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In Malda to Attend Mass Wedding, CM Mamata Banerjee Shakes a Leg to Tribal Tunes

By: Sujit Nath

News18.com

Last Updated: March 06, 2020, 17:24 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dances with tribal women in Malda.  (Image: News18)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dances with tribal women in Malda. (Image: News18)

In a first, Banerjee shook a leg with the tribal women who were performing a traditional dance during the event, taking by surprise those present at the event.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday was seen dancing on a tribal song during a mass marriage ceremony in Gajole area of Malda on March 5.

In a first, Banerjee shook a leg with the tribal women who were performing a traditional dance during the event, taking by surprise those present at the event.

Mamata was in Malda district to attend a mass wedding of 300 tribal couples. The ceremony was organised under the West Bengal government's ‘Rupashree Prakalpa’ scheme that provides a one-time financial grant of Rs. 25,000 for economically stressed families at the time of their adult daughters' marriages.

The chief minister said her government has ensured that nobody takes away lands from tribals. "Our government has ensured that no one can grab the land of a tribal family. A tribal will be the sole custodian of his or her land in West Bengal," she said.

The chief minister said a similar mass wedding programme will be held in the tea gardens of north Bengal in the second or third week of April. "We will organise such mass weddings in tribal-inhabited areas of the state every year," she said.

The chief minister also informed the attendees of the event about the new 'Jai Johar' pension scheme, under which elderly tribals who are not covered under any other pension scheme will get a monthly grant of Rs 1,000 from April 1.

Banerjee is also an author, poet, singer, lyricist and musician. In coming days, some of her poems are going to be a part of the school syllabus in West Bengal. Last year, during Durga Puja, she composed an album titled ‘Roudra Chhaya’ (Sunlight and Shadow), which consists of seven songs.

In September, 2018, Banerjee, during her visit to Frankfurt, was seen playing the tune for the song ‘hum honge kamyab’ (We Shall Overcome) along with a man dressed as Mickey Mouse on accordion.

Also a painter, she has made several paintings, one of which was kept inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Banerjee, who also has a propensity towards sports, was seen playing badminton in January last year in Birbhum district where she was visiting for an administrative meeting.

She also drew attention when she designed a sculpture for the U-17 World Cup at the entrance of Salt Lake Stadium, officially known as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan. The logo of the ‘Kanyashree’ scheme was also designed by her. The United Nations (UN) has awarded the West Bengal government the first place for Public Service for the ‘Kanyashree’ scheme.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, activists of the Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP) staged a demonstration close to the venue of the event, raising "go back chief minister" slogans and asserting that they do not approve such mass weddings of tribals, a senior police officer said. JDP state vice president Mohan Hansda was detained over the incident, he said.

In February, activists of the JDP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had clashed and pelted stones at each other in 8 Mile area of the district at a mass wedding of tribals organised by the saffron outfit.

A policeman was injured in the incident after being hit by an arrow during the clash. "The mass marriage organised by the VHP was being performed as per Hindu rituals. We feel that by doing so, tribals are being converted," Hansda had said.

With PTI inputs

first published:March 05, 2020, 20:57 IST
last updated:March 06, 2020, 17:24 IST