Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday lauded Bengali film makers for their message of unity in diversity for decades and said the state will never bow its head before others.
Bengal has produced a number of award winning film makers and the largest number of Nobel Prize winners in the country, she said inaugurating the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival.
Banerjee's comment was an apparent answer to Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement that Bengal is lagging behind in scientific and cultural development.
"Bengal is number one in terms of giving the country award winning film makers. The state has produced largest numbers of Nobel Prize winners in the country. We are number one in scientific and cultural development in the country," Banerjee said without naming either Shah or the BJP.
Shah, who is also the BJP national president, during a visit to West Bengal in October had criticised the TMC government for destroying Bengal saying the state which was once known for religious, scientific and cultural development is now known for "bomb making factories".
Banerjee said, "We are not jealous of others. Neither do we have any negative attitude towards any competition. We have a positive approach towards everybody.
"As long as we live we will fight and never bow our heads before anyone," the TMC supremo said.
She lauded film maker Mahesh Bhatt, who was one of the invitees at the programme, saying he is very outspoken and dares to speak his mind when others are scared to do so.
Satyajit Ray's 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne' was the inaugural film of the festival as this is the 50th year of its release and Germany will be the focus country this year.
Altogether 367 films, 214 feature films and 153 short documentary works, from 76 countries will be screened during the eight-day festival.