KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she was ready to surrender her life but would not bow down to the "politics of hatred".
Inaugurating a state-sponsored Christmas carnival in Kolkata's Park Street, Banerjee claimed that the Centre had cancelled holidays on December 25 and New Year's Day.
"This government in Delhi has cancelled holiday on the birthday of Jesus Christ. Look to what extent they can stoop to," she said.
"This has never been the tradition of India, which is known for its pluralism, which is known for its upholding democratic values."
The chief minister said the country belonged to every community and people had the right to follow any religion.
"I am ready to surrender my life, but not bow down my head to politics of hatred," Banerjee said, adding that she would do everything to protect rights of all the communities.
"I am not ready to surrender to the diktats of proponents of hatred politics," she added.
Banerjee said the spirit of Christmas gelled with the spirit of the state, which is associated with names like Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and sister Nivedita and their message of inclusiveness.
"We will protect this spirit come what come may. Bengal cannot be divided, people cannot be divided," she said.