Kolkata: The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) is planning to celebrate Ram Navami on April 14 in a big way in West Bengal by bringing out over 700 processions across the state, an official said here on Saturday.
"Last year, we organised the festival on a very large scale. This year, we will surpass that," said VHP's Bengal unit spokesman Sourish Mukherjee.
Mukherjee said about 40 lakh people had taken part in the celebrations last year and the number will go up this time.
Asked about the focus areas, he said the organisation was expecting a congregation of 1.5-2 lakh people at Islampur in North Dinajpur district.
The Darivit High School in Islampur saw much unrest last September when two former students were allegedly killed in police firing. There were protests against the recruitment of two new teachers, one of them for teaching Urdu. A section of the students and alumni of Darivit High School had clashed with police demanding teachers for literature and science subjects.
Incidentally, Islampur comes under the Raiganj constituency where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be a formidable force in the Lok Sabha election. Raiganj is scheduled to go to poll on April 18 — four days after the Ram Navami celebrations.
However, Mukherjee denied any connect between the polls and the congregation at Islampur. "We are a Hindutva organisation. Our aim is to unite and strengthen the Hindu society. We have no political agenda. We don't get involved in politics."
To a question whether the participants at the rallies would carry weapons, he said, "No weapon will be carried in the processions in various areas being brought out for the first time. But in areas like Purulia, Midnapore and Kharagpur, there is a tradition of carrying traditional weapons. So there, the participants may carry weapons".