will erect two gateways for Matua Bari and the entire area will be decorated with lights.
A lot of sentiments are attached with this movement. Matua Sangha has played a role in speaking up for the poor. They have never discriminated against anyone. They have always worked for everyone and stood by people. Matua Sangha stands for unity, not division. They are working for social welfare, spreading education and upholding the culture.
We have distributed nearly 10.57 lakh caste certificates. I have heard that many facilities for scheduled Matuas have been stopped in Maharashtra. They are not getting certificates. I will enquire into this.
In Bangla, Adivasis, SC/ST brothers and sisters, minorities, general castes – all live together in harmony and peace. There is no discrimination here.
We have given Sikshashree scholarship to 1.68 lakh students belonging to Namashudra community this year.
We offer loans to students for higher education – Rs 10 lakh for studying in the country and Rs 20 lakh for studying abroad.
We have many social welfare schemes – Kanyashree, Sabuj Shree, Sabuj Sathi. Poor people live with dignity here.
A team of Trinamool lawmakers had gone to Assam earlier. Mamata Bala Thakur was in the delegation. They were not allowed to enter, and were harassed. In the name of NRC, Bengalis are being evicted. They are driving Biharis away from Gujarat. Such incidents do not happen in Bangla. We are with the people.
Bengalis who are being harassed in Assam must remember, Bangla is also their home. We are ready to offer all help and support. We are not against Assam. But names of lakhs of people have been omitted in the name of NRC.
It is not a crime to speak in Bangla. Many people hail from east Bengal, when the country was undivided. People came here as refugees. A pact was signed between India and Bangladesh to give legal citizenship to all the refugees who came from east Bengal till 1971. There was Nehru-Liyaqat pact also. They are legal citizens with voters’ card, ration card, caste certificate and other documents.
Citizenship cannot be snatched away. Those who are doing so are wrong. A brand of cheap politics is being played in the name of NRC, to exclude genuine voters. We do not support that.
We support the movement of Matua Sangha. We are always in favour of refugees. We are with the poor and the common people. Our government is Maa, Mati, Manush government. We are with you.
People love the work of Matua Thakurs. We will develop this area as a global tourist site. Live with your heads held high, with pride. I am one of you. I am here to work for you.
In the past, whenever Boro Ma was unwell, we have stood by her side. We are taking care of her healthcare needs. We wish she stays healthy. We wish her well.